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Educational Articles

Small Mammals

  • An ovariohysterectomy is often referred to as a 'spay' or 'spaying'. It is a surgical procedure in which the ovaries and uterus are removed completely in order to sterilize or render a female animal infertile. Some veterinarians will perform an ovariectomy, in which just the ovaries are removed.

  • Sugar gliders are omnivorous in the wild. In the wild they eat the sap and gum of the eucalyptus and acacia tree plus pollen, nectar, manna (a sugar deposit from the sap oozing from wounds on tree branches or trunks), honeydew (sugar secreted by sap-sucking insects) and a wide variety of insects and spiders. Fruit is not a big part of their diet.

  • Sugar gliders are small, nocturnal mammals that are usually active at night and sleep during the day. Like kangaroos, they are marsupials and possess a pouch in which the female sugar glider raises her young. In the wild, they live in New Guinea and Australia in costal or rain forests.

  • Swine Influenza or swine flu is a contagious respiratory disease of pigs, caused by a type A influenza virus. Type A influenza viruses can affect a range of other animals and humans. Like all influenza viruses, swine flu viruses change or mutate constantly. Swine flu is commonly seen in North America, South America, Asia, and Europe.

  • Therapeutic laser is the application of light energy to areas of the body to stimulate healing. This light–tissue interaction is called photobiomodulation. In the past, therapeutic laser was often referred to as low-level or cold laser (as opposed to a surgical or hot laser).

  • Therapy pets are animals that visit hospitals, retirement homes, hospice centers, nursing homes and schools. Although most therapy pets are dogs, other species such as cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, and horses are good candidates. These lovable pets are well trained, have good temperaments, and are people-friendly. Plus, they have a good work ethic!

  • Many owners of small mammals (rodents, rabbits, chinchillas, sugar gliders, ferrets, hedgehogs) are surprised to learn that all pets need at least an annual checkup. A number of exotic pet veterinarians actually recommend checkups at least twice a year.

  • Many owners of rodents, ferrets, chinchillas, sugar gliders, and hedgehogs are surprised to learn that all pets need an initial visit by a veterinarian and at least an annual checkup. A number of veterinarians who treat exotic small animals actually recommend checkups at least twice a year, to allow for early detection and treatment of potentially life-threatening diseases.

  • The underlying philosophy of all alternative medical therapies is the 'holistic' approach, in which the patient is treated as a whole being rather than as a collection of organs and parts. The patient is treated as an individual rather than as a diagnosis, and the treatment is determined by the way that he or she is responding to illness.

  • Walking Dandruff (cheyletiellosis) in rabbits is caused by a common rabbit fur mite (Cheyletiella parasitovorax). The mite's effects are called "walking dandruff" because these large, whitish mites crawl across the skin and fur, and cause excessive flaky skin on a rabbit.