Exotics lecture - Vernaleken

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Exotics lecture - Vernaleken

  1. 1. Exotics – Husbandry and Medical Care March, 2013
  2. 2. Exotics • Overview of common species  Natural habitat/diet  Anatomy/physiology • Husbandry and nursing care  Captive housing  Diet requirements  Handling  Medical procedures (catheters, blood draws) • Common medical conditions
  3. 3. Species we see at BVH Yes • Rabbits • Ferrets • Rodents • Hedgehogs • Chinchillas • Reptiles No • Wildlife (other than for euth) • Species illegal in MA • Birds http://www.mass.gov/dfwele /dfw/wildlife/living/keepin g_wildlife.htm
  4. 4. Predator vs. prey Predator (carnivore) • Teeth designed for puncture and shearing • GI adapted for meat • Eyes relatively forward- facing (best depth perception) • Bursts of high speed locomotion • Defense/attack: teeth, claws (biting, scratching) Prey (herbivore) • Teeth designed for grinding • GI adapted for vegetation • Eyes relatively side-facing (greatest peripheral vision) • Quick acceleration and endurance • Defense: running, kicking • Much sicker when presented
  5. 5. For all species… • In-house lab equipment can be used • No more than 1% of body weight (kg) should be collected  2 lb animal = 9ml  100 g hamster = 1.0 ml • Chemical restraint may be required for diagnostics
  6. 6. Ferrets
  7. 7. Ferrets • Single breed kept in captivity • Color variations • “Stinky Thief” • Large number of sebaceous glands in skin emit musky odor • Domesticated >2000 years ago • Originally rabbit hunting and rodent control
  8. 8. Ferret breeding • Single large breeding facility in U.S. • Marshall Farms • Performs EARLY spay/neuter • Performs “descenting” (anal sacculectomy) • Ferret breeders exist
  9. 9. Ferrets • Females = Jills • Males = Hobs • Offspring = Kits • Group of ferrets = Business • Puberty onset 6 months
  10. 10. Ferrets – how do we live? • Lifespan – 5-8 years • Play 25% of day • Sleep 75% of day • Most active dawn and dusk • Territorial • Burrow • Prefer to sleep in an enclosed area
  11. 11. Ferrets – life in captivity • Cage – Multi-story, used for safety • Caging is similar to crate-training puppies • Require large amounts of time out of cage  3-4 hours per day of playtime  Best with other ferrets • Can be litterbox-trained Implications for hospitalization: provide litterboxes, environmental enrichment
  12. 12. Ferrets – what do we eat? • Obligate carnivores (more than cats) • Very short GI tract • Rapid GI transit time (3-4 hours)  Easy to digest  Highly nutritious (high protein and fat)  Constantly available Hospitalization: Feed Oxbow “Carnivore care”, chicken baby food or watered down a/d
  13. 13. Ferret treats No • Dried fruits and vegetables • Sugary cereals • Dairy products • Candy • Cookies • Pedialyte • Ensure • Honey • Coffe/tea • Alcohol • Seeds/nuts • Salty foods Yes • Unseasoned lean meats • Eggs (cooked) • Jerky (homemade) • Insects • Prey animals (rats, mice, chicks • Chicken/turkey baby food • Ferrettone • Dental care treats • Cheerios (rarely) • Banana (rarely) • Nutri-Cal (rarely) • Fresh fruit (berries, melons)
  14. 14. Ferret Grooming • Nail trimming • Ear cleaning • Toothbrushing • Bathing (not more than monthly)
  15. 15. Ferret illnesses • Gastrointestinal disease  Diarrhea  Vomiting (infectious, foreign body) • Endocrine disease  Insulinoma  Hyperadrenocorticism (sex hormones)  Urethral obstruction (secondary to HAC) • Cancer  Insulinoma  Lymphoma  Adrenal
  16. 16. And also… • Getting into trouble!
