Health Library en Antibiotics-Induced Enteritis in Hamsters Although typically useful in fighting infections, the overuse of some antibiotics may prove harmful in hamsters. Such is the case with gram-positive spectrum antibiotics. When overused, lincomycin, clindamycin, ampicillin, vancomycin, erythromycin, penicillin, and cephalosporins can kill the bacteria that usually live in a hamster's digestive tract, which in turn allows the overgrowth of other "bad" bacteria. This eventually causes inflammation of the small intestines (or enteritis), resulting in diarrhea and death within 2 to 10 days.
Depending on more]]> Digestive Fri, 09 Jul 2010 02:00:14 +0000 10214 at
Abscesses in Chinchillas  
When pus collects in a cavity under the skin or in the membrane of an organ, abscesses are formed. In chinchillas, abscesses usually occur following an infection from a bite wounds or other traumatic injuries. These infections may be bacterial, spreading to other areas of the body and causing abscesses to develop there, too. Abscesses need to be treated promptly, as the infection may enter the blood stream, leading to toxemia and, in prolonged and severe cases, even death.

Slight swelling beneath the fur]]> Skin Tue, 23 Sep 2008 16:13:47 +0000 547 at
Amyloid Deposition within the Internal Organs of Hamsters  
Amyloidosis is a condition in which the body produces sheets of a dense protein called amyloid. As the protein gets deposited throughout the body, it prevents the organs from functioning normally. If the amyloid reaches the kidneys, it can cause renal failure, which is fatal.
Amyloidosis typically affects females that at least one-year-old; however, hamsters with long-term illnesses can also develop the disease. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for amyloidosis except to make the hamster more comfortable by giving it fluids and other supplements as more]]> Urinary Wed, 07 Jul 2010 21:07:12 +0000 10211 at
Antibiotic Toxicity in Guinea Pigs  
Guinea pigs are very sensitive to the effects of antibiotics and often their administration can lead to toxic effects. One of the possible complications that follow the administration of antibiotics is an upset in the balance of the beneficial bacteria that normally live in the guinea pig's intestines, which in some cases can lead to more severe disease conditions than the original condition that was being treated. Prior underlying conditions, such as inadequate nutrition and vitamin C deficiency, can also make your guinea pig more likely more]]> Endocrine Wed, 21 Jul 2010 01:49:31 +0000 10252 at
Arenavirus Infection in Hamsters  
The arenavirus usually infects wild mice and other rodents, but it does rarely affect hamsters. Fortunately, it does not usually make them sick and eventually resolves on its own. Sick hamsters, however, can pass the virus onto humans, causing flu-like symptoms and inflammation of the bran and the spinal cord. Due to its highly contagious nature, hamsters with arenavirus should be handled with utmost caution.
Although many hamsters with arenavirus have no adverse reactions, some do. The following are good indica more]]> Neurological Fri, 09 Jul 2010 02:07:46 +0000 10215 at
Bacteria in the Blood of Chinchillas  
Septicemia is a suppurative disease causing bacteria and toxins in the blood of chinchillas. Infections across multiple portions of your chinchilla's body may follow untreated bacterial gastroenteritis, although other bacteria may also cause it. Because chinchillas may quickly succumb to the toxins and die suddenly, it is always best to consult a veterinarian when signs of general bacterial infection are noticed. Propmt treatment is the best way to avoid the development of septicemia.
The best way to treat septicemia is to first diagnose the specific more]]> Cardiovascular Wed, 07 Jul 2010 20:36:27 +0000 10205 at
Bacterial (Yersinia) Infection in Chinchillas  
Infection caused by the bacteria belonging to the genus Yersinia is referred to as yersiniosis. Because it is transmitted via contact with wild rodents that are carriers of the disease, pet chinchillas raised at home rarely contract the infection. However, chinchillas can also get yerniosis by eating infected droppings or from their mothers, prior to birth or through milk while nursing.
Yerniosis can spread quickly and is difficult to treat. Deciphering a diagnosis is also quite difficult, as the chinchilla exhibits no specific signs more]]> Digestive Wed, 07 Jul 2010 20:52:15 +0000 10208 at
Bacterial Disease of the Foot - Bumblefoot in Guinea Pigs  
Pododermatitis is a condition in which a guinea pig’s footpad becomes inflamed, develops sores, or becomes overgrown. The appearance may be similar to callouses, or small tumors on the bottom of the foot. This condition is commonly referred to as bumblefoot.
When bumblefoot is left untreated or is present in a very severe form, there are sometimes complications in treatment and the infected leg may have to be amputated.
Symptoms and Types
The infected guinea pig’s footpads may become inflamed (redness), develop sor more]]> Skin Thu, 22 Jul 2010 14:41:23 +0000 10267 at
Bacterial Enteritis in Hamsters  
Proliferative enteritis is a medical condition that causes inflammation of the small intestine and subsequent diarrhea. More commonly found in hamsters with compromised immune systems, it is due to an infection with the bacteria Lawsonia intracellularis. Stress, overcrowded conditions, and changes in diet have all been found to compromise a hamster's immune system, especially in young hamsters, which can be ravaged by proliferative enteritis quickly.
To prevent infection with the causative bacteria, you are advised to separate sick more]]> Digestive Fri, 09 Jul 2010 16:49:33 +0000 10230 at
Bladder Threadworm in Rats  
A common urinary disease in rat colonies is nematodiasis. This occurs when the nematode parasite Trichosomoides crassicauda infects the rat's urinary bladder, causing painful urination, stunted development, and stones in the bladder (bladder calculi). Kidney diseases like pyelitis, renal pelvic inflammation and stones in the kidney (uroliths) may also occur if the parasite (threadworm) moves upward toward the bladder.
The source of infection is contact with Trichosomoides crassicauda eggs that have been passed in the urine of more]]> Urinary Sat, 19 Jun 2010 18:01:43 +0000 10141 at
Bloating in Chinchillas  
Sometimes referred to as bloat, tympany in chinchillas is a condition in which there is a sudden build up of gas in the stomach. This usually occurs following a diet change or due to overeating. Both of these causes result in constipation and gas production from the bacterial flora in unmoving bowels and quickly build up within two to four hours, eventually leading to bloat. Bloat can also occur in nursing females two to three weeks after giving birth and may be related to hypocalcemia, a life-threatening imbalance of calcium metabolism.
When the chinch more]]> Digestive Sat, 19 Jun 2010 17:42:43 +0000 10138 at
Bone Fractures in Chinchillas  
A chinchilla suffering from a fracture will suffer from immense pain, be unable to move -- especially the affected portion of its body -- and have swelling around the area of the broken bone. A crackling sound may be heard when the fractured area is manipulated due to the rubbing between the broken ends of the bone. Very rarely do chinchillas hav more]]> Musculoskeletal Tue, 23 Sep 2008 16:37:33 +0000 549 at
Breeding Disorders, Infertility in Hamsters  
Breeding and reproduction in hamsters, as in other animals, may be a natural, easy process or may undergo serious complications resulting in an inability to reproduce successfully. Breeding females, for example, may have smaller litters or become infertile as a result of old age, malnutrition, a cold environment, not having enough nesting material, and not having a normal estrous cycle. However, infertility problems can occur in both males and females.
Pregnant females have also been known to abandon or eat their offspring. Though the underly more]]> Reproductive Fri, 09 Jul 2010 02:21:54 +0000 10216 at
Broken and Fractured Bones in Gerbils  
Fractured or broken bones are commonly encountered in gerbils, occurring mainly as the result of accidental falls from a high location. Fractures may also occur due to some types of nutritional disorders such as calcium phosphorus imbalances, wherein the bone becomes brittle and easily prone to breakage. Fortunately, fractures heal fairly easily in gerbils; they only require proper restraint and adequate rest.
Symptoms and Types
In addition to exhibiting severe pain and refusing to move -- on account of the pressure and pain when attemptin more]]> Musculoskeletal Mon, 19 Jul 2010 01:13:19 +0000 10242 at
Broken Bones in Prairie Dogs  
Fractures or broken bones are commonly encountered in prairie dogs, often due to an accidental fall. Fighting is another cause for fractures, especially among male prairie dogs during mating season. Improper diet with vitamin and mineral imbalances like calcium deficiency may also cause fractures in prairie dogs.
There is a good chance a prairie dog’s fracture heals, requiring at least three to six weeks, but it is imperative that the prairie dog be properly restrained and given adequate to rest during this period. Left unrestrained, the animal more]]> Musculoskeletal Tue, 14 Sep 2010 14:16:56 +0000 10376 at
Calcium Deficiency in Guinea Pigs  
Calcium is an essential mineral for several important functions in the body of an animal. It is needed for the development of the fetal skeleton as well as for the secretion of milk in lactating females, making pregnant and nursing guinea pigs more prone to calcium deficiency if their increased nutritional needs are not being met. This related type of calcium deficiency usually develops in the one to two weeks before, or shortly after, giving birth. Also at higher risk of calcium deficiency are obese or stressed guinea pigs, or guinea pigs that have already more]]> Endocrine Wed, 21 Jul 2010 18:39:10 +0000 10256 at
Calcium-Phosphorus Imbalance in Chinchillas Calcium and phosphorus are essential minerals for chinchillas. An imbalance in the calcium to phosphorus ratio can lead to nutritional disorders in chinchillas, which affect mainly the muscles and development of the bones. Moreover, any calcium-phosphorus imbalance in young and pregnant chinchillas may have serious consequences on the future growth and development of the newborn(s).
Noticeable and severe muscle spasms in the chinchilla’s face and limbs are the first signs of a calcium-phosphorus imbalance nutritional disorder. Broken bones become common due to bones beco more]]> Musculoskeletal Sat, 19 Jun 2010 17:50:31 +0000 10139 at
Cancers and Tumors in Guinea Pigs  
Tumors are the result of an abnormal multiplication of body cells, resulting in a growth, or lump of tissue, which may be benign (harmless) or malignant (spreading and dangerous).
Most types of cancer are not common in guinea pigs until they are four to five years old. After that age, between one-sixth and one-third of guinea pigs are known to develop a tumor. Guinea pigs that have been inter-bred (within relatives) are more prone to tumor and cancer development.
Treatment, if recommended, will depend on the type and locatio more]]> Skin Wed, 21 Jul 2010 18:44:58 +0000 10257 at
Cancers and Tumors in Hamsters  
An abnormal growth of cells in a tissue or organ is referred to as a tumor, of which there are two types: benign and malignant. Benign tumors, which do not spread, are much more common in hamsters. Malignant tumors (or cancers), meanwhile, may develop in one location such as the hormone-producing glands or digestive system organs and spread into other body parts. Only four percent of hamsters suffer from malignant tumors.
The most common location of benign tumors is in the adrenal gland, which is near the kidney. Lymphoma (tumor of the more]]> Cancer Fri, 09 Jul 2010 02:28:45 +0000 10217 at
Cancers and Tumors in Prairie Dogs Occurring when cells multiply abnormally, tumors are classified as either malignant or benign. Tumors may become cancerous, although they are uncommon in prairie dogs.
Treat­ment, if recommended, will depend on the type and location of the tumor or cancer. The outcome for benign tumors and others such as odontomas is generally good, but the general outcome for some tumors or cancers involving the vital organs like the liver is poor and affected prairie dogs may live for only a few weeks after diagnosis.
While tumors in the sinus area of the uppe more]]> Cancer Thu, 22 Jul 2010 18:12:36 +0000 10283 at
Chewing of Hair in Guinea Pigs  
There are many reasons for hair loss to occur in guinea pigs. One of the common causes for hair loss is due to barbering, a behavior by which guinea pigs will chew or tear their own or each other's hair off as a result of conflicts between adult males or between adults and young. It may also be exhibited by females that are under stress.
The outward symptoms that are characteristic of this behavior are very short, chewed off hairs over an area that appears as a bald patch. The skin that has suffered the barbering may be inflamed, brui more]]> Skin Wed, 21 Jul 2010 01:53:58 +0000 10253 at
Choking in Chinchillas  
Choking occurs in chinchillas when the esophagus is obstructed. Since chinchillas do not have the ability to vomit they are unable to relieve the obstruction, which presses on the windpipe resulting in respiratory distress. The animals may choke when the airway is blocked by a large piece of food or bedding. Females may also choke when eating the placentas after delivering infants. Fluid can get collected in the lungs when the lower respiratory tracts are irritated by foreign particles. Choking needs to be immediately treated, other more]]> Respiratory Wed, 30 Jun 2010 17:22:52 +0000 10188 at
Common Cancers and Tumors in Rats Rats are genetically predisposed to a high incidence of tumors and cancers. Some tumors may be malignant while others are benign. In all cases, however, it is advisable to remove the tumor to help reduce the fatalities as a result of the cancerous growths.
Symptoms and Types

