The Home Clinic
Stocking a Rodent Pet Medicine Cabinet
Only the most minor first aid can be handled in the home, but it might be useful to have a few basic items on hand that could help prevent minor problems from becoming major. These are:
If you are keeping more than one animal, it might be a wise precaution to have an “isolation ward” to which an animal showing possible signs of trouble might be moved until the problem either clears up or is diagnosed by your veterinarian. Animals showing symptoms of colds should always be removed from the group to another room.
To apply medication to the animal’s exterior or to examine it for injury, use the towel or hand methods described above in restraining the pet.
First Aid for Small Rodents
Minor scratches and bites received in fights should be treated with a mild antiseptic, such as hydrogen peroxide, to destroy bacteria and prevent infection.
General Purpose Examination
If your pet appears to be either injured or in poor health, the most important thing you can do for it as owner is to spot signs of trouble early. Treatment with patent medicines may be useless at best, and could actually worsen a condition. Any problem that persists for more than twenty-four hours should be brought to the attention of your veterinarian. But only your alert eye can spot the early warning signs. The following outline will serve as a guide in judging both animals you already have and those you may be considering buying.
1. Skin and hair
2. Front feet, hind feet, and tail
5. Central nervous system (brain and spinal cord)
6. Respiratory system
7. Gastrointestinal system
8. Urinary tract and genital tract.
Normal Weights For Young And Mature Animals (Grams)
If growth rates seem abnormal or there are obvious signs of illness you should ask yourself whether the cause lies in the care the animal is receiving or in a disease process. The former you are capable of handling; the latter is a problem for your veterinarian to help solve. The following checklist is designed to give you an organized approach in order to analyze the nature of your pet’s problem.
2. Sex ________________
3. Age of animal ___
4. Weight of animal before problem and now _______
5. What type of diet is fed and by whom? ________
6. How is the water dispensed and by whom? _______
7. What is the room temperature: daytime?__ nighttime?
8. What is the cage temperature?
9. Where is the cage kept?
10. What is the humidity of the cage?
11. What type of cage is the animal kept in (wood, plaster, painted wood, or metal)?
12. How often is the cage cleaned? _____
13. What type of litter is used? ____
14. Are there other animals in the room or in the cage?
15. Among other animals in the house, what age group are you having problems with? ______
16. What do you think is the major problem?
17. What signs of illness is the animal showing?
18. How long has the problem been going on? ______
19. If the animal is a female, has she had a litter? Is she kept with a male? _______
20. Have you given any medication to the animal?
21. Have any new animals been brought into the household? When? ___________
22. Do you or any other member of your household come in contact with other small mammals outside your home (in school, at friends’, or at work)?
23. Have there been any major changes in the household (painting, exterminating, or moving animals from one room to another)?