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A Hedgehog, A Rabbit And Some Exciting Ferret News

Dr. Jerry Murray treats a hedgehog for mites, a rabbit for a skin infection and reports on some good news for ferrets with adrenal gland disease.

By Jerry Murray, DVM
Posted: July 25, 2012, 6 a.m. EDT

hedgehog face
Hedgehog Hubert/Courtesy Robin White
This hedgehog is healthy, but mites are a common problem for pet and wild hedgehogs.

A young hedgehog came into the clinic with a skin and quill problem. He was losing quills and was itchy. He was the only hedgehog in the house, and he was active and playful. It was hard to get a good look at his skin, because he kept rolling up into a tight ball. Several of his quills were examined under the microscope, and a few mites were found. He also had a small amount of crusty skin on his face from the mites. Skin mites are a common problem in pet and wild hedgehogs. He was treated with two doses of Revolution to eliminate the mites.
 
A very large (12-pound) rabbit came into the clinic last week. She was kept in a cage at night, but she was allowed outside in the early morning. There are three rabbits in the household, and one of the other rabbits is aggressive toward this bunny. The owner had noticed a foul smell and was concerned that the rabbit may have an infected bite wound.

The rabbit was still active and eating well according to the owner, but it was difficult for me to imagine this obese bunny being active. On close inspection, it became clear that the odor was from a skin infection around her rectum. This is usually from urine getting on the skin or feces getting matted to the fur in that area. Rabbit owners commonly call this condition hutch burn. Unfortunately both problems were present on this bunny. The skin was cleaned, and the bunny was started on an antibiotic for the infection. The owner was instructed to keep the area clean and to apply an antibiotic ointment to the infected skin. Weight loss will be needed to prevent this problem from reoccurring.

At the end of June 2012, the FDA listed a new medication (Suprelorin F) for use in pet ferrets. The product is a long-acting implant that contains deslorelin. This is a new option for the treatment of adrenal gland disease in ferrets. The company that produces it, Virbac, hopes to have it available for sale to veterinarians in August or September.

Quick note: please remember to keep all of your pets safe from the summer heat.

See all of Dr. Murray's columns>>
See Dr. Murray author bio>>

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A Hedgehog, A Rabbit And Some Exciting Ferret News

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Reader Comments
Interesting read. I had never heard of Hutch Burn before.
ExoticPetsHQ, Los Angeles, CA
Posted: 6/17/2013 9:15:31 AM
It is interesting that Revolution can be safely used on a number of small exotic animals to eliminate external parasites. Happy to hear that new medication has been approved for the treatment of adrenal gland disease in ferrets.
Lisa, East Hampton, CT
Posted: 10/12/2012 10:10:45 PM
It's good to see more options for ferrets.
Veronica, Wallacetown, ON
Posted: 7/30/2012 7:43:16 AM
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