Benign tumors of the skin that develop in the chest, back or tail.

Mammary Fibroadenomas

The most common kind of reproductive tumors in rats.
Can be found in the mammary ( more]]> Cancer Sat, 19 Jun 2010 18:08:12 +0000 10142 at
Congestive Heart Failure in Hamsters Congestive heart failure is a condition in which the heart muscles weaken and cannot pump blood efficiently throughout the body. This causes blood to collect in the veins and subsequent edema.
Congestive heart failure is found to occur more frequently in older female hamsters and is often connected with amyloidosis. And though there is no effective treatment for congestive heart failure, your veterinarian might suggest some ways of managing the heart condition, even if it is temporary. But be prepared, the general outcome for hamsters with congestive failure is poor. more]]> Cardiovascular Fri, 09 Jul 2010 02:51:01 +0000 10219 at
Constipation in Hamsters Constipation and diarrhea are the most commonly observed abnormalities in fecal consistency, composition, and frequency of passage. The feces of constipated hamsters also has a reduced concentration of water, making it appear hard and dry.
Hamsters may become constipated due to a variety of reasons: intestinal parasites such as tapeworms, intestinal blockage, or the folding of the intestines (intussusception). Identifying and treating the underlying cause quickly is essential for preventing further complications.

Abdominal pain more]]> Digestive Fri, 09 Jul 2010 03:43:28 +0000 10221 at
Contagious Bacterial Disease Due to Salmonella in Gerbils  
Salmonellosis is a contagious disease caused by infection with the Salmonella bacterium. It is quite rare in pet gerbils and is usually spreads due to the ingestion of food or water that has been contaminated with the infected feces or urine of wild rodents. Infected bedding material can also act as a potential source for transmission of salmonellosis disease in gerbils.
An infected gerbil that is being treated for salmonellosis may still continue to infect other animals even thought it does not appear to be sick. It is important to note that more]]> Digestive Mon, 19 Jul 2010 01:37:28 +0000 10247 at
Contagious Parvoviral Infection in Rats  
Parvoviral infection is a highly contagious but rarely encountered viral disease in rats. When it does occur, the parvovirus infection is very severe and recovery of the affected rat is uncommon, as the severity of this infection often leads to death.
The parvovirus infection spreads through direct contact, and by contact with contaminated cage items, such as litter, bedding, etc. Infection is usually symptomized in the digestive system as bloody diarrhea and vomiting, and in the reproductive system of pregnant female rats as stillbirths, small litters, run more]]> Digestive Sat, 19 Jun 2010 19:11:56 +0000 10150 at
Dental Diseases in Guinea Pigs  
Guinea pigs suffer from various kinds of dental diseases, the most common being improper alignment of teeth, otherwise known as malocclusion. Another dental disease is slobbers. This occurs when a guinea pig's teeth become overgrown, making it difficult to swallow or chew, and causing the animal to salivate more than necessary. These and other dental diseases require immediate veterinary care, as they can lead to secondary complications, if left untreated.

