Category General

Chubby Horse Tips
General

Chubby Horse Tips

Is your horse getting too fat? Yes, if the physical signs include a slight crease down the back, spongy fat felt over the ribs, accumulation of soft fat pads on the tailhead, and the beginnings of fat deposits along the withers, behind the shoulders, and all along the neck. For more information, please read the story Is Your Horse Too Fat?

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General

Fleas and Flea Control in Small Mammals

The flea is a small, brown, wingless insect that utilizes specialized mouthparts to pierce the skin and siphon blood. When a flea bites your pet, it injects a small amount of saliva into the skin to prevent blood coagulation. The skin then becomes inflamed, irritated and itchy in reaction to allergens in the saliva.
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General

Hematuria in Small Mammals

Hematuria is the presence of red blood cells in the urine. It may be gross, which means it's visible to the naked eye, or it might be microscopic. Possible causes of hematuria include: Bacterial infections of the urinary or genital tracts Cancer of the urinary or genital tracts Calculi (stones) in the urinary tract Clotting (bleeding) disorders Trauma The effect of hematuria on the pet may range from no obvious effect to severe.
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General

Cystotomy in Small Mammals

Cystotomy is a surgical procedure in which an incision is made into the urinary bladder. The procedure can be done for many reasons, the most common being to facilitate removal of bladder and urethral stones. Other indications include helping to diagnose bladder tumors and treat ruptured bladders. This procedure is most often performed in rabbits and ferrets but may be necessary in other small mammals.
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General

Gingivitis in Small Mammals

Gingivitis is inflammation of the gum tissue resulting in redness and swelling. Dental plaque is one of the most common causes of gingivitis and it typically affects ferrets. Other small mammals are usually not affected. Plaque results when bacteria normally found in the mouth mix with proteins and starches found in saliva to produce a gritty material that adheres to the teeth.
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Gastrointestinal Resection and Anastomosis in Small Mammals

Gastrointestinal resection and anastomosis is the name given to any surgical procedure in which a portion of the gastrointestinal tract is excised or resected, and the remaining ends of the tract are reattached (anastomosis). This procedure is typically performed only in ferrets and rabbits. Size and cost concerns often prohibit this procedure from being performed in smaller animals but can be successfully performed by an experienced surgeon.
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General

Ear Mites in Small Mammals

If you see your rabbit or ferret shaking his head and scratching his ears excessively, or if there is an abnormal odor emanating from his ears, he may be suffering from ear mites. Ear mites are tiny crab-like parasites that live in the ear canals and heads of pets, and sometimes their bodies. Imagine thousands of these tiny insects crawling around in your pet's ears.
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General

From Sweet to Sour: How to Deal with a Barnsour Horse

Do you hesitate to ride your horse on the trail, dreading the inevitable spinning or bolting when he decides he's done for the day? Does your arena work degenerate into a wrestling match as he ducks across the center or makes a beeline for the gate? Does he dig his feet and holler for his buddies before you even get him out of the stall?
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General

Life in Ferretland

As playground supervisor, college student Julia Tandy has to keep a sharp eye out for misbehavior. She's surrounded by 30 little ones, jumping, splashing in the pool, digging in the sand, playfully wrestling with each other. She promptly scoops up those who get too excited and exiles them to a "time out" for a few minutes.
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General

Head Trauma in Small Mammals

Head trauma can be defined as a blunt or penetrating injury occurring to the head. In small mammals it may occur due to a variety of causes, the most common of which is falling from a height. Other causes include blunt trauma (such as being stepped on) or animal fights. Brain dysfunction may be the result of concussion, swelling, bruising, laceration, fractures, compression or bleeding.
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General

Cyanosis in Small Mammals

Cyanosis is a bluish or purplish coloration imparted to the skin or mucous membranes due to excessive amounts of poorly oxygenated hemoglobin in the circulation. The causes include certain congenital heart diseases, various respiratory diseases, and exposure to certain chemicals that result in the creation of some abnormal forms of hemoglobin which are incapable of binding oxygen properly.
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Keeping Your Reptile Safe When Disaster Strikes

A glance at a weather map in the summer usually shows tropical disturbances lining up in Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf waters, as peak hurricane season approaches. Each year, millions of communities face the risk of forest fires as the air gets warmer and drier. And earthquakes and tornadoes strike with little warning.
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General

Your Bird's Bill of Health

Even the most healthy-looking bird can harbor hidden disease, and lab tests are the best way to find out how healthy your bird is. Some procedures provide information about the animal's general condition; others are more specific. It is important that your veterinarian evaluate all major aspects of your bird's health.
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General

High-Tech Habitats for Hamsters and other Small Friends

In the "good" old days, hamster and mouse cages were made of metal, and hamster playthings consisted of cardboard tubes from the inside of toilet paper or paper towel rolls. The wheel, being metal, squeaked as it turned. Hamsters, being nocturnal, got into it at night. You, as a result, got very little sleep.
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General

Hypocalcemia

Hypocalcemia refers to a low level of calcium in the blood. Calcium is extremely important for muscle and nerve function. Muscles are bathed in blood and rely on the presence of calcium for contraction. When the concentration of calcium in the blood becomes too low, muscle function declines. Muscles that are affected include the heart, skeletal muscles (the muscles we associate with movement of the skeleton that are mostly under voluntary control), and smooth muscle (the muscle that lines the gastrointestinal system, the blood vessels, and the respiratory system, and are not under voluntary control).
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Dehydration and Electrolyte Losses in the Sport Horse

You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. We're all familiar with this maxim that has long been used to underscore the apparent stubbornness of the horse. In the heavily exercising, or heat-exhausted horse, however, this refusal to drink has nothing to do with personality or temperament, and everything to do with physiology.
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Coxofemoral Hip Luxation in Small Mammals

Coxofemoral luxation is the dislocation of the head of the femur, or the ball of the thigh bone, out of the socket of the pelvis (acetabulum). The luxation is usually the result of trauma and results in a non-weight-bearing lameness of the affected limb. The round ligament of the femoral head that normally holds the femoral head within the acetabulum, completely ruptures or pulls away from its attachment, causing the dislocation.
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Horses and West Nile Virus

West Nile virus is passed from host birds to animals, and to humans by mosquitoes. "Any animal could become infected with the virus - birds and mammals, wildlife and pets, as well as people," says Dr. Millicent Eidson, state public health veterinarian for New York. As a horse owner, this is something you should be concerned about.
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General

General Fracture Information in Small Mammals

A fracture is a break or crack in a bone. Although we commonly think of fractures as involving a leg, it is also possible to fracture the skull, jaw, spine, ribs, pelvis and digits (fingers) as well as the long bones and small bones of the front and back limbs. Practically every bone in your pet's body is susceptible to fracture, and some, like spinal fractures, have a higher priority to treat.
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General

Estrogen Toxicity in Small Mammals

Like cats, ferrets are induced ovulators. This means that the act of mating is required in order to stimulate ovulation. In order to keep the ferret in estrus and receptive to the male, high levels of estrogen are maintained. Unfortunately, ferrets are extremely sensitive to the effects of estrogen and toxicity readily develops.
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General

Lymphoma in Ferrets

Lymphoma is a malignant cancer that involves the lymphoid system. In a healthy animal, the lymphoid system is an important part of the immune system's defense against infectious agents such as viruses and bacteria. Lymphoid tissue is normally found in many different parts of the body including lymph nodes, liver, spleen, gastrointestinal tract and skin.
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