Veterinary Medical Associates providess comprehensive care for our ferret and rodent patients, including hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, mice, and rats. Pet owners are supported by our team as well, with information, guidance, and pet care resources. We are able to advise you in selecting an appropriate pocket pet for your lifestyle, as well as housing, accessories, nutrition, and health care.
We are pleased to help you create the proper environment for a happy, thriving pet. Contact our office to schedule a wellness visit for your ferret or rodent pet.
Ferrets Are Special Pets
Ferrets are special pets, typically not recommended for families with small children or infants, dogs, cats, or other pets. Healthy adult ferrets can live about nine years and reach up to four pounds. Ferrets require extended daily activity and playtime outside the cage.
- Health care and vaccines—Annual wellness exams with distemper and rabies vaccinations are recommended. Ferrets are susceptible to adrenal disease and insulinoma, can catch a human cold, and can die quickly without proper medical care.
- Housing—A safe habitat with clean fresh water, appropriate nutrition, and room for exercise. Bright sunlight or temperatures over 80 degrees can cause heat exhaustion.
- Nutrition—Ferrets cannot digest plant cellulose from vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts as they are pure carnivores. Fortunately, there are high quality formulated diets specifically for ferrets, which we highly recommend.
Enjoying Pet Rodents
Pet rodents include small mammals such as hamsters, gerbils, mice, and rats. Each of these pets has specific requirements for health and care, and we recommend at least annual wellness visits. In fact, owing to their inherently shorter lifespans, it is best for preventive health care to have them examined every six months.
- Hamsters—Adult hamsters grow to be about six inches long and live roughly two years. As solitary pets, each should have its own cage. If handled from a young age, hamsters are usually agreeable. If not properly socialized, however, they can bite. Also, hamsters are nocturnal and will be most active at night.
- Gerbils—Gerbils live from two to five years and grow to about four inches long, minus their furry tail. These are social pets, happier in a pair or group. Gerbils are fascinating to watch, and can be easy to handle with regular attention.
- Mice—These pets are small, about three inches long, and live from one to three years. Social pets, mice do well in pairs or groups; however, males may fight with other males. These pets are active and fun to watch, low maintenance, and can become tame if handled appropriately.
- Rats—About eight inches long minus their tails, rats are relatively large and live an average of three years. They are very social and do best in same-sex pairs. Easy to handle and quite intelligent, rats enjoy time outside the cage for exercise and interaction. Due to their intelligent and social nature, rats make rewarding pets. Owners may enjoy this Rat Care blog.
Learn More Online
We recommend Oxbow feed and nutritional products for many small animal species. We encourage you to enjoy Oxbow’s Pet Care Guides and Small Paw Prints educational series.