Pocket pets such as ferrets, rabbits, chinchillas, and guinea pigs can be a great addition to the family and wonderful companion pets. Just like the family dog or cat, pocket pets need to have a complete physical exam performed by a doctor once a year. Annual examinations greatly diminish the chances of illness and can help detect hidden, underlying problems.
Do pocket pet need vaccines?
Most pocket pets do not require annual vaccinations. However, ferrets can contract the canine distemper virus, which is fatal. Ferrets should be vaccinated annually against this disease, and also need to be vaccinated for Rabies.
How can I tell if my pocket pet is sick?
Since pocket pets are prey animals, they instinctively hide illness. If your pet is not acting like themselves, it’s important to make an appointment as soon as possible, as they most likely have been sick for some time. Common symptoms that should prompt a visit with the doctor include sneezing, coughing, diarrhea, not eating, and lethargy.
Do I need to spay or neuter my rabbit?
Yes, we strongly suggest spaying/neutering your pet rabbit. The leading cause of death in female rabbits is adenocarcinoma (cancer of the uterus). This cancer is 100 percent preventable by spaying your rabbit between 6 months and 2 years of age. Spaying your female rabbit will also help prevent the occurrence of breast cancer later in life.
Some male bunnies, especially the dwarf varieties, can become very aggressive when they reach sexual maturity. They may display excessive biting and spraying of urine outside the normal litter area. The best solution to these behavior problems is castration. We recommend neutering your male bunny after 5 months of age.