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Small Mammals

  • The main skin diseases in ferrets are associated with parasites - fleas, mites and ticks - with bacterial skin disease and tumours such as mast cell tumours.

  • As with any animal ferrets can suffer from a wide range of tumours from benign cancers of the skin to aggressive malignant tumours of internal organs.

  • During the summer months, pet rabbits may be affected by maggot infestation. Different terms are used for this but fly strike is a common one.

  • Gut stasis is common in the rabbit. It may frequently be referred to as bloat.

  • Due to their reputation as curious creatures and escape artists, ferrets should be housed in a cage which is securely closed and locked.

  • Being normal inhabitants of the Andes, chinchillas can cope very well with New Zealand outdoor temperatures and can be kept in an outdoor aviary with plenty of branches for climbing and chewing.

  • It is most convenient to house pet rodents in wire type 'bird-cages', although cages are available specifically for these pets. Wooden cages are not suitable as rodents love to chew and can really destroy their homes.

  • Many rabbits are housed outside in a hutch with ready access to a grass run. They must have a well-sheltered warm hutch during winter and a cool area during the summer months.

  • Imidacloprid is a topical insecticidal agent prescribed by your veterinarian to treat fleas on dogs, cats and rabbits. It can also help in control of allergic skin disorders due to fleas.

  • This is caused by the Myxoma virus which is widely distributed in the wild rabbit population. You might argue that your rabbit never comes into direct contact with animals from the wild and so does not need protection.

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