Small Mammals

Rabbits, gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters, and ferrets need just as much care and monitoring of their health as cats and dogs do, and at St. Francis Animal Hospital, we are knowledgeable in the care and treatment of exotic pets and offer a comprehensive preventive healthcare program.

As part of our preventive healthcare program, we do complete physical examinations on our exotic patients. As many exotic species are prey species, they are very adept at hiding illness until it is advanced, and sometimes too late to treat. Annual wellness checks are recommended to check for any early abnormalities or problems. At these appointments, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss any concerns that you have or ask questions about your pet’s health.

Screening for obesity is a part of our preventive care program. Obesity, as in cats and dogs, can lead to health problems and a shorter lifespan in exotic animals. During annual visits, your pet’s weight and body condition will be assessed. Changes in weight can indicate changes in your pet’s health and problems that may need to be addressed.

Proper nutrition is just as important for exotic pets as it is for cats and dogs. At St. Francis Animal Hospital, we offer Nutritional Counseling as part of our wellness checks. Diets for small mammals vary greatly and many commercial food products are not suitable for sustaining optimal health or maintaining dental health. Our veterinarians can provide advice on the best food for your exotic pet. Improving your pet’s diet can improve their overall health and longevity.

Dental health in small mammals is crucial for maintaining optimal health. Rabbits, guinea pigs, and rats can experience dental problems related to their continually growing teeth. If not treated, they can cause serious health problems. Ferrets can develop periodontal disease, which impacts their health and quality of life. Our veterinarians will perform an oral exam at each wellness check.

Preventive screening programs for certain diseases and intestinal parasites are just as important for some exotic species as they are for dogs and cats. Many diseases can be diagnosed with blood tests and/or a urinalysis. Intestinal parasites can affect all pets. A stool check should be done when you first obtain a small mammal and then only when adding a new pet to you family or if there is a case of diarrhea.

We would be honored to help care for your small mammals. 

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