General Ferret Husbandry

Filed Under: Pocket Pets, Ferrets, General Care

The scientific name for the ferret is Mustela putorius furo, which literally translates to “stinky thief.” The scientific name is thought to refer to the ferret’s musky odor and mischievous nature. Ferrets are classified in the family Mustelidae. As a member of this family they are closely related to mink, skunks, weasels and otters.

Marijuana Poisoning in Pets

Filed Under: Dogs, Cats, Pocket Pets, Horses, Poisoning

There's been plenty of debate about whether marijuana is harmful to humans. But it is definitely harmful to your pet.

Marijuana or cannabis, also known as hemp, marihuana, hashish, Mary Jane, grass, reefer, weed or pot is a coarse annual herb that may grow up to six feet tall. The leaves are palmated, compounded with three to seven linear, coarsely dentated leaves. Male plants have small green flowers at the tip while female pants have flowers along the entire length of branch.

Top 10 Reasons "Safe" Pets Get Heartworms

Filed Under: Dogs, Cats, Reptiles, Parasites

10) Being unaware that cats and ferrets as well as dogs may become infected with heartworms.

9) Being in denial that there are mosquitos in your area.

8) Having a pet that refuses to take oral medication even if it is disguised as a treat.

7) Using a topical heartworm preventative and then bathing your pet frequently with harsh shampoos that strip the medication from the coat.

6) Skipping one or more doses of heartworm preventative.

Humidity Control is Essential with Amphibians and Reptiles

Filed Under: Reptiles, General Care

Collectors of reptiles and amphibians need to replicate the natural environment of their pets as close as possible. Humidity is an essential ingredient in the creation of a natural setting. Humidity affects all aspects of life and may affect growth, reproduction and even the general health of any confined species.

Acceptance of water depends in part on the species in question. Turtles, snakes and many lizards will drink from bowls. Turtles and snakes sip, while lizards will lap. Anoles, chameleons and day geckos lap from droplets sprayed or dripped onto foliage.

Tick Paralysis

Filed Under: Dogs, Cats, Parasites, Pigs

Ticks in North America may cause an acute flaccid paralysis. Engorged female ticks are believed to secrete a neurotoxin that prevents the release of acetylcholine and thereby causes a paralysis of skeletal muscles. Acetylcholine is a necessary neurotransmitter for skeletal muscle contraction. When acetylchole is absent, the result is loss of motor control. This paralysis begins in the hind legs and will progress to the front end of the patient within 24 - 48 hours and is therefore termed an ascending paralysis.

Foot and Mouth Disease

Filed Under: Cows, Diseases, Pigs

Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) is a highly infections viral disease of cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, buffalo, deer, antelope, elephant and giraffe. Old world camels are resistant to natural infection while new world camelids such as alpacas and llamas are susceptible to infection. Other animals that may become infected include nutrias, capybaras, hedgehogs, rats, mice and armadillos.

Canine Brucellosis

Filed Under: Dogs, Diseases

Canine brucellosis is caused by Brucella canis. B. Canis is a gram-negative, intracellular bacterium. Dogs are also susceptible to infection with Brucella abortus (the Brucella bacterium infecting cattle) and Brucella suis (the Brucella species infecting pigs).

Babesiosis in Dogs or Piroplasmoses

Filed Under: Dogs, Diseases, Parasites

Babesia canis is an intracellular protozoan parasite that affects red blood cells (erythrocytes) of the dog. There are 73 identified species of which two infect dogs. These parasites are all spread by ticks, usually of the Ixodid family which are also known as hard ticks. Babesia species are typically host specific, indicating that they will not infect more than one vertebrate species. Babesia gibsoni and Babesia canis are the two species that generally infect dogs.

Feline Herpesvirus-1 (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis)

Filed Under: Cats, Diseases

Feline Herpesvirus (FHV-1), also known as Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR), is an important cause of upper respiratory disease (URD) and eye inflammation in cats and other members of the cat family worldwide. FHV-1 is an alphaherpesvirus which contains double-stranded DNA.

It is likely that most cats will be exposed to the infection during their lifetime. There is only one serotype of the virus and all isolates are genetically similar.

Caring for Orphaned Baby Birds

Filed Under: General Care, Birds

Raising baby birds can be a heartwarming experience. Most do well when you follow some basic rules. Baby animals are not able to maintain body temperature and require an additional heat source to warm up next to or someone to snuggle up to. Hypothermia is the primary cause of death in orphaned birds. When confronted with a baby bird, the first thing is to warm them quickly and gently. A hot water bottle is the safest and can be easily constructed from a couple of empty plastic soda bottles. Fill the soda bottle with hot water and wrap in a towel.

Dr. Susan named best vet in Northeast Alabama!

Critterology.com's primary contributor, Dr. Susan Muller Esneault, has been named for best veterinarian in northeast Alabama!

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Thanks to everyone who voted.