|Other Pets Menu
· Chelonians (Turtles etc.)
· Choosing an Exotic Pet
Rabbits, Guineas, Ferrets
- Average lifespan 7-12 years.
- Age at puberty 4-9 months.
- Gestation (length of pregnancy) 28-35 days..
- Adult size 0.9-6 kg.
- Single vs. Multiple: Alone or paired. Male & females usually compatible but must be neutered.
- Dietary Requirements- Good quality rabbit pellets along with plenty of timothy hay, grass, fibrous vegetables and dandelion leaves. Fruit to be given occasionally as a treat. Constant fresh water supply.
- Environmental requirements
Indoors: Rabbits are readily litter trained so can be kept indoors. Access areas should be ‘rabbit proofed’ ie no contact with electrical cables etc and they should be confined when unsupervised.
Outdoors: A hutch at least 4 times the size of the rabbit is a minimum requirement and it should be enclosed at night to protect from predators. A covered pen to allow access to grass during the day should also be provided.
- Upper Respiratory Disease- ‘Snuffles’ Pasturella Multocida.
- Dental Disease.
- Infectious Disease ( VHD & Myxomatosis)
- Encephalitozoon cuniculi.
- Vaccinations for Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease starting at 3 months of age.
- Neutering from 4 ½ months of age to prevent spraying, aggression and also prevents uterine cancers in females.
- Regular dental checks.
- Nail clipping.
- Average lifespan 4-8 years.
- Age at puberty 5-8 weeks.
- Gestation (length of pregnancy) 60-70 days.
- Adult Size 0.6-1.2 kg.
- Single vs. Multiple: Paired with one or more other guinea pigs, usually same sex litter mates. Housing with rabbits will increase the risk of respiratory disease.
- Dietary Requirements: Good quality guinea pig pellets along with plenty of grass, hay, fresh food and vegetables. Guinea pigs have a requirement for 30-50 mg of Vitamin C per day. This can be provided via supplements, parsley or washed citrus fruits. A gnawing block or chew sticks are recommended for healthy teeth. Constant fresh water supply.
- Environmental Requirements: Cage made of plastic or wood with wire mesh for good ventilation. Floor should be a solid base with bedding of shredded paper, straw or wood shavings which should be changed regularly. Daily exercise / play on tiles, wood flooring or in a cordoned off area in the garden. Housing outdoors is possible if a suitable pen is provided but overwintering should be indoors unless very well housed.
- Ectoparasites especially sarcoptic mange mites.
- Pneumonia -Bordetella Bronchoseptica- often carried by rabbits so housing your guinea pig with rabbits will increase the risk.
- Scurvy- hypovitaminosis C.
- Dental Disease.
- Yearly health checks to include a dental check.
- Regular nail clipping as required.
- Vitamin C supplement
- Average lifespan 8-10 years.
- Age at puberty 4 months.
- Gestation (length of pregnancy) Approx 42 days.
- Adult size 1.8-2.5 kg.
- Single vs. Multiple: companionable animals, probably best kept in pairs.
- Dietary Requirements: Ferrets are true carnivores and, like cats, need essential fatty acids that can only be found in meat but do not require carbohydrates in the diet. For this reason , they can be fed commercial cat food.
- Large indoor/ outdoor cage with various levels of solid floors. An area to burrow/ hideaway eg. sleep sock, hammock or even old cotton clothing. Litter tray- recycled paper and wood pellets are good option for litter. Solid food and water bowls that aren’t easy to knock over or play with. Safe, indestructible toys.
- Should have daily playtime out of cage.
- A well socialised ferret can be easily and safely handled but if not well domesticated, they can give a nasty bite.
- Human Influenza.
- Fatal anemia in unneutered, unmated females (hyperestrogenism).
- Foreign bodies (intestines).
- Gastrointestinal disease.
- Heart disease.
- Skin tumours.
- Annual Vaccinations for Distemper virus.
- Ear cleaning, toe nail clipping.
- Anti hairball treatments during shedding.
- Neutering is recommended for both males and females to reduce odour, fighting and to eliminate life threatening diseases including fatal anaemia in females.