Educational Articles

Small Mammals + Treatment

  • This handout discusses the use of cryosurgery in pets. This technique involves the use of extreme cold to destroy abnormal or diseased tissues. A short discussion in included as to how the technique is used, and in what circumstances it may be appropriate to use.

  • Meloxicam is given by mouth or injection and is used to treat general and surgical pain, inflammation, fever, and osteoarthritis. Side effects are uncommon but may include upset stomach, changes in urination, or yellowing of the skin. Do not use in pets that are sensitive to NSAIDs, have kidney or liver disease, are dehydrated or anorexic, or are currently taking other steroids or NSAIDs. If a negative reaction occurs, contact your veterinarian.

  • Silymarin is an over-the-counter nutritional supplement that is used off-label and is given by mouth to treat liver and cancer conditions. Give as directed. Side effects are uncommon but may include vomiting or diarrhea. Do not use it in pets that are allergic to it. If a negative reaction occurs, please call the veterinary office.

  • The two common guinea pig fur mites are Trixacarus caviae (sarcoptic mange mite) and Chirodiscoides caviae. Chirodiscoides caviae mites may cause mild to no clinical signs at all. Trixacarus caviae mites can cause extreme clinical signs because they cause extreme itchiness. Affected skin will get thick, yellowish, and crusty, with hair loss and secondary bacterial skin infection. These mites cause such itchiness that your guinea pig may even go into seizures and die. Your veterinarian will treat the affected animal with topical or injectable anti-parasitic medications, and since mites live in the environment, the environment must be treated, as well. Trixacarus caviae mites are contagious to people.

  • Penetrating wounds can look minor on the surface but may cause severe injury below the skin. A thorough assessment requires sedation or anesthesia and surgery may be required to address the extent of the injury. This handout outlines first aid steps a pet owner can take while transporting their injured pet to the veterinary hospital.

  • Therapeutic laser is the application of light energy to areas of the body to stimulate healing. This light–tissue interaction is called photobiomodulation. In the past, therapeutic laser was often referred to as low-level or cold laser (as opposed to a surgical or hot laser).

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