For the public

Flu Virus in Ferrets

Ferrets commonly come down with sneezing and coughing due to a variety of viral diseases such as influenza (also known as "the flu"). Flu viruses can be passed from ferrets to people and people to ferrets so it is important to practice good hygiene when working around a sick ferret (or around a sick human).

Ear Mites in Ferrets

Does your ferret and scratch its ears as if it can't get the itching to stop?  Do you find dark reddish-brown chunky material coming out when it shakes its head?  If you answered yes, chances are your ferret has ear mites.

Diarrhea: Ferrets

Ferrets develop diarrhea from a variety of causes.  Any time your ferret has diarrhea for more than a day, it may signal a serious underlying disorder and we strongly recommend a health consultation.  It is easier to treat diarrhea disorders when they first start than when they have lasted long enough that your ferret has lost weight and energy!

Adrenal Disease Complex in Ferrets

Adrenal disease is one of the most common diseases of ferrets and can occur as early as 18 months old. In adrenal disease, the adrenal glands start to produce excessive sex hormones (both male and female sex hormones). These elevated sex hormones begin to cause problems for ferrets such as hair loss, itchy skin, pot -bellied appearance, loss of muscle tone, and lethargy. Some ferrets are intensely itchy.  Females often develop a swollen vulva.  Males may develop a swollen prostate gland causing difficulty urinating or causing him to have accidents outside the litter box. Female ferrets may develop and enlarged vulva. Some ferrets may show sexual behavior (mounting) or become aggressive. Some ferrets with adrenal disease can develop life-threatening drops in their red blood cells due changes in their bone marrow, and can be incurable if not caught in time. As the disease progresses the abdomen often becomes larger and ferrets become weak in their hind legs s the disease progresses the abdomen often becomes larger and ferrets become weak in their hind legs. If left untreated, adrenal gland disease is a life-shortening and life-threatening disease for ferrets. 

Dental Problems: Chinchillas

Chinchillas have constantly growing teeth (incisors, premolars, and molars). Dental problems are very common in pet chinchillas if they do not get proper diets. A chinchilla should always have available a large amount of high quality timothy hay, such as Oxbow Timothy Hay, which helps wear the teeth and provides enough fiber to promote their gastrointestinal health. If a chinchilla does not get enough timothy grass hay, the teeth may grow in unusual shapes due to a lack of tough material to physically grind the biting surface of the teeth.

Toxic Plants

If you can't identify a plant, don't feed it to your pet! 

Pokeweed, a common poisonous weedNurseries, agricultural extension agents, botanical gardens and arboretums, and various books and websites are available to help you identify plants.  Plants often have different common names throughout the country so make sure you know the scientific name of the plant in question otherwise you might end up with the wrong information.

Syringes - How Much Medication Is Needed?

Pets may be sent home with liquid medications.  An oral liquid medication must be given by mouth to be effective.  An injectable liquid medication must be given by injection beneath the skin to be useful.  Some injectable medications require that the medication is inserted into the muscle to be most effective.  It is important that you understand how to read the syringes that are sent home so your pet gets the proper amount of medication at each dose.

Can My Pet Make Me Sick?

All exotic pets, even ones that appear to be outwardly healthy, have the potential to carry and spread contagious diseases that can impact the health of people.  This sort of disease is called a "zoonosis", "zoonotic disease", or "zoonotic infection".