Library

Small Mammals + Care & Wellness

  • If you think your pet is unwell, you must take it to your veterinarian for prompt attention. ANY deviation from normal should be a cause for concern and requires immediate evaluation by your veterinarian.

  • Herbal remedies made from the Echinacea plant are very popular and used to support the immune system. It is advisable to use a blend of Echinacea, containing E. purpurea herb and E. angustifolia root since the combination improves availability of the important active ingredients.

  • In the wild, the ferret is a whole carcase feeder. It is an obligate carnivore with a very short gut and so is unable to deal with much, if any, fibre or carbohydrate in the diet.

  • Chinchillas should be offered good quality grass hay ad-libitum (available 24 hours a day). Pellets or concentrate foods should be given as a small quantity in addition to the hay.

  • In the wild rabbits spend many hours chewing grass. This is a tough fibrous material that also contains abrasive silicates.

  • Pet rodents can be fed a good, high quality rodent chow (pelleted food) available at pet stores.

  • It has always been customary for vets to recommend surgical neutering of ferrets. Unfortunately, it is now clear that this has been a major factor in the large increase in cases of adrenal gland disease.

  • Due to their reputation as curious creatures and escape artists, ferrets should be housed in a cage which is securely closed and locked.

  • Being normal inhabitants of the Andes, chinchillas can cope very well with New Zealand outdoor temperatures and can be kept in an outdoor aviary with plenty of branches for climbing and chewing.

  • It is most convenient to house pet rodents in wire type 'bird-cages', although cages are available specifically for these pets. Wooden cages are not suitable as rodents love to chew and can really destroy their homes.