Improper alignment of the teeth
Weig more]]> Mouth Tue, 23 Sep 2008 17:57:24 +0000 561 at
Dental Disorders in Prairie Dogs  
Your prairie dog's teeth grow continuously. It's only by constant gnawing that it is able to file them down to a reasonable size. However, uneven positioning of the upper and lower teeth when the jaw is closed, known as malocclusion, sometimes occurs. This may cause an overgrowth of the incisors or cheek teeth. As maloccluded teeth continue to grow, nearby tissues may be damaged.
This, however, is just one of the many dental disorders that affect prairie dogs. Broken or fractured teeth may also occur. Odon more]]> Mouth Tue, 14 Sep 2010 14:02:15 +0000 10374 at
Deposition of Calcium in the Internal Organs in Guinea Pigs  
Metastatic calcification in guinea pigs is a diseased condition of the internal organs, in which the organs harden as the result of calcium being deposited in the tissues of the organ.It can spread throughout a guinea pig’s body, often without symptoms. In fact, an affected guinea pigs can die suddenly from this disease without ever having appeared ill.
Metastatic calcification is most likely to occurs in male guinea pigs that are older than one year of age.
Symptoms and Types

Weight loss more]]> Endocrine Wed, 21 Jul 2010 19:56:42 +0000 10263 at
Diarrhea in Guinea Pigs Diarrhea often occurs as a symptom of a secondary condition, including disease, infection or improper diet, all causing the guinea pig's digestive system to become upset. Whatever the reason, diarrhea needs to be treated promptly, as it can lead to dehydration and even death in severe cases.

Guinea pigs suffering from diarrhea may display symptoms such as:

Loss of appetite
Abdominal pain
Loose, watery stool
Soiling of the fur near the genital an more]]> Digestive Tue, 23 Sep 2008 18:14:47 +0000 562 at
Diarrhea in Prairie Dogs  
Diarrhea often occurs as a manifestation of several conditions that may upset the prairie dog’s digestive system. These may range from dietary to infectious causes. Diarrhea needs to be treated promptly as it can lead to dehydration and even death when left untreated.

Loose stool
Loss of appetite
Lack of energy
Abdominal pain
Low body temperature

Causes more]]> Digestive Tue, 14 Sep 2010 14:08:48 +0000 10375 at
Difficulty Giving Birth in Chinchillas  
When a chinchilla has difficulty giving birth or there is a birthing abnormality, the condition is called dystocia. Though this condition is rarely encountered in chinchillas, dystocia can occur in very young females when they are bred early before the uterus and pelvic bones have fully developed. Dystocia may also occur when the fetus is abnormally large or in misplaced fetuses.
When dystocia is suspected, a veterinarian should be asked to tend to the case to prevent any complications from developing. The veterinarian will use hormonal aids like oxyto more]]> Reproductive Wed, 30 Jun 2010 18:26:42 +0000 10189 at
Difficulty Giving Birth in Guinea pigs  
Dystocia is a clinical condition in which the process of giving birth is slowed or is made difficult for the birthing mother. In sows (pregnant guinea pigs), this is usually caused by the normal stiffening of the tough fibrous cartilage which joins the two pubic bones – medically referred to as the symphysis.
As the female guinea pig ages, the cartilage that binds the two halves of the pubic bones stiffens, limiting the ability of the pubic bones to spread sufficiently enough to allow for the passage of the fetuses. This is especially true for fi more]]> Reproductive Wed, 21 Jul 2010 18:59:46 +0000 10258 at
E. coli Infection in Hamsters  
Diarrhea caused by Escherichia coli bacteria is a very common occurrence in hamsters, especially young and newborn hamsters with poorly developed immune systems. Typically, E. coli infection (or Colibacillosis) occurs due to unhygienic living conditions and is transmitted by ingestion of contaminated food and water, though it may also be transmitted through the air.
Similar to other illnesses that cause diarrhea, hamsters with colibacillosis may lead to abdominal pain and depression. Infected hamsters may have pro more]]> Digestive Fri, 09 Jul 2010 03:47:16 +0000 10222 at
Ear Infections in Guinea Pigs Ear infections are rare in guinea pigs. However, when they do occur, it is usually the result of bacterial infections such as pneumonia or other respiratory diseases. If the ear infections spread from the middle ear to the inner ear, it can become quite serious, even affecting parts of the nervous system. Therefore, if you suspect an ear infection in your guinea pig, seek veterinary care immediately.

Pus or discharge from the ears
Ear pain
Loss of hearing

Also, if the infect more]]> Ears Tue, 23 Sep 2008 18:32:25 +0000 563 at
Ear Injuries in Chinchillas  
Ear injuries (or traumas) are common in chinchillas because of their very delicate ears. Fights with other animals or exposure to extreme hot or cold temperatures can frequently bring on these types of injuries. If the ear injury has resulted in deep cuts or wounds, proper veterinary care is needed because it can quickly lead to bacterial or viral infections.
Symptoms and Types

Bite marks or deep cuts on its ear
Swollen and reddened ear
Fluid discharge excreting from affected ear area

In cases more]]> Ears Tue, 23 Sep 2008 16:22:50 +0000 548 at
Fight Wounds in Rats  
Fight wounds are especially common in male rats (though they can occur in females), especially during mating season when the dominant male tries to fend off challenges from other males for the attention of the desired female. The fighting invariably leads to injuries to the skin and tails.
While fight wounds are not often considered to be a serious problem, unattended cases may lead to serious and sometimes fatal complications due to development of gangrene and/or secondary bacterial infections.
Symptoms a more]]> Skin Sat, 19 Jun 2010 18:13:15 +0000 10143 at
Flea Infestation in Rats  
Fleas are ectoparasites, or parasites that infest and feed on the outside of the body (e.g., skin and hair). These parasites are found in many pets; however, flea infestation in pet rats is very rare. Typically, pet rats typically only acquire this condition when they come in contact with wild rodents.
Though flea infestation is not a serious condition and treatment is available to control it, if proper steps are not taken to prevent further spread or reinfestation of the fleas, this can become a recurring problem.
Symptoms and Type more]]> Skin Sat, 19 Jun 2010 18:18:50 +0000 10144 at
Fractures in Hamsters  
Fractures, more commonly known as broken bones, are actually quite common in hamsters. They mainly occur due to accidents such as improper handling of the animal or when a hamster tries to dislodge its leg from the cage's wire mesh or exercise wheel.
Because hamsters are very small, broken bones are difficult to treat. However, healing of fractures in hamsters is quite easy, but the hamster should be properly restrained and given adequate rest to ensure complete healing.
In addition to exhibiting severe pain and refusing to more]]> Musculoskeletal Fri, 09 Jul 2010 03:59:14 +0000 10224 at
Fur Mites in Guinea Pigs  
Fur mite infestation is a commonly encountered skin problem in guinea pigs. Under normal conditions fur mites are present in small numbers and exist symbiotically, not bothering their host. However, their numbers can increase when a guinea pig is stressed, has decreased immunity due to other illnesses, and/or is unable to keep the mites reduced by normal grooming -- all of which can lead to excessive itching, irritation and other disorders of the skin.
Fur mite infestations can be minimized or prevented by making sure that your guinea more]]> Skin Wed, 21 Jul 2010 19:05:35 +0000 10259 at
Hair Loss in Gerbils  
Alopecia is the complete or partial loss of hair in areas where it is normally present. This is a common disorder in gerbils and depending on the underlying cause, it can be treated.
Symptoms and Types
Alopecia is extremely noticeable, characterized as a varied or symmetrical loss of hair. Other signs include:

Weight loss
Scaling of the skin
Skin inflammation
Severe itching and reddening of the skin (especially in the case of ectoparasite infestations) more]]> Skin Tue, 23 Sep 2008 17:28:25 +0000 555 at
Hair Loss in Hamsters  
Much like in humans, hamsters suffer from alopecia, which causes the animal to have partial or complete hair loss. There are many causes for hair loss in hamsters, but it typically occurs on the face or around the tail and hindquarters.
Symptoms and Types
Alopecia is extremely noticeable and is characterized as a varied or symmetrical hair loss. Patches with little or no hair may be seen, especially in the face and other parts of the body like the tail.
If the hair loss is due to ectoparasitic infestation (ticks, mites, etc.), the hamste more]]> Skin Wed, 07 Jul 2010 21:02:43 +0000 10210 at
Hair Loss in Prairie Dogs  
Alopecia is the term given to the unusual loss of hair. The most frequent causes of hair loss in prairie dogs include injury due to rubbing or prickling of fur on wire cages; poor nutrition; and skin parasites such as fleas, lice, ticks, and parasitic fungi that affect the skin, hair, or nails.

