Educational Articles

Parasites

  • The bearded dragon is a well-known lizard currently considered one of the best pet lizards. If they are well looked after, with a good diet and proper environment, bearded dragons are reasonably hardy animals. Common health conditions of pet bearded dragons include metabolic bone disease, infectious stomatitis (mouth rot), parasites, respiratory infections, and adenovirus infection.

  • 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.

  • Cytauxzoonosis is often fatal disease spread to cats by the Lone Star tick. The disease can progress rapidly and treatments are only moderately effective. Tick control and use of preventives is the best method to prevent this disease from developing in cats.

  • 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).

  • Demodecosis is a parasitic skin condition, caused by demodex mites. These microscopic mites can be found on the skin of all animals, but in some cases they proliferate to excessive levels and cause clinical signs. While demodecosis is more common in dogs than cats, there are two species of demodex mites that can affect cats: Demodex cati and Demodex gatoi.

  • 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 including fleas, especially if your rabbit is exposed to fleas outdoors or lives in a house with dogs or cats who themselves have fleas. Your rabbit may or may not be itchy depending on your rabbit's sensitivity to flea bites.

  • 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.