on a wheel, chinchillas in a dust bath, rabbits munching hay, and little
squealing guinea pigs make life delightful. These tiny exotic animals, dubbed
“pocket pets”, have wiggled their way into the hearts of millions. Each of
these precious animals requires specific diets, housing and veterinary care.
Pocket pets are often an impulse purchase, so researching their needs before
bringing them home is a must. Also finding a specially trained veterinarian and
getting established with that veterinarian is a must. When pocket pets get
sick, they quickly become an emergency. Having an established relationship with
a doctor will make life easier.
overwhelming cause of emergency illness is dental disease because these
herbivorous creatures have continually growing teeth. Inappropriate diet, lack
of chew toys, or malocclusion leads to disastrous dental disease and possible
death. Sharp points can form on the teeth, and those points lacerate the tongue
and cheeks. Soon, the pet stops eating and the gastrointestinal system slows to
a halt. Bloat, pain and death can be a sequelae if intervention is not
pocket pet stay healthy! Research what it takes and find a veterinarian that
cares for them. Get dental and physical examinations minimally every six
months, so you provide them with the best possible life and enjoy these comical creatures longer.
Dr. Erin Holder is owner of FloridaWild Veterinary Hospital, located at
115 E. Euclid Ave., in DeLand. She is a member of the Association of Avian
Veterinarians, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Florida Veterinary Medical Association
and the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association.
She is also an adjunct professor at the
University of Florida College of
Veterinary Medicine in the Zoo and Wildlife Department. FloridaWild offers an integrative approach to veterinary
medicine, combining both Eastern and Western medicine. For more information, call 386-734-9899 or