Hair loss
Weight loss
Skin sores

There are a variety of causes for alopecia in prairie dogs, including:

Constant rubbing on metal cage feede more]]> Skin Thu, 22 Jul 2010 18:06:06 +0000 10282 at
Hair Rings in Chinchillas  
If your male chinchilla is experiencing difficulty mating, it may be on account of hair rings. Hair rings are a condition that develops in male chinchillas following sexual intercourse in which a ring of hair may surround the penis within the foreskin and cause serious complications, including inability to mate with the female. Male chinchillas, especially those used for breeding, should be routinely checked for the presence of hair rings to prevent other complications from developing.
You should check for hair rings if your male chin more]]> Reproductive Wed, 30 Jun 2010 18:32:55 +0000 10190 at
Herpes Virus Infection in Chinchillas  
Chinchillas may get the herpes virus infection through contact with humans suffering from herpes virus 1 infection. Transmitted through the air or via infected water and food, the human herpes virus mainly affects the nervous system in chinchillas, though the eyes can also be affected. The signs exhibited by the affected chinchillas are mainly those involving the nervous system. Other lesions are detected only during post-mortem examination of the dead chinchillas.
Chinchillas act as intermediary hosts of the herpes virus infection. Hence, this d more]]> Neurological Wed, 30 Jun 2010 18:38:38 +0000 10191 at
Infection and Inflammation of the Uterus in Chinchillas  
Metritis, otherwise known as the infection and inflammation of the uterus, typically affects female chinchillas that have recently given birth. It commonly occurs when the placenta and fetal membranes remain in the uterus leading to bacterial infection. Metritis is a serious condition in female chinchillas because the kits may get the infection from the mother and the mother itself may die if untreated from severe bacterial infection.

Inability to walk
Loss of appetite
Weight loss more]]> Reproductive Wed, 07 Jul 2010 16:13:52 +0000 10199 at
Infectious Bacterial Staph Infection in Rats  
Staphylococcal infection in rats is caused by a bacteria belonging to the genus staphylococcus, a gram positive bacteria that is commonly found on the skin of many mammals, including rats, and which includes a number of species and subspecies, most of which are harmless to the body and are not implicated in disease.
When the immune system of the rat is compromised as a result of disease or other stressful conditions, staphylococcal numbers can flare up. Under these circumstances, if a rat happens to have an old unhealed wound, a fresh cut, or more]]> Skin Mon, 21 Jun 2010 01:46:05 +0000 10156 at
Infertility in Chinchillas  
There are many factors responsible for infertility in chinchillas. These factors can include improper nutrition, genetic predisposition, and even infections. Infertility is a problem in both male and female chinchillas. It is difficult to treat infertility once it has been diagnosed, therefore prevention is key.
When a chinchilla is infertile, it has no interest in mating. When infertility is due to overfeeding or underfeeding, the chinchilla will be either overweight or malnourished and weak. Infection of reproductive organs produces a more]]> Reproductive Wed, 07 Jul 2010 14:22:46 +0000 10196 at
Inflammation and Scarring of the Liver and Bile Ducts in Hamsters  
Cholangiofibrosis is associated with the inflammation and scarring of the liver and bile ducts. Essentially, it is related to two separate conditions: hepatitis and cholangitis. Inflammation of the liver (or hepatitis) can cause fibrous (scar) tissue to form if left untreated for more than three months. The fibrous tissue constricts the blood vessels in the liver, affecting its blood flow. Cholangitis, meanwhile, is defined as the inflammation of the bile ducts. If left untreated, it can also cause fibrous tissue to form which reduces or stops the flow of more]]> Digestive Fri, 09 Jul 2010 02:42:07 +0000 10218 at
Inflammation of Mammary Gland in Hamsters  
Mastitis is a condition in which a female's mammary glands become inflammed. Often due to infectious agents like bacteria of the Streptococcus species, the mammary gland infection usually becomes obvious 7 to 10 days after the female gives birth. Infectious bacteria gain entry into the hamster’s body through cuts on the mammary gland, which may be caused by the teeth of the suckling young pups.
Mastitis is a painful and serious infection and without prompt treatment, the infection may spread to the hamster's bloodstream and cause other comp more]]> Reproductive Fri, 09 Jul 2010 14:13:19 +0000 10225 at
Inflammation of the Kidneys in Hamsters  
Nephritis is a medical condition that causes kidney inflammation. This may occur in one or both kidneys. Typically, the inflammation is brought on by a viral or bacterial infection. Nephritis may also be due to disorders of the immune system or high blood pressure. If left untreated, degeneration of the kidneys sets in, wherein normal kidney tissue is replaced by fibrous tissue. This is called nephrosis.

Dull and depressed appearance
Elevated body temperature
Dry coat
Abdominal pai more]]> Urinary Fri, 09 Jul 2010 16:00:55 +0000 10226 at
Inflammation of the Lungs in Guinea Pigs  
Pneumonia, the clinical name given to inflammation of the lungs, is the most frequent cause of death in guinea pigs. It is also a contagious condition in groups of guinea pigs.
The most common bacteria that has been found to cause pneumonia in guinea pigs are the species Bordetella bronchiseptica, and to a lesser extent, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Streptococcus zooepidemicus. In rare cases, pneumonia may be caused by the adenovirus, a viral infection that infects many types of mammal species, including guinea pigs. more]]> Respiratory Thu, 22 Jul 2010 14:13:54 +0000 10266 at
Inflammation of the Lungs in Hamsters  
Pneumonia, or inflammation of the lungs, is not usually encountered in hamsters. When it does occur, it is typically the result of an infection with one or more kinds of bacteria, sometimes in conjunction with viruses or other types of infectious agents. These infections are especially hard for the hamster to fight off when there are stress-inducing changes to the environment, such as a sudden change in room temperature.
Because pneumonia is contagious, separating those that are suffering from the condition is important for preventing and controlling ou more]]> Respiratory Fri, 09 Jul 2010 16:20:36 +0000 10228 at
Inflammation of the Lymph Nodes in Guinea Pigs  
Lymphadenitis is the clinical term that is used to describe inflammation and swelling of the lymph nodes, which are located throughout the body -- head, neck, limbs, etc. -- and act to spread white blood cells and to filter infectious pathogens and foreign bodies that enter the body. The usual cause of lymphadenitis is bacterial infection, with the most frequently diagnosed bacterial infection in guinea pigs being Streptococcus zooepidemicus. Lymphadenitis requires immediate veterinary attention.

Symptoms and Types

Swo more]]> Endocrine Wed, 21 Jul 2010 19:23:08 +0000 10261 at
Inflammation of the Mammary Gland in Chinchillas  
Mastitis happens in female chinchillas when there is inflammation (swelling) in the mammary tissues. It can be due to any cause, the most common being infectious causes. When the kit feeds from its mother, the sharp teeth of the kit might cause injuries in the mammary gland, allowing for the potential entry of infectious agents, which may cause mastitis. This condition needs to be treated by a veterinarian promptly as it might cause permanent damage to the mammary tissue in prolonged cases.
You will know your female chinchilla is suffering from mastiti more]]> Reproductive Wed, 07 Jul 2010 15:53:08 +0000 10198 at
Inflammation of the Mammary Gland in Guinea Pigs  
Mastitis is a condition in which there is inflammation of the mammary glands (milk glands), mostly due to infections with bacterial pathogens. Mastitis often occurs during the period when a female guinea pig's (also called a sow) offspring are suckling. Trauma, like cuts or scrapes to the mammary tissue, is one of the known causes of bacterial infections that can lead to mastitis.
Mastitis is a painful and serious condition, and without prompt treatment, the bacterial infection may spread to the sow's bloodstream, leading to other more severe complicat more]]> Endocrine Wed, 21 Jul 2010 19:45:43 +0000 10262 at
Internal (Polycystic) Cysts in Hamsters  
Polycystic disease causes fluid-filled sacs, called cysts, to develop in a hamster's internal organs. The hamster may develop one or more cyst -- usually in its liver -- each of which is 3 centimeters in diameter. Other internal organs that can develop these cysts include the pancreas, adrenal glands, accessory sex glands (in males), and/or ovaries or tissue lining the womb (in females).
If left untreated, the cysts may continue to grow and could potentially burst, placing the hamster's life in danger. However, treating polycystic disease can be more]]> Reproductive Fri, 09 Jul 2010 16:42:26 +0000 10229 at
Intestinal Parasites in Rats  
Worms, or helminths, are parasites that inhabit the gastrointestinal tract in rats. Intestinal parasites in rats are of two types: helminths and protozoa. Helminths are multicellular worms, like tapeworms, pinworms, and roundworms. Protozoa have one cell and can multiply at a rapid rate. These intestinal parasites infect the digestive system of the rat and sometimes more than one worm type can be seen infecting the same rat.
These worms are mainly spread as a result of poor hygiene, and when rats come into contact with feces from an infected rat, as more]]> Digestive Sat, 19 Jun 2010 18:27:39 +0000 10145 at
Irritation of the Face and Nose in Gerbils  
Porphyrin is a pigment, a component of blood cells that functions to bind metal in the blood cells such as iron and magnesium). It is also recognized for being the major component in the the coloring of blood, as porphyrin is a deep purple pigment. In gerbils, in times of stress, the unbound porphyrin can leave deposits in the tear ducts, causing red colored stains around the eyes and nose as the tinted tear fluid leaves the eyes. These stains are often mistaken for blood, and must be differentiated.
Porphyrin deposits cause skin irritation and t more]]> Skin Mon, 19 Jul 2010 01:28:18 +0000 10245 at
Kidney Disease in Gerbils  
When the tiny blood vessels in the kidneys (or glomeruli) become inflamed, it is referred to as glomerulonephritis. This condition is generally seen in gerbils one year or older, damaging other parts of the kidney and ultimately leading to kidney failure. Tumors and various kinds of infections are often responsible for glomerulonephritis but, fortunately, this kidney disease can be treated.

