How to Care for and Feed Your Pet Rodent

Pet rodents have very specific needs if they're to be kept healthy and happy, including:
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I recently had the opportunity to interview Ms. Typaldos about caring for these exotic pets. She adopted her first capybara, Caplin Rous, after falling in love with capys on a family trip to Venezuela. After Caplin Rous died, she adopted Garibaldi Rous. (Rous, by the way, is a tip of the hat to the R.O.U.S., or Rodent of Unusual Size, of Princess Bride fame.)
through our library of pet rodent care, enjoy yourself and above
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The pet rodent should have no discharge from the eyes, nose, or mouth. If you can open the mouth (without being bitten!), make sure the front teeth (the incisors), have not overgrown (they should form a nice, even fit). The animal should seem frisky and try to run and resist handling to some extent. No coughing, sneezing, or wheezing should be present. Examine the rectal area. It should be dry and free of diarrhea or caked-on stool. This is especially important for young hamsters. Many baby hamsters at pet stores have a disease called "wet tail", which is usually fatal. Ask the employee for help in determining the animal's sex. Keep in mind that some part time pet store employees may know little more than you do about these animals. able to take care of your pet rodent.
Photo provided by FlickrPet rodents do not require vaccinations.
Photo provided by FlickrWelcome to the pet rodents page!
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Two primary challenges, cost and patient size, face veterinarians. Pet rodents are quite inexpensive, thus veterinary care of any extent may cost more than an owner is willing to pay. Plus, patient size often requires minuscule amounts of medication, thus requiring dilution for proper administration. (And, since few drugs are labeled for rodents, owners should be informed of extra-label drug use and a signed release obtained.)Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) is a rodentborne arenavirus endemic in house mice (Mus musculus) worldwide (–). Lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCM) in immunocompetent persons usually is a mild, self-limited, viral syndrome or is asymptomatic; aseptic meningitis also can occur, but the infection is rarely fatal (–). In immunocompromised persons, LCM may result in serious systemic infections and death. LCM during pregnancy can cause spontaneous abortion or severe birth defects, including hydrocephalus, chorioretinitis, blindness, or psychomotor retardation (). Congenital LCMV infection is likely greatly underreported as a cause of poor pregnancy outcomes (). Human infection occurs most commonly through exposure (by direct contact or inhalation of infectious aerosol) to secretions or excretions of infected animals (). To our knowledge, person-to-person transmission has not been reported, except for transmission from mother to fetus () and 1 previous cluster in December 2003 of infection through organ transplantation (,).In April 2005, 4 transplant recipients became ill after receiving organs infected with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV); 3 subsequently died. All organs came from a donor who had been exposed to a hamster infected with LCMV. The hamster was traced back through a Rhode Island pet store to a distribution center in Ohio, and more LCMV-infected hamsters were discovered in both. Rodents from the Ohio facility and its parent facility in Arkansas were tested for the same LCMV strain as the 1 involved in the transplant-associated deaths. Phylogenetic analysis of virus sequences linked the rodents from the Ohio facility to the Rhode Island pet store, the index hamster, and the transplant recipients. This report details the animal traceback and the supporting laboratory investigations.With a known population size and a LCMV prevalence estimate, the hypergeometric probability distribution was used to determine the minimum sample size needed to provide a 95% chance of detecting at least 1 LCMV infected rodent at each site. The LCMV prevalence was estimated to be 4.7% in Ohio and 4.3% in Arkansas. The Ohio prevalence was based on 4 infected of 85 tested at the Rhode Island pet store; the revised prevalence for Arkansas was based on 9 of 211 positives after data from the Ohio samples were incorporated.