Have you ever looked at your pet and wondered, “Is my pet going bald?”
He’s probably not. Hair loss is one of the most common complaints for which owners bring their pets into the animal hospital, and generally, there is an underlying infectious or hormonal cause for it. Rabbits and rodents (chinchillas, guinea pigs, and small rodents like mice, rats, hamsters and gerbils) often get patches of hair loss from ringworm/fungal infection and mites – both of which may be transmittable to people. Ringworm is not actually a worm; it is a fungus that is transmitted from animal to animal or from the environment to an animal through microscopic spores that resist disinfection and can live months to years in dry areas. All furry pets can carry these spores on their coats without having any signs at all. Rabbits will commonly be infected with a mite called Cheylitiella – or walking dandruff mite – that looks like big white flakes that move through the fur, particularly over rabbits’ shoulders and back of their necks. This mite can be quite itchy to both pets and people. Female guinea pigs, too, can lose hair symmetrically on both sides of their bodies from cysts that develop in their ovaries that can become large and painful over time. Ferrets most often lose hair secondary to the hormones produced by cancerous adrenal glands. While not contagious to people, adrenal disease in ferrets can cause enlargement of the prostate gland, causing secondary urinary tract obstruction in males and bone marrow suppression in both males and females; both conditions may be life threatening in ferrets. Ferrets with hair loss from adrenal disease also may be itchy and form small blackhead-like pimples on the skin.
So, whether your bunny or rodent has lost hair from an infection with mites, fungus, or some other organism, or if your ferret is losing hair from adrenal gland disease, the only way to treat these treatable conditions is to bring him or her into the veterinarian for testing. Bald may be beautiful in people but can be a sign of illness in furry pets. Call the Veterinary Center to have any signs of hairloss checked right away.
Do you own a bird that eats a lot of seed? Did you know that studies have shown that unless a bird is eating nearly 2/3 of its diet as formulated bird pellets, it’s not likely meeting its nutritional needs, even if its eating fresh fruit and vegetables? Have you tried to convert your bird from a seed diet to a more nutritious pelleted diet but have just ended up frustrated and unsuccessful? Let us help you! At the Veterinary Center, we offer a safe, simple plan to get your bird on to a better diet without your having to stress at all. It’s the GREAT PELLET EXCHANGE (http://www.avianexoticsvet.com/nutrition-behavior-counseling.php) – a program in which you leave your bird with us for a week, we analyze what he or she is eating now, and eliminate unhealthy foods. We then start him or her on a nutritious pelleted diet within the controlled environment of the hospital, where we can follow how much he or she is eating and monitor his or her weight daily. We take the stress and worry out of improving your pet’s diet and teach you how to maintain him or her on that better diet at home. Plus, if you are going away this summer and plan to board your bird with us while you’re away in our boarding room custom-designed for your bird’s comfort and entertainment (http://www.avianexoticsvet.com/boarding.php), we can transition him or her over to pellets while he or she is vacationing with us. Simple and stress-free! Contact the Veterinary Center today to learn more about the GREAT PELLET EXHCHANGE, and get your bird on a path to a healthier longer life.
How to Prevent Cancer In Rabbits?
Do you have an unspayed (not neutered) female rabbit? Did you know that studies have shown that 70-80% of unspayed female rabbits develop uterine cancer after the age of three years? Did you also know that this rabbit cancer is completely preventable by spaying (removing the rabbit’s ovaries and uterus) before cancer develops and spreads elsewhere in the body? While once a very risky procedure, rabbit spays are now commonly performed much more readily with the advent of very safe drugs and anesthesia. While no surgical procedure is risk-free, spaying rabbits is a common surgery at the Veterinary Center. At the Center, we have taken several steps to minimize the risk associated with surgery in rabbits, including using a special fiber-optic endoscope to allow us to see in the back of the rabbit’s throat to pass a breathing tube into the rabbit’s airway. We also now have special breathing tubes (Vgel tubes) that we can place over the open end of the rabbit’s airway (the glottis) in the back of its mouth in a matter of seconds without having to use the endoscope. This tube enables us to breathe for the rabbit if it stops breathing suddenly, and we only have seconds to save it. In general, having a breathing tube in place, rather than just a mask over the rabbit’s face, enables us to assist in breathing during surgery even if the rabbit is still breathing on its own but the breathing has become irregular – a critical factor in helping to ensure a good outcome.
Rabbit Surgery at our Veterinary Center in NY
In addition, to minimize risk associated with surgery in rabbits, we generally perform only one rabbit surgery per day at the Center, ensuring that each rabbit spayed gets the full attention of our entire staff (veterinarians and licensed veterinary technicians), all of whom have extensive experience treating rabbits. In addition, as we do not treat any dogs or cats (predator species) at the Center, bunnies (prey species) are much less likely to get stressed out than they would if there were barking dogs or meowing cats nearby. Certainly, no surgical procedure is without some risk, but at the Center, we have taken every step we can to lessen that risk. Given the incidence of this horrible, completely preventable fatal disease in rabbits, why would you not spay your bunny? It’s generally never too late to take this crucial step in preventing cancer in your rabbit. So, what are you waiting for? If your female bunny isn’t yet spayed, call the use today at the Veterinary Center for Birds and Exotics in NY