Rabbit Viral Hemorrhagic Disease is caused by a Calicivirus. Though multiple types of this virus have been identified, the serotype that has been seen in the most recent outbreaks here in the United States involves Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus serotype 2 (RHDV2). RHDV2 is a non-enveloped, single stranded RNA calicivirus that targets the liver and causes destruction of the cells within the liver leading to severe liver damage and dysfunction as well as problems with the animal’s ability to clot his/her blood.
For the public
Potbellied pigs remain a popular pet, several decades after their introduction into the United States. New breeds or types of miniature pigs now exist, with breeders aiming to create smaller pet pigs. Breeding for micro mini or teacup sized pigs does not always result in tiny adult pigs! Before acquiring any potbellied or miniature pig, you will need to be prepared for a pet that may weigh 60 to 120 pounds or more as an adult. The best way to predict how big your pig will grow is to see how big both parents are at maturity. Much of your pig's growth will occur in the first 9 to 12 months of age but it will continue to grow until it is at least two or three years old. Do not be surprised if your 40 pound yearling pig ultimately grows up to be an 80 pound adult.
Hamsters are very popular pets for children. There are five different species of hamsters available in the pet trade, the Syrian hamster and four species of dwarf hamsters. Each one has a slightly different personality and not all of them are great choices for children.
Guinea pigs are wonderful companions for many people. They have a rich range of noises they make to communicate with each other and their human family. Since they are so social, it is important to keep them in pairs or larger groups. However, some guinea pigs do best by themselves if they spend a lot of time out with their owners.
Pellets should make up the foundation of a healthy parrots diet (60-80% of the total diet), but there are a number of healthy foods you can also offer to provide not only balanced nutrition but give your bird something fun to eat and enjoy. Here is a list of healthy food options for your bird.
There are a number of food items people eat that are not safe or healthy for pet parrots.
Peter's banded skinks are relative new comers to the reptile hobby. These inquisitive skinks, about the size of a leopard gecko, can make great pets with the right care. They tend to become quite tame and will often beg their owner's for treats. Peter's banded skinks, Scincopus fasciatus, are a monotypic species of the Genus Scincopus which are recognized by their squat bodies, robust limbs, short tails and orange/yellow and black dorsal banding patterns. This species has two described subspecies, S. f. fasciatus and S. f. melanocephalus. The former being described possessing distinct dark transverse blank bands with little to no black on the head while the latter is described as having an almost completely black head and far less distinct black banding. Most captive specimens can be presumed to be of the S. f. fasciatus subspecies based on morphologic appearance. These nocturnal lizards are native to the Sahelian and southern Saharan regions of northern Africa. These sandy regions are extremely arid with limited annual rainfall. Average high temperatures within these regions range from 24 to 42°C (81-108°F) with coolest temperatures dropping as low as 15°C (90°F). Similar environmental conditions should be provided in captivity. Little data is available concerning the natural diet of Scincopus fasciatus. They are believed to be primarily insectivorous, but may consume some plant material. A variety of commercially available insects should be offered along with small amounts of fruits, flowers, and vegetables. The diet should be supplemented with vitamins and minerals. This species UVB lighting requirements are also unknown. Providing this lighting should be strongly encouraged given recent studies have demonstrated benefit in another nocturnal lizard, the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius).
Skin is the largest organ in the body and acts as a physical barrier between the body and the environment. Besides acting as a barrier, the skin also provides sensory input about our environment, helps us regulate heat, provides immunes function, and produces the precursors to Vitamin D. The three layers of the skin are the epidermis, dermis, and subcutis. The epidermis is the most external layer of the skin. This layer contains flat-shaped cells called keratinocytes and pigmented cells called melanocytes. Underneath this layer is the dermis which contains collagen and immune cells. Beneath this is the subcutis which is where the major branches of the vessels and nerves lie.