All species are not created equal, even when they are in the same family (for example: rodents, like hamsters, rats and gerbils). Some may be affected by diseases unique to their species, such as wobbly hedgehog syndrome, a neurological disease that affects hedgehogs, but all small exotic mammals have some common medical problems. Trauma, for example, is more a factor of the size and fragility of these small animals than genetics, and others, like obesity, are largely a problem only in captive populations.
If you have a chinchilla, ferret, gerbil, guinea pig, hamster, hedgehog, mouse, rabbit, rat or sugar glider, check out these common health problems to see which are most likely to affect your pet, how to recognize them and what to do. And please note, this list is no substitute for a vet’s care. If you suspect a problem with your pet’s health, take it to a vet.
1| Dental Problems
Species Most Often Affected
Chinchillas, Ferrets, Gerbils, Guinea Pigs, Rabbits, Sugar Gliders
Signs And Symptoms
• Refusing food
• Only eating soft food
• Smaller or less frequent stools
• Picking up food then dropping it
For the full article, pick up the 2012 issue of Critters USA or click here to buy the issue.