Dry skin coat
Severe thirst
Cloudy urine
Bloody more]]> Urinary Tue, 23 Sep 2008 17:23:21 +0000 554 at
Kidney Disease in Rats  

Weight loss
Kidney and urinary problems
Protein in urine (proteinuria)
Fixed specific gravity of urine (isothenuria)

Glomerulonephrosis is hereditary in rats. Some other causes for the kidney disease include:

High caloric intake
An excessively high-protein diet
Old age

The veterinarian will conduct blood more]]> Urinary Tue, 30 Sep 2008 21:29:39 +0000 591 at
Lack of Milk in Chinchillas  
A lack of milk production sometimes occurs in females that have recently given birth. This is more specifically classified into two main types: agalactia, a complete absence of milk secretion; or dysgalactia, an incomplete or improper secretion of milk to meet the needs of the kits. Lack of milk may be due to many causes from nutritional to infectious and it requires proper veterinary attention.

Insufficient production of milk
Kits appear malnourished
Red and swollen mammary gla more]]> Reproductive Wed, 07 Jul 2010 15:47:58 +0000 10197 at
Lead Poisoning in Gerbils  
The physical and neurological symptoms exhibited by an animal as the result of chronic lead poisoning are collectively classified as plumbism, a toxic state that occurs as the result of inhaling, ingesting, or absorbing through the skin toxic amounts of lead.
Gerbils can potentially develop lead poisoning by gnawing on objects that contain lead such as metal pipes, wood painted with lead-based paint, or food dishes that are painted with lead based paint. There are also less obvious sources such as lead-based insecticides, linoleum, fishing weights, batteri more]]> Digestive Mon, 19 Jul 2010 01:18:14 +0000 10243 at
Lice Infestation in Rats  
Blood sucking lice are common ectoparasites (parasites that infest the outside of the body) of wild rodents. Also called pediculus, these types of parasites are relatively uncommon in pet rats and are sometimes acquired when a domestic rat comes into contact with a wild rodent.
You can suspect a lice infestation if your rat is scratching much more than usual. Apart from causing uneasiness and irritation to the rat, lice infestation can also lead to enough loss of blood that a condition of anemia can develop. Left untreated, anemia can lead to more]]> Skin Sat, 19 Jun 2010 18:35:06 +0000 10146 at
Loss of Appetite in Guinea Pigs  
A guinea pig may have partial loss of appetite (inappetence) or refuse to eat altogether (anorexia). And while anorexia is mostly due to various forms of infections, inappetence is a common manifestation of several diseases and disorders, including lack of fresh water, an inability to chew properly, or exposure to extreme temperatures. Dietary changes and environmental changes may also trigger loss of appetite.
If a guinea pig does not eat for a long period of time, its condition may worsen quickly, resulting in liver problems and even death. Theref more]]> Digestive Tue, 23 Sep 2008 17:48:19 +0000 559 at
Loss of Circulation in the Tail in Rats  
Ringtail syndrome is a condition that occurs in accompanying high temperature, low humidity environments, with frequent drafts inside the rat’s cage. It most often affects the tail, but may also affect the toes or feet as well. The condition occurs due to lack of proper blood supply to the body part, resulting from a constriction of the tail or limb -- where the body part below the constriction ceases to receive blood from the circulatory system. Left untreated, the area of the body part will develop complications such as inflammation and swelling, lea more]]> Skin Sat, 19 Jun 2010 19:22:00 +0000 10152 at
Loss of Hair in Rats  
Barbering is a grooming behavior seen in male and female rats. Specifically, this occurs when a dominant rat chews the hair and whiskers of less dominant rats. The dominant rat chews the hair of the submissive rat very close to its skin, giving it the appearance of being clean shaven. This is the reason the condition is called barbering.
This condition may be easily distinguishable by appearance alone. The submissive rat appears cleanly barbered, even bald in spots, and has no other symptoms that indicate the hair loss is due to an illness. In some cases, u more]]> Skin Sat, 19 Jun 2010 17:55:46 +0000 10140 at
Lumpy Jaw in Hamsters  
Actinomycosis is a rare infectious disease caused by gram positive, rod-shaped bacteria of the genus Actinomyces; more specifically, the A. bovis species. This bacterium is a common inhabitant of a hamster's mouth. It is only when the animal has an open wound in the mouth that the bacteria is able to enter the bloodstream and cause a widespread infection. This can lead to inflammation and softening of the jawbones, hence the more common name of the disease: “Lumpy Jaw.”
In the initial stage of actinomycosis, the more]]> Mouth Wed, 07 Jul 2010 20:56:59 +0000 10209 at
Lung and Airway Disorders in Rats  
Respiratory infections are quite common in rats. There are several bacteria and viruses that can lead to disorders of the lungs and airway. Among the lung and airway disorders affecting rats, murine mycoplasmosis, or chronic respiratory disease, is a bacterial infection that has the potential to become a very severe condition, causing both short term and long term respiratory problems. The murine mycoplasmosis infection is also capable of traveling to the genitals and infected these organs as well as those of the respirato more]]> Respiratory Sat, 19 Jun 2010 18:42:47 +0000 10147 at
Male Reproductive Disorder in Prairie Dogs  
Preputial blockage is one of the reproductive disorders commonly encountered in male prairie dogs, especially in adult male prairie dogs that are not castrated and do not mate and can therefore develop a buildup of urine, discharge, and debris in the prepuce (the foreskin on the penis). If these material masses together and hardens, it may lead to discomfort, bacterial infection, and damage to the penis.
The preputial blockage occurs most commonly during or following the mating season. Treatment includes a manual cleaning of the debris and a more]]> Reproductive Tue, 14 Sep 2010 14:37:37 +0000 10380 at
Middle Ear Infection in Chinchillas  
Otitis media is an infection of the middle ear that often affects young chinchillas. There are two primary reasons for this condition: infection and external ear trauma. When the ear is injured, the injuries may serve as entry points for infectious bacteria which may cause infection. Also, the scar tissue that forms during healing of the wound can enclose the ear canal and trap wax and debris inside which in turn becomes a source of infection. The eardrum may become thick and swollen. The swelling may progress to the inner ear, which will result in the deve more]]> Ears Wed, 07 Jul 2010 16:18:55 +0000 10200 at
Mite Infestation in Gerbils  
Mite infestation is usually not a serious problem in gerbils, but treatment is necessary to prevent the infestation from becoming a torment to your gerbil. There are different types of mites that are capable of living on a gerbil. There are the non-bloodsucking demodex mites, which may irritate the gerbil just by sheer number, and bloodsucking mites, which can cause extreme irritation due to the bites, anemia due to blood loss. In addition, the excessive scratching can lead to lesions, opening the door to opportunistic bacteria infecting the skin. more]]> Skin Mon, 19 Jul 2010 01:22:42 +0000 10244 at
Mite Infestation in Hamsters  
It is actually common to find mites on hamsters, but typically only in small numbers that do not bother the host animal. However, their numbers may increase dramatically due to a weakened or underdeveloped immune system, irregular grooming, and/or stress in the hamster.
If treated promptly, mite infestation need not become a serious health concern. Also, it can be prevented by maintaining a clean living area for your hamster.
Symptoms and Types
Mites are generally hard to see with the naked eye, especially the Demod more]]> Skin Thu, 22 Jul 2010 15:58:36 +0000 10274 at
Mite infestation in Rats  
Mite infestation is very common in rats. Under normal conditions mites are present in small numbers and do not bother their host. However, they can become an issue when their numbers increase. This typically happens when a rat is stressed, has decreased immunity due to other illnesses, and/or is unable to keep the numbers reduced through normal grooming.
Fortunately, most skin mites are not bloodsuckers and often produce no visible signs. For this reason, the presence of mites, and even an infestation of mites is not really a seriou more]]> Skin Sat, 19 Jun 2010 19:01:18 +0000 10149 at
Monkeypox Infection in Prairie Dogs The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention has documented the transmission of the monkeypox infection virus from infected Gambian rats to prairie dogs, causing, among other things, skin sores and fever. However, there are also other animals which may transmit monkeypox to prairie dogs via direct contact.
Unfortunately, there is no effective treatment for monkeypox infection. Moreover, because the virus can be transmitted to humans and other animals, a veterinarian will often recommend euthanizing the infected prairie dog.

