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According to renowned exotic animal veterinarian Dr. Susan Brown, "The more thoroughly educated a person is about the pet he or she owns the higher the quality of life for that pet. In addition, the bond between human and pet is richly enhanced through further understanding." In our Small Mammal Health Series, Dr. Brown shares her expertise on general husbandry, proper diets, and specific common (and not so common) medical disorders in rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, and other small mammals.

 Small Mammal Health Series

Intermittent Soft Cecotropes in Rabbits
This condition is the cause of numerous euthanasias and surrenders to shelters due to the high maintenance involved in cleaning the pet and the environment on a daily basis. In a nutshell, the problem is not the production of soft stool (the waste material that makes up the round, dry droppings) but that the cecotropes, the nutrient-rich droppings produced by the cecum, are abnormally liquid and cannot be eaten.

What Ferret Owners Should Know about Insulinomas
An insulinoma is a tumor of the pancreas. Most insulinomas are comprised of beta cells that have run amok. The most common clinical signs include lethargy, weakness, difficulty rising from sleep, drooling, pawing at the mouth, weight loss, rear leg incoordination, collapse, seizures, and vomiting.

Canine Distemper in Ferrets
Canine distemper is a contagious disease caused by a virus. CDV can be transmitted to ferrets directly from infected animals of other species, or through contact with infected material such as shoes or clothing. In other words, you can bring CDV home if you are in contact with infected material in places such as the woods a pet store or a breeding facility. Using a canine distemper vaccine that is not approved for use in ferrets can also transmit CDV.

Take a Hike!
If you could do one thing that would improve not only your dog's health but also your own, you'd do it, wouldn't you? If your answer is "yes," then it's time to start walking your dog. Recent studies have shown that our pets are having as much trouble with obesity as we are, and the reasons are the same: too much food and not enough exercise.

Rabbit Care
Rabbits make intelligent, friendly and quiet house pets. The average life span for a bunny is 7 to 10 years with records of up to 15 years of age reported. How can you provide the best care for your bunny?

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VetzInsight: A Different Place to Learn
The same folks who provide Veterinary Partner also offer a blog called VetzInsight. Rather than explain what occurs in a disease process and how to treat it - which was Veterinary Partner offers - our goal is not only to inform on larger issues but to tap into the numerous emotions at play within the human-animal bond. We're here to learn and have fun. If you're interested in learning more about a broader look at veterinary medicine, the veterinarians, the clients, and the patients, VetzInsight is a great learning experience.

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