Articles

Small Mammals + English

  • An allergy is a state of over-reactivity or hypersensitivity of the immune system to a particular substance called an allergen. Most allergens are proteins from plants, insects, animals, or foods. In dogs, the most common symptom associated with allergies is itchy skin, either localized (in one area) or generalized (all over the body). In other cases, the allergic symptoms affect the digestive system, resulting in vomiting and diarrhea. The symptoms of allergies can be confused with other disorders or occur concurrently with them.

  • Aluminum hydroxide is commonly used off label to treat high phosphate levels in pets with kidney disease. It is given by mouth, with meals, in the form of a liquid gel, powder, or a compounded capsule. The most common side effect is constipation, and therefore should be used in caution with pets with a gastrointestinal obstruction or pets prone to constipation. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Many owners of small mammals are surprised to learn that all pets need at least an annual checkup. Exotic pet veterinarians typically recommend check-ups at least once a year for young, healthy pets and twice a year for geriatric animals. During a check-up your veterinarian may recommend diagnostic testing, including blood testing, fecal analysis, microbiological testing, and radiography. While most of diagnostic tests can be performed on awake animals, depending on the species and temperament of the pet, some exotic pet veterinarians recommend performing these tests under short-acting gas anesthesia.

  • Atenolol is used off label and given by mouth to treat certain heart conditions in dogs, cats, and ferrets. Common side effects include tiredness and stomach upset. Contraindications include hypersensitivity to beta-blockers, heart failure, heart block, low heart rate, or certain lung disease. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Azathioprine is an immune suppressing medication given by mouth or as an injection and is mainly used off label to treat immune-mediated diseases in dogs. Common side effects include gastrointestinal upset and bone marrow suppression. This medication should not be used in pets that are allergic to azathioprine or are pregnant. It should be used with caution in pets with liver or kidney disease. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Azithromycin is given by mouth or injection and is used on and off-label to treat a variety of infections. Give as directed. Common side effects include stomach upset. Do not use in pets that are sensitive to macrolide antibiotics. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Bismuth compounds are given by mouth and are used on and off label to treat diarrhea and upset stomach. Give as directed by your veterinarian. The most common side effects include discolored stools and constipation. Do not use in pets that are allergic to it or other NSAIDs, or in pets that have a stomach or intestinal ulcer. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Buprenorphine is used on and off label and is given by mouth into the cheek or injection to treat pain or as a preanesthetic. The most common side effect is sleepiness. Do not use in pets that are allergic to it or other opioids, or in pets being treated with amitraz. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease of humans that was first discovered in late 2019. The illness is caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, which is a new coronavirus that has not previously been identified in humans. Certain animals can be infected by the COVID-19 virus, but it appears to be an infrequent occurrence. If you contract COVID-19, you will need to remain quarantined on your property which may make caring for dogs a bit more challenging. If you suspect that you may have COVID-19 (with or without a positive test result), you should minimize contact with your pets. Just as you would quarantine yourself from the other human members of your home while sick, you should also quarantine yourself from your pets. If you are hospitalized and your pets must be cared for by a boarding kennel or pet sitter, inform the kennel or pet sitter that you are ill, allowing them to take the necessary precautions.

  • Carprofen is used on and off label and is given by mouth in the form of a tablet to treat pain and inflammation. The most common side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, and decreased appetite. Do not use this medication in pets with bleeding disorders, in pets that are allergic to it or other NSAIDs in the same class, or in pets concurrently using corticosteroids or other NSAIDs. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.