  17. 17. Ferret Restraint • Work with them rather than against • Nipping usually out of curiosity • Ferretone or Furotone to lick • Scruff and suspend over exam table
  18. 18. Ferret routine care • Vaccines  High risk of vaccine reactions  Rabies  Distemper • Heartworm preventative • Flea/tick preventative
  19. 19. Ferret venipuncture • Cephalic or lateral saphenous  25 g needle, 1ml syringe, <1ml required • Jugular vein • Anterior vena cava
  20. 20. Ferret radiology
  21. 21. Hospitalization concerns • IV catheters – 25 g catheter  Cephalic  Medial saphenous • Escape-proof cages • Provide a litterbox • Continuously available food +/- force feeding
  22. 22. Ferret zoonoses • Influenza (human) • Rabies • Ringworm (dermatophytosis) • Scabies • Giardia • Cryptosporidium • (Salmonella, listeriosis, tuberculosis, leptospirosis, campylobacteriosis)
  23. 23. Ferrets – a livestyle choice
  24. 24. Rabbits
  25. 25. Rabbits • 47 - 60 distinct breeds, >500 varieties • Lagomorphs (not rodents) • Domestic rabbits originate from Europe • Distinct from wild rabbits or hares • No feral rabbit population • Originally bred for fur or meat
  26. 26. Rabbits • Females = Does • Males = Bucks • Neonates = Kits • Puberty onset 4.5 months of age
  27. 27. Rabbits – how do we live? • Burrowing animals • Prey • Varied habitats – fields, farms, woodlands, deserts, swamps, and forests • Lifespan – in captivity 9-10 years, rarely up to 18 years; in the wild 7.6 years
  28. 28. Rabbits – living in captivity • Active livestyle • Large indoor cage • Smooth bottom (no wires) • Daily exercise is essential Implications for hospitalization: Largest cage possible, provide regular exercise out of the cage (in exam room or other closed space)
  29. 29. Rabbits – what do we eat? • Foraging species • Similar to horses • Grasses, leaves, flowers
  30. 30. Rabbits – eating in captivity • Free choice grass hay (timothy) • Free choice green leafy vegetables • Minimal pellets (1/8 – ¼ cup daily max) • Minimal “treat” foods (carrots, fruit, yogurt snacks) Implications for hospitalization: Owners need to bring green leafies or we need to send someone out for them.
  31. 31. Rabbits - senses • 190 degree field of view • “Blind spot” below their nose • Good night vision • Some color vision Implications for hospitalization: quiet area, minimize exposure to predators, don’t grab them in their blind spot
  32. 32. Rabbits - illnesses • Gastrointestinal disease (not eating, abdominal pain, dehydration) • Dental disease • Vestibular disease • Parasitic skin disease Often treated as outpatients, sometimes require hospitalization.
  33. 33. Rabbit restraint • Gentle • Clean surfaces and hands (no predator scents) • Don’t reach under chin without warning • Quiet • Don’t scruff (at risk of breaking backs) • Always support hind end • Don’t grab by ears • Bunny burrito
  34. 34. Rabbit venipuncture • Maximum blood draw: 1% of body weight  2 pound rabbit = 9 ml • Lateral Saphenous • Jugular • Auricular (ear) not preferred site, but an option for very large-eared rabbits • Cephalic (try to reserve for IV catheters)
  35. 35. Rabbit radiographs • As for a cat  “Whole rabbit”  Thorax  Abdomen  Skull • May require sedation or anesthesia  Reduce stress  Skull
  36. 36. Hospitalization concerns • Keep ‘em warm • Frequent force feeding (every 4-6 hours, Oxbow Critical Care) • Exercise them • Minimize stress wherever possible
  37. 37. Rabbits – Injection sites • Lumbar muscles • Proximal hindlimb (quads)
  38. 38. Intraosseous catheters • Trochanteric fossa of the femur • Proximal tibia
  39. 39. Rabbits – anesthetic concerns • No fasting is necessary (can’t vomit) • Endotracheal intubation is blind • Intubation is preferred over mask • Should be monitored the same as any other species
