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Small Mammal Imaging and Radiographic Cases

This non-interactive webinar recording presented by Natalie Antinoff, DVM, DABVP (Avian Practice) explores radiography and sonography of exotic companion mammals. Topics covered will include restraint and positioning, normal radiographic anatomy of ferrets, rabbits, and popular rodent species, as well as unique anatomic features of the sugar glider and hedgehog. Common pathologic conditions as well as typical radiographic findings will also be explored, and case examples will be used to emphasize key concepts.

Natalie Antinoff, DVM, DABVP (Avian Practice)

Dr. Natalie Antinoff  is the owner of Antinoff Veterinary Services, which provides veterinary relief and consulting for various practices, primarily specialty facilities. Dr. Antinoff also provides veterinary care and guidelines for the large rattlesnake collection at BTG Pharmaceuticals and she also regularly provides scheduled per diem care for non-traditional pets at at Texas Avian & Exotic Animal Hospital in Grapevine, Texas and Mountain West Veterinary Specialists in Layton, Utah. Dr. Antinoff has also been a consultant for the Veterinary Information Network since 1997…

Article  Video 

Administration of Medication in Reptiles

Reptile owners are routinely instructed on oral or intramuscular drug administration techniques for outpatient care. In many instances and in many species, parenteral injections are preferred over the oral route. Injectable medications can be delivered intramuscularly, subcutaneously, intracoelomically, intravenously, or…

Article  Video 

Esophagostomy Tube Placement in the Ferret

Esophagostomy tube placement is an excellent choice for nutritional support of the debilitated small mammal patient requiring long-term feeding or for individuals that have suffered major orofacial trauma. Use this video clip or text with still images to review this important technique in the ferret.

Article  Video 

Intravenous Catheter Placement in Small Mammals

Intravenous catheters are commonly placed in ferrets and rabbits to administer fluids and medications, induce anesthesia, and for delivery of analgesic drugs during and after surgery. Intravenous catheters are also placed with growing frequency in chinchillas, guinea pigs and other small exotic companion mammals. Use this video clip or text with still images to review patient selection, potential complications, equipment needed and step-by-step instructions for this technique, as well as daily fluid requirements, catheter maintenance, and patient monitoring.

Article  Video 

Blood Collection in Ferrets

All but the weakest ferrets can be challenging to restrain for blood collection. Consider sedation or general anesthesia, particularly if the handler or phlebotomist is relatively inexperienced; however remember that anesthesia can affect ferret hematology.

Use this video clip or article with still images to review equipment needed, and potential venipuncture sites including the jugular vein, cranial vena cava, lateral saphenous vein, and cephalic vein.

Article  Video 

Oral Examination in Rabbits and Rodents

Evaluation of the oral cavity is considered an essential part of the complete physical examination in small exotic companion mammals, both symptomatic and clinically normal individuals alike. Use this video clip or article with still images to review equipment needed as well chemical and manual restraint techniques for extraoral and intraoral exams.

Article  Video 

Blood Collection in Rabbits

The rabbit has a relatively short prothrombin time and whole blood quickly clots at room temperature. To minimize the risk of clot formation, it can be helpful to pre-heparinize the needle and syringe by drawing heparin into the needle and expelling the excess from the hub. The total volume of blood that can be safely collected typically ranges from 0.5% to 1.0% body weight. Collect smaller volumes from geriatric patients or those suspected to have anemia or hypoproteinemia.

Use this video clip or article with still images to review equipment needed, and potential venipuncture sites including the jugular vein, lateral saphenous vein, and ear vessels.

Article 

Otitis in Rabbits

The pathogenesis of otitis is often multifactorial in the rabbit. Predisposing factors such as ear conformation increase the risk of otitis in certain breeds. All rabbits have a relatively narrow ear canal, however in Lop-eared rabbits the fold in the ear cartilage is such that the lumen is entirely closed off preventing normal drainage of cerumen from the ear.

