Small Mammal Services

Although our small mammals are similar in many ways to our canine and feline patients, they can also be vastly different. Our small mammal patients range from complete herbivores such as guinea pigs and rabbits to obligate carnivores like ferrets.

The fundamental differences among the various species account for many of the disease processes that we see in them. For this very reason, we take the time to thoroughly explore the handling techniques and husbandry practices at home in order to ensure that each patient is properly cared for starting from the first examination. Proper diet is crucial to these animals, and it is the basis of life-long health. Since many of these animals live a large portion of their lives in cages, we also evaluate the enclosure so that the best possible environment and mental stimulation are provided for each and every patient.

The Well Small Mammal Patient

We recommend examinations on your small mammal twice a year. These examinations are recommended in order to assess the overall health of the patient and to establish a relationship with both you and your pet. Dental health is of utmost importance in small mammals, and this is often an aspect of their health that is difficult to monitor at home. We routinely examine the mouths of all of our small mammal patients so that we can catch problems early on, hopefully before they become a serious issue.

The Sick Small Mammal Patient

If your small mammal is sick, we recommend an examination as soon as is possible. Since many of our small mammals are prey species, they hide illness until they are no longer capable of doing so. This aspect of their behavior makes it of utmost importance to have them appropriately treated sooner rather than later. We offer laboratory testing such as bloodwork, infectious disease testing, cultures, radiographs, biopsies and surgical intervention when appropriate. We use only exotic animal specific laboratories so that we can feel confident that the results that we receive are trustworthy and accurate.

Hospitalized Patients

Many small mammals need to be hospitalized for supportive therapy, injectable medications, IV fluid administration and nutritional support. We provide a warm, stress free environment that is appropriate to the particular patient. We understand that some small mammals are prey species, whereas others are predators. The well being of each species is considered when hospitalization is needed so that each patient can be as comfortable as possible.

Disease Prevention

Some small mammals require vaccinations, whereas others do not. By law, ferrets must be vaccinated against rabies. Distemper is also an invariably fatal disease that ferrets should be vaccinated against. This deadly disease can be transmitted from one animal to another via direct contact or through contact with contaminated clothes or inanimate objects. Rodents and rabbits do not require vaccination, however, they are susceptible to certain infectious diseases which will be discussed during your initial examination. Ferrets should be on a monthly heartworm prevention, and almost all small mammals can benefit from flea and tick prevention.