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Small Mammals

  • Gastrointestinal disease occurs commonly in ferrets - from dental disease, through gastrointestinal foreign bodies to persistent diarrhea. Some, such as foreign bodies, are readily prevented, while others require considerable diagnostic investigation and may need long-term treatment.

  • Mast cell tumors are the most common skin tumor found in ferrets. They can also be found internally on the spleen. They arise from a cell type called a mast cell. In dogs and less so in cats, these tumors can vary from benign to highly malignant.

  • Reproductive disease in ferrets is rare today, as most pet ferrets are spayed or neutered at a young age. One disease still seen occasionally in pet ferrets occurs in females that are not spayed.

  • Ferrets can acquire external parasites. Flea infestation is a common problem in pet ferrets. Fleas are a small insect parasite that may take up residence on your ferret, especially if exposed to fleas outdoors or in a house with dogs, cats or other animals who themselves have fleas.

  • Hedgehogs can acquire external parasites. Flea infestation is not a common problem in pet hedgehogs. Fleas are a small insect parasite that may take up residence on your hedgehog, especially if exposed to fleas outdoors or in a house with dogs, cats or other animals who themselves have fleas.

  • Rabbits can acquire external parasites including fleas, especially if your rabbit is exposed to fleas outdoors or lives in a house with dogs or cats who themselves have fleas.

  • Glomerulonephritis, also known as glomerular nephritis (GN), is a specific type of renal (kidney) disease characterized by inflammation of the glomeruli, which are the tiny structures in the kidneys that act as filters for the blood.

  • Guinea pigs, like rabbits, are true herbivores, although the physiology and function of their gastrointestinal system is less well understood than that of the rabbit, which has been well investigated.

  • Guinea pigs, also called cavies (or cavy for a single guinea pig), originated in South America where the Incas used them as food. They were probably introduced into Europe soon after the first Spanish explorers returned from that continent in the 1500s.

  • Guinea pigs are easy to care for and, if handled frequently and gently, make great family pets. They are generally hardy, healthy animals but are susceptible to certain problems and diseases.