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Small Mammals + Care & Wellness

  • Rabbits can make wonderful pets, but it’s important to make informed choices about having a bunny in your home. Rabbits have special characteristics and needs that are important to understand before opening your home to one.

  • All of the pet rodents must be fed a good, high quality rodent chow (nutritionally balanced pelleted food) available at pet stores. Many veterinarians also recommend offering hay to the rodents; check with your veterinarian about this first.

  • Any cage used to house a pet rodent must be easy to clean, as poor husbandry and hygiene will lead quickly to a sick animal. It is most convenient to house small pet rodents in a glass aquarium (minimum 10 gallon tank depending on the animal) with a well-ventilated, lockable, escape-proof wire or screen top.

  • Pet rodents, sometimes also referred to as “pocket pets” are very popular pets. Hamsters, rats, mice, gerbils, and guinea pigs are the most common rodents kept as pets. They make good first pets for young children and as a rule require minimal care.

  • Rodents have several unique problems. Understanding these problems will allow you to better care for your pet and minimize future health care problems.

  • Sugar gliders are omnivorous in the wild. In the wild they eat the sap and gum of the eucalyptus and acacia tree plus pollen, nectar, manna (a sugar deposit from the sap oozing from wounds on tree branches or trunks), honeydew (sugar secreted by sap-sucking insects) and a wide variety of insects and spiders. Fruit is not a big part of their diet.

  • Sugar gliders are small, nocturnal mammals that are usually active at night and sleep during the day. Like kangaroos, they are marsupials and possess a pouch in which the female sugar glider raises her young. In the wild, they live in New Guinea and Australia in costal or rain forests.

  • Therapy pets are animals that visit hospitals, retirement homes, hospice centers, nursing homes and schools. Although most therapy pets are dogs, other species such as cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, and horses are good candidates. These lovable pets are well trained, have good temperaments, and are people-friendly. Plus, they have a good work ethic!

  • Walking Dandruff (cheyletiellosis) in rabbits is caused by a common rabbit fur mite (Cheyletiella parasitovorax). The mite’s effects are called "walking dandruff" because these large, whitish mites crawl across the skin and fur, and cause excessive flaky skin on a rabbit.

  • Veterinary care seems expensive. Here are some of the reasons behind the costs of veterinary care, and some things that you, as a pet owner, can do to help make it affordable.