< more]]> Skin Tue, 14 Sep 2010 14:22:00 +0000 10377 at
Nervous System Disorders in Gerbils  
Epileptic seizures are related to disorders of the nervous system, however, they may occur in the absence of any nervous system disease. They tend to manifest in gerbils that are suffering from stress, improper handling, or from a sudden change in living environment. In many cases a propensity to seizures is passed down from the parents; it is thought to be genetically based, in some cases.
Fortunately, epileptic seizures will not usually cause severe or permanent harm to the gerbil. 
Symptoms and Types
Signs of epilepsy often make a more]]> Neurological Sun, 18 Jul 2010 21:38:52 +0000 10241 at
Neurological Infection (Protozoa) in Chinchillas  
Protozoal infections are quite rare in chinchillas. Certain protozoa (single-cell parasites) cause a disease called necrotic meningoencephalitis. When chinchillas are affected with protozoal infection they exhibit signs of nervous system derangement due to inflammation of the brain and its associated membranes. It is difficult to diagnose protozoal infection and usually the confirmatory diagnosis is possible only after post-mortem examination of the brain tissue.
Protozoal infections in chinchillas are symptomized by lack of coordination, lethargy, lac more]]> Neurological Wed, 07 Jul 2010 18:59:49 +0000 10201 at
Obstructive Ear Disease in Gerbils  
About half of gerbils two years or older develop masses in the inner ear. This condition is referred to as aural cholesteatoma and it occurs when an abnormal accumulation of keratin (a fibrous protein) produces epithelial cells in the middle ear, thus replacing the normal epithelium in the ear and even absorbing the bone beneath it. Although not tumorous, these masses, called aural cholesteatomas, push the gerbil's eardrum deep into the ear canal, causing permanent damage to the inner ear. Infections and heredity are both factors which can lead to the ear condition more]]> Ears Tue, 23 Sep 2008 17:17:54 +0000 553 at
Ovarian Cysts in Guinea pigs  
Ovarian cysts are most common in female guinea pigs that are between the ages of eighteen months and five years of age. This condition occurs when the ovarian follicles do not rupture to release the ova (eggs), resulting in the formation of cysts on the ovaries. The cysts usually occur in both ovaries, but on some occasions only the right ovary is affected.
Ovarian cysts can be felt by gently pressing over the guinea pig’s ovaries. If left untreated, the ovarian cysts may continue to grow and could potentially burst, placing the guinea pi more]]> Reproductive Wed, 21 Jul 2010 20:01:20 +0000 10264 at
Pink Eye in Guinea Pigs  
Sometimes referred to as “pink eye” or “red eye,” conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the eye's outermost layer. Frequently due to bacterial infections, there are two kinds of bacteria that are most commonly involved in conjunctivitis: Bordetella and Streptococcus. Although conjunctivitis is not a very serious condition in guinea pigs, its underlying cause needs to be identified and treated promptly to prevent any further complications.
Guinea pigs are very sensitive animals and are likely to develop allergic more]]> Eyes Tue, 23 Sep 2008 17:52:47 +0000 560 at
Pink Eye in Hamsters  
Sometimes referred to as “pink eye,” conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the eye's outermost layer. This may be the result of an injury, overgrown or diseased teeth, or teeth that are not aligned properly. Conjunctivitis may also be caused by a bacterial infection or irritation from dust in the bedding.
Although it is not a serious condition, a hamster with conjunctivitis should be treated promptly to prevent any further complications. However, do not self-administer medication as hamsters are extremely sensitive creatures that are lik more]]> Eyes Fri, 09 Jul 2010 02:55:29 +0000 10220 at
Pinworms in Gerbils  
There are many different kinds of endoparasitic worm infections. One very common intestinal parasite infection in pet gerbils is due to pinworms. And much like in other animals, gerbils can contract the pinworms in many ways, including ingesting contaminated water or food. Fortunately, a gerbil suffering from a pinworm infection can be easily treated.
A gerbil suffering from a pinworm infection will generally display no external signs, however, it may be dehydrated or have diarrhea. In severe cases, the gerbil may have little app more]]> Digestive Tue, 23 Sep 2008 17:34:09 +0000 556 at
Pinworms in Hamsters  
Hamsters can suffer from several types of endoparasitic worm infections. One such internal parasite is the pinworm. It rarely occurs in hamsters but causes complications in the animal's digestive tract. Found in other infected hamster's feces, it is typically spread via contaminated feed and water.
Pinworm infections are easily treatable, but can also be spread quite easily. Therefore, it is important to follow proper sanitation techniques in the hamster's living area to prevent such cases of infections from occurring in the f more]]> Digestive Fri, 09 Jul 2010 16:14:16 +0000 10227 at
Pneumonia in Chinchillas There are many infectious diseases affecting the respiratory system, the most common of which is pneumonia. Much like in humans, chinchillas usually contract pneumonia through a bacterial infection; one predisposing factor being poor living conditions. Eye infections, fever, and weight loss are some of the more common complications of pneumonia. And because the bacterial infection spreads quickly among animals, a chinchilla with pneumonia should be isolated and promptly treated by a veterinarian.

