SMALL MAMMALS AND OTHER EXOTIC, "POCKET" PETS
Pocket a Pet
At Petchester Veterinary, we are dedicated to pets of all shapes and sizes. We care for many small mammals or “pocket pets” such as rabbits, ferrets, chinchillas, hedgehogs, and rodents including gerbils, hamsters, rats, mice, and guinea pigs. Our veterinarians understand that each species has its own specific needs and requirements and are well versed in species differences and each species uniqueness.
Small Mammal Wellness Exams
When you bring your small mammal in to see us, it’s a good idea to use a carrier that can be easily secured to ensure that your pet does not escape in transit and that it is also easily concealed so that it allows your pet to hide to help him or her to feel safe and remain calm. We also have a separate waiting area for cats and exotics to reduce the anxiety of coming to an unfamiliar environment. If you are bringing them in for a veterinary visit during a cold season, make sure that you are able to keep them warm during transport. Likewise, in hot temperatures, make sure that they are not allowed to be overheated or remain for any length of time in an unventilated car. Our veterinarians will conduct a thorough physical that’s very similar to the one we perform for dogs and cats focusing on different organ systems such as checking for eye and skin diseases, auscultating the heart and lungs, monitoring the bones and joints for any changes, etc. Our veterinarians will also be happy to answer any questions you may have about appropriate care for your small mammal. This could range from his or her ideal diet—including pet nutritional supplements to common diseases that occur in each species.
Ferrets are required by law to receive the rabies vaccine. We may also recommend that ferrets that are at risk receive a distemper vaccination but this should be discussed with the veterinarian.
Potential Diseases and Disorders
Since many smaller mammals have a shorter lifespan, they can show signs of age-related illness in a relatively short time. These small mammals can also develop many varied diseases and disorders such as bacterial lung infections to chronic kidney disease. Regular visits to the veterinarian can ensure that your pet's disease can be detected early and managed properly so that your pet can live a quality life.
Small Mammal Dental Care
Monitoring your pet’s teeth is essential, especially for rabbits and rodents. Since they have continually growing teeth which can overgrow and can be deadly to them, it is important to address any changes as early as possible. Ferrets often experience a buildup of tartar and gingivitis, so they require regular dental care as well.