March is Adopt a Guinea Pig Month
Did you know that rabbits, guinea pigs, and chinchillas need regular veterinary check-ups? To help these pets live happy healthy lives it is important to visit your veterinarian for annual physical examinations.
At your pets annual exam your veterinarian will check them from nose to toes. They will spend time with you discussing any concerns you might have regarding behavior, nutrition, and health.
Rabbits, Chinchillas, and Guinea Pigs have some special needs. Both their toenails, and their teeth grow continuously. Overgrown teeth can cause serious health problems. The vet uses special tools to examine all the teeth and can file overgrown teeth as needed.
Nail trimming should be done often and can be done at home if you like. If you are unsure how to do this we would be happy to show you.
Nutrition is another important factor in keeping your little pets healthy. All of them need diets high in fiber. Timothy Hay is an excellent source of fiber and should be readily available for them at all times. In addition to hay, dark vegetables, and pellets should be given. Remember vegetables should always be fresh.
Vitamin supplements are also available for your pets and may be a good additions to their diet. It is best to discuss with your veterinarian which types of foods and vitamins are most appropriate for your pet. We are currently carrying vitamin supplements for guinea pics here at our clinic.
The environment that your pet lives in is another important thing to consider. A lot of these little critters live in cages or pens. Their bedding should be made of pine, aspen, or paper, and needs to be changed at least twice a week to keep their paws and fur clean and healthy.
Rabbits make great indoor pets and can be litter box trained and allowed to play in the house under supervision. If you have a litter box for them, it should be changed daily. Chinchillas need dust baths and a large cage that allows climbing and jumping.
Remember that these little critters can breed very early in life and should be kept separate until they have an exam and their gender determined by a veterinarian. Rabbits can be spayed or neutered to prevent breeding.
Having a pet Rabbit, Guinea Pig, or Chinchilla can be very rewarding. With the proper care, nutrition, and environment they can live long, happy lives. Whether you have one of these great pets already or you are considering adding one to your family, give us a call and meet with one of our veterinarians so we can help you provide the best care possible.