Respiratory distress (the most immediate symptom) more]]> Respiratory Tue, 23 Sep 2008 16:51:21 +0000 550 at
Pneumonia Infection in Guinea Pigs  
Streptococci pneumonie are pathogenic bacteria that have been found to be one of the causative agents for pneumonia in guinea pigs. Guinea pigs suffering from streptococcosis infection may not show any external symptoms of illness at all initially. The infected guinea pig may appear healthy, and then suffer what appears to be a sudden onset of disease symptoms. The guinea pig may appear to be stressed or will suddenly stop eating, which can quickly lead to death. This i more]]> Respiratory Thu, 22 Jul 2010 15:06:59 +0000 10271 at
Pregnancy Loss (Miscarriage) in Chinchillas  
A spontaneous abortion (or miscarriage) can occur in chinchillas due to a wide variety of reasons, including stress, trauma, and fever. If left untreated, the condition may lead to infections of the female's uterus and vagina. Hence, a chinchilla that has just undergone a miscarriage must be taken to veterinarian immediately.
Pregnancy loss generally occurs spontaneously and may go unnoticed. The most common signs of the condition being a bloody or purulent vaginal discharge and/or staining near the animal's vagina. (In prol more]]> Reproductive Tue, 23 Sep 2008 16:04:50 +0000 546 at
Pregnancy Toxemia in Guinea Pigs  
Ketone bodies are water soluble compounds, the product of the breakdown of fatty acids in the body – a normal metabolic process. Under certain conditions the level of ketone bodies produced may exceed the body's capacity to excrete them efficiently, resulting in excess ketone bodies in the blood, clinically referred to as ketosis or pregnancy toxemia. Ketosis usually occurs in the last 2-3 weeks of pregnancy, or in the first week after a guinea pig has given birth.
Normally, these compounds are utilized as energy, mainly for the brain, when blood more]]> Reproductive Thu, 22 Jul 2010 14:48:34 +0000 10268 at
Protozoal Infections in Hamsters  
Protozoa are single-celled organisms that are capable of causing disease in hamsters, the most common of which is protozoal gastroenteritis. Although healthy hamsters often carry protozoa in their digestive tracts without adverse reactions, hamsters that are young or stressed may develop intestinal infections and diarrhea as a result of a weakened immune system.
Protozoal infections are treatable with the aid of anti-protozoal drugs. However, preventing the infection from occurring in the first place is more practical than treating to cur more]]> Digestive Fri, 09 Jul 2010 16:55:09 +0000 10231 at
Protrusion of Eyeball (Eye Bulging) in Hamsters  
Also known as exophthalmos or proptosis, the bulging of one or both eyeballs from the socket is common in hamsters. Typically it occurs due to an infection of the eye or a trauma, though it may also happen if the hamster is restrained too tightly from the back of the neck.
Exophthalmos should be considered an emergency that requires immediate veterinary attention. In fact, the sooner the hamster is treated, the more likely it is that the eye can be saved. If the condition worsens, surgical removal of the eye is the only solution.
S more]]> Eyes Fri, 09 Jul 2010 03:54:15 +0000 10223 at
Pseudotuberculosis in Hamsters  
Pseudotuberculosis is an infection caused by the bacteria Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, which is transmitted through contact with food, bedding, and other material that is contaminated with feces of wild birds or rodents. Unfortunately, pseudotuberculosis usually leads to blood poisoning in hamsters. Moreover, it is contagious to humans, so any hamsters with the disease -- or hamsters that have come into contact with them -- must be euthanized. To prevent the spread of pseudotuberculosis, maintain proper sanitation more]]> Digestive Fri, 09 Jul 2010 17:26:19 +0000 10232 at
Pus in the Uterus of Chinchillas  
Pyometra is a large collection of pus within the uterus of the female chinchilla. Pyometra may happen after conditions of metritis or placenta remaining behind in the uterus after the delivery of the litter. Pyometra can also occur in female chinchillas that have never been bred. Often, affected females are no longer capable of successful breeding and should be removed from the colony.
There is no effective treatment for severe cases of pyometra; therefor more]]> Reproductive Wed, 07 Jul 2010 20:25:46 +0000 10203 at
Respiratory Bacterial Disease in Guinea Pigs  
Respiratory infections are quite common in guinea pigs, and often they are a result of a bacterial infection. One such bacteria is Bordetella bronchisepta, which mainly affects the respiratory tract. It is most commonly transmitted from one guinea pig to another when droplets are sprayed into the air by sneezing or coughing. There is also a genital form of B. bronchisepta, by which the infection is transmitted by sexual contact.
In some cases, guinea pigs may just be carriers of B. bronchisepta inf more]]> Respiratory Wed, 21 Jul 2010 18:16:54 +0000 10255 at
Respiratory Diseases in Prairie Dogs  
Respiratory disease in prairie dogs may be due to infections such as pneu­monia or non-infectious causes such as a dusty or humid environ­ment. Diet and environmental conditions are also thought to affect a prairie dog’s respiratory system. Regardless of whether the respiratory disease is of an infectious or non-infectious nature, your prairie dog needs proper veterinary care. Follow your veterinarian's dosage instructions and treatment program to help your pet recover quickly.
Symptoms more]]> Respiratory Tue, 14 Sep 2010 14:43:03 +0000 10381 at
Retained Fetus in Chinchillas A retained fetus occurs in female chinchillas usually following delivery, though it may also happen during early pregnancy. When the death of the fetus occurs early in the pregnancy, resorption of fetus will normally occur. However, when a fetus dies near the end of term, the chances of it getting retained increase. There is also a chance that a fetus dying near the end of pregnancy may get delivered along with other living kits. Typically, a fetus is retained after the loss of fetal fluids.
This condition should be diagnosed as early as possible and treated accordingly to prevent fu more]]> Reproductive Wed, 07 Jul 2010 20:31:42 +0000 10204 at
Ringworm in Rats  
Despite its name, ringworm is actually not a worm, but a fungal organism that infects the skin, feeding off of keratin, the material that makes up the skin, nails and hair of the body.
The set of fungi that cause ringworm in rats are from a class of fungi called deuteromycetes, with Tricopyton mentragrophytes being the primary fungus that is responsible for cases of ringworm infection in rats, though they can be infected by other fungal species as well. Ringworm is a zoonotic infection, meaning that the infected rat is contagious to other more]]> Skin Mon, 21 Jun 2010 01:26:01 +0000 10153 at
Ringworm Infection in Guinea Pigs  
Ringworm infection is a common infection in guinea pigs. Contrary to its name, this infection is not due to a parasitic worm, but to a microsporum species of fungus, typically the Trichophyton mentagrophytes fungus, also clinically referred to as ringworm. The ringworm infection is characterized by bald patches that commonly start at the head. Patches may first appear on the face around the eyes, nose and ears, and from there the infection can spread to the back. A guinea pig can acquire ringworm infection from another guinea pig or f more]]> Skin Thu, 22 Jul 2010 14:53:41 +0000 10269 at
Ringworm Infection in Hamsters  
Despite its name, worms do not cause ringworm infection. Ringworm infection occurs when a hamster's skin becomes infected with a fungus. The most common ringworm-causing fungi are Tricophyton mentagrophytes and Microsporum species.
The ringworm infection is characterized by bald patches, which commonly occur starting from the head. In the face the patches appear around the eyes, nose, and ears. The ringworm infection may also spread to the back. If treated promptly, however, the infection will clear up. Nevertheless, use utmost c more]]> Skin Fri, 09 Jul 2010 17:35:09 +0000 10233 at
Rough Hair Coat in Gerbils  
Rough hair coat is not a diseased condition in and of itself, but is a common external symptom that accompanies many diseases and disorders in gerbils. A rough hair coat is seen in association with various infectious diseases, parasitic worms, and nutritional disorders. However, the primary cause for rough hair coat in gerbils is the physical environmental condition in which the gerbil is being housed. This is especially relevant when humidity levels are too high, which will cause the hair coat to become rough and matted. Rough hair coat is also more]]> Skin Mon, 19 Jul 2010 01:33:17 +0000 10246 at
Salmonella Infection in Hamsters  
Salmonellosis is an infection caused by the Salmonella bacteria. Although rare in pet hamsters, salmonellosis can lead to complications such as spontaneous abortions (miscarriages), diarrhea, and septicemia. It is usually spread due to ingestion of food and water contaminated with infected feces or urine of wild rodents. Infected bedding material can also act as a potential source of transmission.
Salmonella is highly contagious to humans and other animals; therefore, use utmost caution when handling a hamster suspected of being inf more]]> Digestive Thu, 22 Jul 2010 16:04:57 +0000 10275 at
Salmonella Infection in Rats  
Salmonellosis is a diseased condition that is brought about by infection with the Salmonella bacterium. Salmonellosis is very rare in pet rats and infection is usually found to have been spread via ingestion of food and water contaminated with infected feces, urine, and bedding material.
Infected rats can be potential sources for spread of this infection to humans as well, classifying this as an infection with zoonotic potential. Therefore, this condition should be managed with caution. Treatment is often not effective for the control of salmone more]]> Digestive Mon, 21 Jun 2010 01:33:16 +0000 10154 at
Salmonella Toxicity in Guinea Pigs  
Salmonellosis is an uncommon bacterial infection in guinea pigs, usually the result of ingestion of the salmonella bacterium. While infection is typically related to the ingestion of food and water that is contaminated with infected feces, urine and bedding material, salmonellosis infection can also be acquired by direct contact with infected guinea pigs, or contact with wild mice or rats that carry the salmonella bacteria.
An infected guinea pig that is being treated for salmonellosis may still continue to infect other animals even though it does more]]> Digestive Thu, 22 Jul 2010 14:59:49 +0000 10270 at
Sialodacryoadenitis and Coronavirus Infection in Rats Sialodacryoadenitis and rat coronavirus are inter-related viral infections that affect the nasal cavities, lungs, salivary glands and the Harderian gland that is close to the eyes in rats. These are highly infectious diseases that can be spread from rat to rat simply by being in the same vicinity as an infected rat. Aerial spread of the virus is common through sneezing by the infected rats. In addition, rats do not always show signs of being infected, making this virus an unexpected danger.
An infected rat may carry the virus quietly and without symptoms for a week. These vir more]]> Respiratory Mon, 21 Jun 2010 01:38:47 +0000 10155 at
Skin Abscesses in Hamsters  
Skin abscesses are essentially infected pockets of pus under the skin. In hamsters, they are usually caused by bacterial infections from wounds received during fights with cage mates or from injuries caused by sharp objects found in the cage such as wood shavings.
When encountered, skin abscesses should be immediately assessed and treated by a veterinarian to prevent the infection from spreading throughout the hamster’s body.
Skin abscesses are often located around the hamster's head, though they can occur anyw more]]> Skin Thu, 22 Jul 2010 16:46:39 +0000 10277 at
Stomach Ulcers in Chinchillas  
Sometimes referred to as gastric ulcers, stomach ulcers are inflammatory lesions of the stomach's mucous membrane lining. These ulcers often occur in young chinchillas and are frequently caused by eating coarse, fibrous roughage. Eating toxic, moldy feed can also damage the stomach lining.
This condition is often difficult to diagnose because signs such as loss of appetite and stomach pains are easily overlooked. Therefore, it is important to remain vigilant of your chinchilla's actions, bringing it to a veterinarian at the first sign of stomach u more]]> Digestive Tue, 23 Sep 2008 17:07:18 +0000 552 at
Tail Slip in Gerbils  
Tail slip is a commonly seen condition in gerbils, marked by a loss of fur in the area of the tail and a loss of skin that is often described as a slipping off of skin. It is mainly due to improper handling such as picking up the gerbil by its tail. If allowed to become more severe, the only treatment for rotting of the tail due to tail slip is surgical removal (amputation) of the rotted portion of the tail from the healthy part.
Symptoms and Types