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Intravenous Catheter Placement in the Bird

Fluid therapy is a vital part of avian medicine, and appropriate administration of fluids is essential. Intravenous catheters are commonly used intraoperatively or in more stable hospitalized patients. Unfortunately intravenous catheter placement in birds can be challenging. The veins can be difficult to access and the vessels are also prone to hematoma formation.

Use this video clip or text with still images to review the equipment needed, the technique involved, and potential venipuncture sites including the jugular vein, medial metatarsal vein and basilic or ulnar vein.

Article  Video 

Syringe Feeding the Ferret

Loss of appetite is a common finding in the sick ferret and nutritional support is often required. Ferrets with insulinoma may also require regular assist feedings to help maintain normal blood glucose levels. Fortunately syringe feeding the ferrets is a relatively straightforward process. The short, simple gut of the ferret has only a limited ability to absorb nutrients. So even healthy ferrets require a highly digestible diet. Use this video or article to review the equipment needed and the technique involved.

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Ferret Restraint

Pet ferrets are easily handled using minimal restraint and a little petting. And with the exception of nursing females, ferrets rarely bite although young ferrets or “kits” may nip. Manual restraint is required for these lively, active creatures during uncomfortable procedures like obtaining a rectal temperature or during procedures that call for the animal to remain still like abdominal palpation. Use this video clip or text with still images to review handling techniques such as scruffing and stretching.

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Rabbit Restraint

Rabbits possess a relatively lightweight, delicate skeleton paired with extremely strong, well-developed back and leg muscles. If improper restraint allows the rabbit to struggle or kick powerfully, they are in danger of breaking their back or a leg. Use this video clip or text with still images to review the equipment needed and techniques involved in rabbit handling and restraint.

Article  Video 

Syringe Feeding Herbivorous Small Mammals

Mild to moderately ill exotic companion mammals are often syringe fed, and proper syringe-feeding technique is an essential skill for critical care nutrition of ferrets, rabbits, and rodents. Gastrointestinal stasis is one of the most common medical problems seen in small herbivores. A cornerstone of treatment is delivery of food containing high dietary fiber. Aggressive fluid therapy, often in the form of oral and subcutaneous fluids, is also crucial for successful management. Always address dehydration before beginning nutritional support. Get specific tips to improve your clinical success with this video clip or read the article with still images.

Article  Video 

Urethral Catheterization in Male Ferrets

Urethral catheterization of the male ferret is challenging due to the animal’s small size and J-shaped os penis, however the principles of catheterization as well as monitoring during catheter placement are essentially the same as in the domestic cat. Use this video or the article with still images to review equipment needed, potential complications and the steps involved in this critical care technique.

Article  Video 

Intraosseous Catheter Placement in Small Mammals

Fluid therapy is an important part of supportive care in the critical patient. When intravenous catheter placement fails or when veins are too small or too fragile, an intraosseous or IO catheter is an excellent option in exotic companion mammals. Use this video or text with still images to review equipment needed, potential complications, as well as the technique for intraosseous catheter placement in small mammals.

Article  Video 

Chinchilla Restraint

Chinchillas, like many small exotic mammals, are prey species that can become easily stressed in a hospital setting. Approach these patients calmly and quietly. Fortunately most pet chinchillas are relatively docile. They are typically used to being handled and will often come out of their cage voluntarily. Use this video and text with still images to review the cautions or potential complications of chinchilla restraint and handling well as the technique involved.

Article 

Diagnosing and Treating Avian Neurologic Disease

The cranial nerve exam differs little from that of mammals, however there are differences in innervation. As in mammals, menace and pupillary light response (PLR) require use of cranial nerves II (optic) and III (oculomotor), however menace is difficult to interpret in birds. Also, PLR may be overridden in birds due to the presence of striated iridal muscle. Evaluate PLR early in the exam using a sudden, bright light directed toward the medial canthus. Consensual PLR is absent due to…