Spaying and Neutering Guinea Pigs

Introduction

For a variety of reasons, veterinarians do not recommend that owners attempt to breed their guinea pigs. One concern is that breeding will produce more guinea pigs than available homes. As with most companion animals, there are many homeless guinea pigs available for adoption in animal shelters.

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Another concern of veterinarians is that the female, also known as a sow, can experience complications during the delivery of her offspring. These complications are caused by the stiffening of the pelvic …

How often should I give my chinchilla a dust bath, and what is the best way to go about that?

Chinchillas in the wild take frequent dust baths to help absorb skin oils and dirt from their fur to keep their coats clean and healthy. Use only commercially manufactured chinchilla dust, as it is made to imitate the dust in their natural habitat. Make the dust bath available to your chinchilla two or three times a week, preferably in the evening when chinchillas are most active. Leave the dust bath in the cage for 10 to 15 minutes. If left …

Barbering in Companion Rodents

Introduction

Barbering refers to the abnormal grooming behavior of an animal chewing and tearing the fur and whiskers of either itself or another animal. Barbering is known to occur in most companion rodent species, including guinea pigs, rats, and mice. When one animal barbers another animal, it is used as a display of dominance, meaning that the more dominant member of the group chews on the fur and whiskers of the less dominant members. Barbering results in alopecia (loss of …

Chinchilla Housing and Care

Chinchillas make friendly and loveable companions. To ensure that your chinchilla is living a healthy life, both mentally and physically, it is vital to provide it with the appropriate living environment, including the proper type of housing, bedding, toys, exercise, and socialization.

Housing

Cages

Chinchillas tend to be much more active than their domestic rodent counterparts. It is important to provide them with a cage that allows them to move around and be active. An optimal chinchilla cage will have …

Dental Care for Companion Rodents

The scientific classification order that all rodent species belong to is called Rodentia, which means “to gnaw” in Latin. Rodents have teeth (incisors and molars) that grow throughout their lives. In the wild, these animals gnaw on materials such as wood and forage to keep their incisors worn down to an appropriate length. Domesticated rodents such as mice, rats, chinchillas, and guinea pigs also need to gnaw on materials to keep their teeth worn down. If the incisors are …

Ectoparasites: Sarcoptic and Demodectic Mange Mites

Mange is a skin condition caused by mange mites – arachnids that live in the skin and cause irritation for our companion animals. There are two types of mange that affect companion animals – sarcoptic mange and demodectic mange. Regardless of the type, mange tends to more frequently affect dogs than cats; therefore, this article addresses the condition in dogs.

Sarcoptic mange

Sarcoptic mange, also occasionally referred to as scabies, is a highly contagious skin disease caused by mites that …

Canary Care

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Selection

Canaries come in a variety of colors and types. They are generally classified in three basic varieties: song, color, and body type. Song canaries are bred for their singing ability, with the more intricate and melodious songs being desired. Although only male canaries sing extensively, females are sometimes known to sing quite well, making it difficult to differentiate the sex of the birds. Color-bred canaries are bred for their red-factored feathering, which is made darker through the consumption of …

Ectoparasites: Fleas

The most common external parasite of the dog and cat is the flea. Fleas love warm, humid environments and do not survive for long periods in extreme heat, cold, or low humidity. Depending on where you live, fleas can definitely be a year-round concern, though we tend to have heightened awareness during warmer weather. Fleas are wingless insects and cannot fly, but they are capable of jumping as high as 2 feet. Adult fleas feed exclusively on the blood of …

Mammary Tumors in Rats

Introduction

Mammary tumors are the most common type of tumor diagnosed in female rats. While these tumors can occur anywhere within mammary tissue, they are most commonly found in the armpit, abdomen, and groin area. Mammary tumors can occur in young rats but are typically diagnosed in rats over 18 months old. Mammary tumors can occur in male rats but are very rare.

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Classification of Tumors

Mammary tumors can be divided into two groups, mammary fibroadenomas and mammary adenocarcinomas.

A …

Canary Breeding

Introduction

Breeding canaries can be a fun and interesting hobby. For beginners, the breeding-type canaries, such as glosters, are the easiest to start with because they breed more easily than some of the color and song varieties. Hen canaries are much less expensive than males because they do not sing as well, and a good selection should be readily available from hobby breeders.

Selection of breeding birds

When selecting canaries for breeding, look for young birds in good feather (not …