Loss of fur on the tail
Slipping of skin on the more]]> Skin Mon, 19 Jul 2010 01:41:48 +0000 10248 at
Tapeworms in Hamsters  
Tapeworms belong to a category of endoparasitic flatworms infecting several domestic animals, including hamsters. When compared to mice and rats, tapeworm infection in hamsters is quite common. Typically, the tapeworms are transmitted when the hamster comes in contact with contaminated water and/or feed.
It is worth noting that some tapeworms that infect hamsters can also infect humans. Hence, it is vital you handle a hamster suspected of tapeworm infection with utmost caution. Fortunately, this type of infection is treatable -- both in ham more]]> Digestive Thu, 22 Jul 2010 16:53:51 +0000 10278 at
Tumors and Cancers in Gerbils  
Tumors can be found in or on various parts of the body, including skin tumors on the gerbil's ears or feet. However, regardless of the type of tumor or cancer, prompt veterinary care is recommended and improves the chances of successful treatment.
Symptoms a more]]> Cancer Tue, 23 Sep 2008 17:42:34 +0000 558 at
Tyzzer’s Disease in Gerbils  
Among the infectious bacterial diseases that affect gerbils, Tyzzer’s disease is the one of the most frequently occurring. The bacteria that causes this infection, Clostridium piliforme, is spread when gerbils ingest contaminated food or water supplies, resulting in severe abdominal pain and diarrhea.
Young or stressed gerbils are at an increased risk of infection due to a compromised immune system, and gerbils that are suffering from other previous illnesses or infections are at an increased risk of a fatal more]]> Digestive Mon, 19 Jul 2010 01:46:55 +0000 10249 at
Upper Respiratory Tract Infection in Chinchillas An upper respiratory tract infection in chinchillas should never be taken lightly, as it can lead to serious complications such as pneumonia. Humid, crowded, and poorly ventilated housing conditions contribute to a greater chance of respiratory disease in chinchillas. Chinchillas can also become prone to bacterial respiratory infections when their immunity is weakened because of their young age or due to stressful conditions.
Symptoms typically associated with upper respiratory tract infections include sneezing, coughing, discharge from the nose and/or eyes, difficulty breath more]]> Respiratory Wed, 07 Jul 2010 20:46:31 +0000 10207 at
Urinary Stones in Rats  
Urolithiasis is a medical condition referring to the presence of uroliths -- stones, crystals or calculi -- in the kidneys, bladder or anywhere in the urinary tract. Rats with this condition suffer from secondary bacterial infections and pain due to the rubbing of the uroliths against the urinary tract. Male rats are more prone to urolithiasis because of their longer urethras.
Symptoms and Types
Uroliths are rough in nature, causing the rat's urethra, urinary bladder or kidneys to become inflamed. Kidneys can also become inflamed due to secondary bacteri more]]> Urinary Wed, 01 Oct 2008 14:09:04 +0000 593 at
Viral Pneumonia in Guinea Pigs  
Guinea pigs are prone to infection with a specific type of adenovirus, the guinea pig adenovirus (GPAdV), which may cause respiratory symptoms. This occurs more often in guinea pigs that are young or old (due to underdeveloped or weakened immune systems, respectively), or those that have immune systems that are not working properly. There are even guinea pigs which have GPAdV that are only carriers of the virus and display no signs of the illness whatsoever.
Guinea pigs do not typically die from GPAdV, but unfortunately, those that do die more]]> Respiratory Mon, 19 Jul 2010 01:52:31 +0000 10250 at
Vitamin B Complex Deficiency in Chinchillas  
Thiamine, also known as vitamin B1, is one of the B-complex vitamins. It is needed by the chinchilla’s body for processing carbohydrates and manufacturing proteins. Deficiency of thiamine causes damage to peripheral motor nerves that is often reversible when vitamin B1 is restored to the diet. Chinchillas suffer from this condition mainly due to dietary imbalances.
Though treating this condition with injections of thiamine or B-complex vitamins can be effective in chinchillas, changes in the diet to better suit the needs of your pet a more]]> Neurological Wed, 07 Jul 2010 20:40:12 +0000 10206 at
Vitamin C Deficiency in Guinea Pigs  
Like people, guinea pigs lack the physical ability to manufacture their own vitamin C, and require an outside source of vitamin C in the form of vegetables and fruits. If a guinea pig does not get enough of this vitamin in its diet, its body's supply of vitamin C will disappear quickly, leaving it vulnerable to a condition called scurvy. This condition can interfere with the body's ability to manufacture collagen -- an important component of bone and tissue formation -- can cause blood clotting problems, and can lead to problems of the skin and joints. Vitamin C more]]> Cardiovascular Thu, 22 Jul 2010 15:21:06 +0000 10272 at
Vitamin E Deficiency in Hamsters Often due to an improper diet, vitamin E deficiency can affect a hamster's immune response, making it prone to disorders such as mastitis and anemia. An antioxidant, vitamin E also plays an important role in the protecting various cells and membranes in an animal's body.
Providing your hamster with an appropriate, balanced diet is the best way to prevent Vitamin E deficiency, though your veterinarian may be able to provide you with supplements.
Adult hamsters suffering from vitamin E deficiency may exhibit muscle paralysis, stiffness or joints, and l more]]> Neurological Thu, 22 Jul 2010 17:15:51 +0000 10281 at
Yersinia Infection in Guinea Pigs  
Yersiniosis is the term used for an infectious condition that arises when a guinea pig has been exposed to the bacteria Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. Transmission of the yersinia infection can occur through contact with contaminated food, bedding and other materials, though contact or incidental ingestion of infected urine or feces, through inhalation of airborne yersinia cells, or the bacteria can enter the body through otherwise minor cuts or scrapes in the skin. From the time of the initial infection to the full blown disease condition, the illne more]]> Endocrine Thu, 22 Jul 2010 15:49:53 +0000 10273 at