Bunny Language

Filed Under: Pocket Pets, General Care, Rabbits

Do you think of bunnies as just quiet, docile companions that are good Easter basket ornaments? Maybe you should reconsider that image. Rabbits actually have active and lively personalities. More active at dawn and dusk (at which time bunnies may become quite rambunctious!) they love running, jumping, digging, and climbing.

Ferret Influenza, or Ferret Flu

Filed Under: Pocket Pets, Diseases, Ferrets

Have you been feeling under the weather lately? Running a temperature, feeling achy and coughing? You may be suffering from the flu. If it is indeed the flu, you might not want to socialize with your ferret buddies. Ferrets are extremely sensitive to the influenza viruses, both types A and B, as well as the swine flu or H1N1 variety.

Ear Mites in the Rabbit (Psoroptes cuniculi)

Filed Under: Pocket Pets, Parasites, Rabbits

Do you have a rabbit that is constantly scratching at her ears? Do the ears look red and irritated? Are there big flakes of crusted material on the inside of your rabbit’s ears? Then you could be dealing with a common parasite in rabbits seen worldwide, the rabbit ear mite, also known as Psoroptes cuniculi.

These mites are easily identified on microscopic examination.

Tularemia or Rabbit Fever

Filed Under: Dogs, Cats, Pocket Pets, Diseases, Rabbits

A disease first described in a California ground squirrel around 1913, tularemia is also known as "rabbit" or "deerfly fever". The disease is caused by a gram-negative bacterium by the name of "Francisella tularensis". The bacterial septicemia may affect over 50 different species of wild and domestic mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, and even man.

Osteoarthritis or Degenerative Arthritis in Dogs, Cats, Horses, Birds, and Other Pets

Filed Under: Dogs, Cats, Pocket Pets, Horses, Diseases, Birds

Is your pet having more difficulty getting up in the morning? Does he or she walk around still legged for the first 10 to 15 minutes in the morning to get warmed up? Is your pet limping especially on those cold, wet, rainy mornings? Does your pet limp around following that Frisbee session? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then your pet is probably suffering from osteoarthritis.

Vitamin C Deficiency in Guinea Pigs

Filed Under: Pocket Pets, Diet & Nutrition, Guinea Pigs

A vitamin C deficiency, also know as scurvy, occurs when an animal lacks the hepatic (liver) enzyme called 1-gulonolactone oxidase necessary for the conversion of L-gulonolactone to L-ascorbic acid or vitamin C, and cannot store the vitamin to any appreciable extent in the body. Essentially three groups of animals lack this enzyme and they include man, monkeys, and the guinea pig.

Heartworm Disease in the Ferret

Filed Under: Pocket Pets, Diseases, Ferrets, Parasites

Heartworms or Dirofilaria immitis are a spaghetti-type worm that develop in the heart and lungs of an infected host. The disease is transmitted by the bite of a mosquito. Due to the insect vector, disease is more common in mild, moist climates. Mosquitos appear to infect ferrets with heartworms at a similar rate as seen in the dog.

Caring for Chinchillas

Filed Under: Pocket Pets, Chinchillas, General Care

Ever heard of a pet that requires dust baths and has a coat so thick that they are not affected by fleas? These social active critters once raised for their coats are now widely kept as pets and can even be litter box trained, at least to a certain extent.

Hedgehog Husbandry: Adopting and Caring for Hedgehogs

Filed Under: Pocket Pets, General Care, Hedgehog

Want a prickly pet that will keep your garden free of insects? Then the hedgehog may just be for you. The hedehog that is most commonly available in the pet trade is the African pygmy hedgehog (Atelerix albiventris)--or a mix thereof. The European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) is found all over western Europe and is usually a little larger than its Asian and African counterparts.

Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in the Hedgehog

Filed Under: Pocket Pets, Diseases, Hedgehog

Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) is caused by an Aphthovirus that affects many species of animals, especially those that are cloven-footed. FMD is endemic in the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, India, and Southeast Asia.