  40. 40. Rabbits - tips • Try not to clip fur from the base of the feet or hocks • Avoid touching rabbit “blind spot” (rostral muzzle) • Venipuncture of ears ONLY in large- eared rabbits • Support hind end during restraint
  41. 41. Rabbit zoonoses • Not commonly associated with rabbits • Rabies • External parasites/fungal disease (Cheyletiella, ringworm) • Pasteurella • Salmonella • Yersinia enterocolitica • Plague (Yersinia pestis) • Tularemia • Bacterial infections from bite wounds • Encephalitozooan cuniculi • Mycoplasma • Allergies
  42. 42. Rabbit zoonoses • Wash any wounds thoroughly • Do not ingest rabbit feces • Wash hands after handling • Wear gloves when handling rabbits with skin disease • Resist eating rabbit feces
  43. 43. Rodents
  44. 44. Rodent species • Guinea pigs • Chinchillas • Hamsters • Gerbils • Rats • Mice
  45. 45. Guinea pigs • Herbivores • Docile • Native to South America • Domesticated for food
  46. 46. Guinea pigs - diet • High quality grass hay (free choice) • Fresh vegetables • Formulated pelleted food (Oxbow) • Vitamin C –  Red pepper  Parsley  Kale  Water supplementation not ideal
  47. 47. Guinea pigs - hospitalization • Fluids most often administered subcutaneously • Oxbow critical care feeding management • Stress management
  48. 48. Guinea pigs - tips • Easily restrained • Anesthesia  Blood collection – cranial vena cava  Appropriate oral examination
  49. 49. Chinchillas • Bred for fur • Long-lived (up to 20 years) • Herbivores • Not tolerant of temperatures greater than 80 degrees Fahrenheit • Naturally nocturnal • Dust baths necessary for coat health 2- 3x/week
  50. 50. Chinchillas - diet • High quality grass hay • Chinchilla pellets (guinea pig or rabbit pellets not ideal) • Dark leafy vegetables • Fruits, grains <5% of animal’s diet
  51. 51. Chinchillas - hospitalization • Similar concerns as for guinea pigs • IV Cath slightly easier ? (26g cephalic) • Intraosseous catheters • Minimize stress • Appropriate diet
  52. 52. Hamsters • Golden (Syrian) • Djungarian (Siberian) • Narrow gene pool • Variably aggressive • Nocturnal • Solitary (except for Siberian)
  53. 53. Gerbils • Mongolian • Hot-desert-dwelling • Social
  54. 54. Mice and rats • Many mouse owners also own snakes  • Mice – small, can be aggressive • Rats – good as pets, likely most intelligent of small exotic mammals
  55. 55. Cage • Soft bedding (no cedar) • Exercise wheels (run up to 10k/night) • Escape artists • Produce large amounts of odiferous urine
  56. 56. Diet • Pelleted (not seed mix) formulated for the species • Occasional high protein, low fat treats
  57. 57. Restraint
  58. 58. Blood collection and radiographs • Requires anesthesia • Jugular, cranial vena cava, saphenous, cephalic, or tail vein (1% of body weight) • Retroorbital venous plexus • Intravenous access not practical • Intraosseous catheter
  59. 59. Hedgehogs (African Pygmy) • Originate in central Africa • Nocturnal • Insectivores • Poor vision • “Anointing” behavior • Solitary in nature
  60. 60. Hedgehogs – husbandry • Large cage size (2’ x 2’) • Wheel • Exercise necessary • Can sometimes be litterbox-trained • Pelleted hedgehog food recommended, with supplemental insects and fruits
  61. 61. Hedgehogs – restraint/handling • Circular muscle (orbicularis) pulls together like a drawstring • When upset: vibrates and hisses • Tips for unrolling:  Dangle over a table  Stroke the spines against the grain  Scruff before rolled (good luck!)  Subdued light, quiet
  62. 62. Hedgehogs - Diagnostics • All diagnostics will require anesthesia • Cranial vena cava

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