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Small Mammals + Parasites

  • Eimeria spp and other coccidial organisms can infect rabbits with a disease called coccidia, especially young and recently weaned rabbits. These organisms live in rabbit intestines and also can infecting the liver. They’re species or host specific, meaning they only live in rabbits.

  • Encephalitozoonsis is an infection that can affect the kidneys, eyes and nervous system of rabbits. It’s caused by an organism called Encephalitozoon cuniculi or E. cuniculi, a small microsporidian parasite that’s intracellular (it has to live within another cell).

  • Ferrets commonly get infestations of an ear mite called Otodectes cynotis. Many ferrets show no symptoms of infestation. Subsequent problems of the ears are rare. Ear mites are acquired from other affected animals at the breeders, in pet stores or animal shelters.

  • Ferrets can acquire external parasites. Flea infestation is a common problem in pet ferrets. Fleas are a small insect parasite that may take up residence on your ferret, especially if exposed to fleas outdoors or in a house with dogs, cats or other animals who themselves have fleas.

  • Hedgehogs can acquire external parasites. Flea infestation is not a common problem in pet hedgehogs. Fleas are a small insect parasite that may take up residence on your hedgehog, especially if exposed to fleas outdoors or in a house with dogs, cats or other animals who themselves have fleas.

  • Rabbits can acquire external parasites. Fleas are a small insect parasite that may take up residence on your rabbit, especially if exposed to fleas outdoors or in a house with dogs or cats who themselves have fleas.

  • Guinea pigs are easy to care for and, if handled frequently and gently, make great family pets. They are generally hardy, healthy animals but are susceptible to certain problems and diseases.

  • Mites are small insect parasites that can cause serious skin problems for your guinea pig. The two common guinea pig fur mites are Trixacarus caviae (sarcoptic mange mite) and Chirodiscoides caviae.

  • The common rabbit pinworm (an Oxyurid called Passalurus ambiguus) is an internal (intestinal) parasite found in rabbits. It does not cause a serious health threat to rabbits, but it can cause uncomfortable itching and skin inflammation or redness.

  • Common conditions of pet prairie dogs include obesity, dental disease, respiratory disease, heart disease, and parasites. Prairie dogs can also be afflicted with cancer and ringworm.

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