Exotic Mammal Pets
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Is it possible for clients to bring in illegal pets into our vet clinic?
What laws do pet shops have to follow?
- local, state, and federal laws
- maintain humane standards (reported to state humane investigator)
- local dangerous species laws
When are pet shops protected under the Animal Welfare Act?
when the pet shops sell exotic animals
What are pet shops a good resource for?
What are some exotic species we will see in the vet clinic?
- sugar gliders
- prairie dogs
- short-tailed possums
- arctic foxes
- pot bellied pigs
What are prairie dogs involved in the spread of?
What are prairie dogs native to?
western united states
Describe the personality of prairie dogs?
- burrowing rodent
What is the life span of a prairie dog?
6 - 10 years
How much do prairie dogs weigh?
0.5 - 2.2 kg
What kind of teeth do prairie dogs have?
open rooted incisors/molars
Are prairie dogs aggressive?
yes and they are hard to restrain because they don't have any necks
What do we feed prairie dogs?
- feed rodent chow
- supplement with hay and dark green leafy veggies
How can we tell if a prairie dog is a male?
it has a scrotal sac
When do female prairie dogs cycle?
january - march
How long is a prairie dog's gestation?
How many litter do prairie dogs have a year?
When do prairie dogs wean?
When are prairie dog's mature?
2 - 3 years
What are some common health problems with prairie dogs?
- respiratory disease
- yersinia pestis (plague)
- pseudotb (enlarged lymph node)
- pododermatitis (infection of the feet)
What are degus?
chinchilla-like rodent from Chile
Describe the personality of a degus.
What is the life span of a degus?
5 - 9 years
What do degus do when they are overheating?
lie flat on the bottom of their cage
How do we restrain degus?
- cup in hand
- do not pick up by the tail because that can cause the tail to deglove
How do we tell the sex of degus?
- males have longer anal-genital distance
- females vulva appears penile-like
What do we feed degus?
- rodent chow/guinea pig chow/chinchilla food
- avoid simple sugars like glucose and fructose
- avoid fruits
What is the gestation length of degus? How many in a litter and how are they born?
- 90 days
- 1 - 8 in litter
- precocious young
What are African hedgehogs?
insectivores - they eat insects
What is the life span of hedgehogs?
6 - 10 years
How much do hedgehogs weigh?
- males: 500 - 600 grams
- females: 250 - 400 grams
Are hedgehogs nocturnal?
What do hedgehogs do when they are scared?
- roll into a ball when scared
- rarely bite
Can hedgehogs be housed together?
no, house separately
What is anting?
What is another name for anting?
How do we examine hedgehogs?
- examine in low light
- lightweight gloves helpful
- back stroke rump spines
- gently/firmly unroll mantle
- may squeal
How do we house hedgehogs?
- prefer dim light
- paper or pelleted bedding (keep off wire)
- clean frequently
- keep 75 - 85 degrees fahrenheit
- need hiding places
What do we feed hedgehogs?
- high quality kitten/ferret diet
- supplement with fruits/veggies
- some mealworms/crickets
When do we feed hedgehogs?
feed in pm/remove in am
Are commercial diets available for hedgehogs?
When do hedgehogs mature?
at 2 months old
When do hedgehogs breed?
How long is the gestation of a hedgehog?
34 - 37 days
How many pups do hedgehogs have?
1 - 7 (average 3)
When do we wean hedgehogs?
at 4 - 6 weeks
Do we vaccinate hedgehogs?
What do we need to do during a vet visit for a hedgehog?
- review husbandry with client
- fecal exam
- blood from lateral saphenous (can use jugular or cephalic)
- nail trim if needed
What are some common diseases with hedgehogs?
- mites, fleas, ticks
- lungworms, other nematodes
- tooth abscesses
- papillomas and other tumors
- herpes simplex
What is the most common health problem with hedgehogs?
Which hedgehog disease is zoonotic?
herpes simplex - hedgehog can get this from humans and can kill them
Other than hedgehog, what are some other insectivores?
What are sugar gliders?
flying squirrel-like marsupial from australia (a gliding possum
Describe the personality of a sugar glider.
What is the lifespan of a sugar glider?
10 - 12 years
How much do sugar gliders weigh?
90 - 150 grams
What helps sugar gliders fly?
thin membrane from finger to toe
How do we tell the difference between female and male sugar gliders?
- females have pouch
- males have scrotum
How do we house sugar gliders?
- 1x1 mesh is okay
- like tall cages
- provide box
- soft bedding
- tree branches
- keep at 50 - 90 degrees
- no direct sun
What do we feed sugar gliders?
- 50% insects and dry cat food
- 50% leadbetter's mixture
What is leadbetter mixture?
- hard boiled egg
- 150 ml honey
- 25 gm baby cereal
- 150 ml water
- 1 tsp vit/min/blend
Is there a commercial sugar glider food available?
When do we feed sugar gliders?
in the evening
Are sugar gliders herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?
When can we start breeding sugar gliders?
7 - 14 months
How long is a sugar glider's estrous cycle?
What is the gestation length of sugar gliders?
How many babies do sugar gliders have in a litter? How many litters can they have a year?
- 1 - 2 young in a litter
- 2 litters a year
Where do baby sugar gliders go when they are born?
into the mothers pouch and attach to the mothers tites....the mother then pumps food into them for 70 days
After sugar gliders come out of the mothers pouch, how long do they stay in the nest?
When can we wean sugar gliders?
4 - 6 weeks later
Can we keep male and female sugar gliders together?
What are some examples of other marsupials (besides the sugar glider)?
- virginia opossum
- wallabies (small roos)
- mouse opossum (no pouch)
What is in the order carnivora?
How many different species of canidae are there?
Are exotic canidae related to dogs?
yes and can get the same diseases and are cared for similarly
Can we tell how much wolf is in a wolf hybrid?
Are wolf hybrids good pets?
no, can be aggressive
How many different species of felidae are there?
What are exotic felidae related to?
- susceptible to the same diseases as cats
What kind of dog disease are big cats susceptible to?
Where are cougers endangered?
- endangered in the east
- hunted in the west
Can cougers eat cat food?
What are some examples of exotic felidae?
- pallas cat
- snow leopard
How many different species of mustelidae are there?
What kind of diseases can mustelidae get?
- dog and cat diseases
- except ferrets - they can not get cat diseases
What are some examples of species in the family mustelidae?
How many species of procyonidae are there?
What is a procyonidae?
small, forest dwelling omnivore
What are some examples in the family procyonidae?
What kind of diseases can animals in the family procyonidae get?
dog and cat diseases
How many species are there in the family Ursidae?
What is the largest bear in the family ursidae?
Which bears are the most common in the east?
Can bears get dog and cat diseases?
How many species are in the family viverridae?
What are some examples of animals in the family viverridae?
What kind of diseases can animals in the family viverridae get?
What do animals in the family hyenidae look like?
brown, spotted, and striped
Where do animals in the family hyenidae live?
What are marine mammals covered under?
marine mammal protection act
What are some examples of marine mammals?
- elephant seals
- sea otter
- polar bear
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