For the public

Hedgehogs and Salmonella Typhimurium Infection in People

Like all pets, hedgehogs can carry bacteria and viruses that can make people sick. Recently a number of cases of Salmonella Typhimurium in people have been linked to exposure to pet hedgehogs. This is a bacteria that hedgehogs can carry in their intestines without showing any signs of illness. Symptoms in people include diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. Severe cases require hospitalization and can be fatal. Risks of illness are higher in children under the age of 5, the elderly, and immunocompromised persons. If you feel ill, contact your physician and inform them you have a pet hedgehog.

Ringworm in Guinea Pigs

Ringworm is not actually caused by a worm but is a skin infection caused by a fungus. While lesions alone can lead to high suspicion of an infection, definitive diagnosis is made by culturing the fungus or by PCR testing. Because the culture test can take 2-3 weeks to complete, treatment is typically started immediately in suspect cases. The PCR test is more commonly used and results generally take 3 days. If the test is positive, treatment should continue and cultures or PCR testing should be repeated every 3 weeks until two consecutive negative results are obtained for the fungus.

Atherosclerosis in Birds

What is it and what causes it?

Atherosclerosis is the accumulation of plaques (fats, cholesterol, and inflammatory cells) within the arteries. The buildup of these plaques can limit the amount of blood flow throughout the body.  Unfortunately, the cause of atherosclerosis is still poorly understood. Suggested risk factors include fatty diet (seed based), increased cholesterol, inactivity, infectious/inflammatory conditions and stress.

Sugar Glider Enrichment

Sugar gliders are best to get around 8-12 weeks after they emerge from the mother’s pouch.  This is the best age to socialize them with humans and get them used to being handled.  The process may take many weeks to fully socialize them to humans.  Sugar gliders live for about 7-10 years in captivity but have been known to live as long as 12-15 in some cases.  They are nocturnal in the wild, however they can adjust to any schedule in captivity.

Gut Loading

“Gut loading” refers to the practice of feeding insects a nutritious diet before they are eaten by your pet.  Most commercially-available prey insects are deficient in many nutrients that our insectivorous pets require.  Gut loading enhances our pets’ nutrition in two ways:

Marek’s Disease in Poultry

Marek’s Disease is a highly contagious viral (Alphaherpesvirinae) disease of poultry and can be found in both commercial and backyard birds. The virus is airborne and spreads through feather dander and feces. The virus is prevented by vaccinating birds while in the egg or shortly after hatching.

Water Quality for Reef Aquariums

A reef aquarium filled with many different species and types of coral can be a very rewarding and enjoyable experience. Water quality is the most important aspect of keeping a thriving reef environment that is both suitable for the fish and invertebrates while keeping the tank visually pleasing The primary aspects of water quality do not differ much from keeping fish-only aquariums. However, the addition of corals will add a new dimension with more parameters to monitor for healthy, growing, and vibrant corals and fish.  These include calcium, alkalinity, magnesium, phosphate, pH, ammonia, salinity, and temperature.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids and Chickens

Veterinarians who work with chickens know that the prevalence of cancer in the reproductive tract of a hen is high. Some studies found that about 45% of female chickens develop reproductive tract cancers, usually after a hen is 2 years of age. In the beginning, egg production may not be affected but as time goes on these can be a decline in eggs and worse, cancers can spread to involve other organs. Ultimately, they will take the life of the chicken.