Category General


General

Skunks and Rabies

It is hard to overcome set-in-stone misconceptions, such as "all skunks are born with rabies" or "all skunks carry rabies." For owners of domestic pen-raised pet skunks this misconception can mean the death of their much-loved pet. While the U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved rabies vaccines for dogs, cats, and ferrets, the Department has not approved a vaccine for the treatment of skunks or other "exotic" pets.
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General

Red-Eared Slider Tip

Red-eared sliders from the southeastern United States have been popular pets for more than 50 years. They will live up to 20 years in captivity. Young sliders eat most aquatic plants (hydrilla, anachris and elodea) and insects, crustaceans, mollusks and tadpoles. Older sliders tend to be more exclusively herbivorous, accepting romaine and other dark lettuces, grated squash and many types of aquarium plants.
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General

Acute Collapse in Ferrets

Acute collapse is a sudden loss of strength causing your pet to fall and be unable to rise. In acute collapse, your pet falls to the ground either into a sitting position (hind limb collapse) or a lying position (complete collapse). Some pets that suddenly collapse actually lose consciousness. This is called fainting or syncope.
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General

Caring For Your Chameleon

Old World chameleons, or true chameleons, are common in the pet trade. Several species can make good choices as a first chameleon. In general, however, chameleons are best suited for intermediate reptile keepers and prior experience with reptiles usually is beneficial. If you're thinking about getting an Old World chameleon, here are some facts about these reptiles: More than 150 species are known today, with over half found on the island of Madagascar off the African coast.
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General

Understanding the Cold Blooded Creature

Reptiles are often called cold-blooded creatures, an assertion that mistakenly leads many people to believe they have cold core temperatures. In reality, reptiles are ectothermic animals, which means their metabolism does not generate enough heat byproducts to maintain body temperature above air or surface temperatures.
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General

Pododermatitis in Guinea Pigs

Pododermatitis (a foot infection), also called "bumblefoot," is a common and sometimes difficult condition to treat in guinea pigs. It normally occurs in obese animals housed in wire-bottomed cages or abrasive bedding. Areas of hyperkeratosis develop on the palmar and plantar surfaces of the feet, which then ulcerate and become infected with Staphylococcus aureus .
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General

Green Snake Tip

Green snakes, from the southeastern United States, adapt well to captivity if provided with a tropical jungle-type cage. These snakes get along well with other creatures (except insects, which they will eat), and are most comfortable in woodland settings. Mist the cage and plants daily with a water bottle, as some green snakes will only drink water droplets off branches.
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General

Fischer's Chameleon Tip

The attractive Fischer's chameleons, originally from Madagascar, are insectivorous lizards. In captivity, they will feed primarily on crickets. Other insects that you can offer include waxworms, flies, mealworms, super worms and grasshoppers. For tiny baby chameleons, aphids and fruit flies are good foods, but you'll need to keep them in a cage small enough to let them catch their food.
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General

Choosing a Clydesdale

The Clydesdale horse is probably best known as the regal equine from Budweiser beer commercials. But the Clydesdale was originally used as a heavy draft horse in its native Scotland. Despite his imposing size, the Clydesdale is quite docile and gentle. Loved throughout the world, the Clydesdale has an air of elegance and great strength.
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General

Painted Turtle Tip

Native painted turtles like quiet, shallow water and plenty of aquatic vegetation for shelter and food. These turtles like to lay in the sun, and will often pile several deep in a choice spot on a streamside snag to take advantage of the sun's rays. These aquatic turtles will need as large a swimming area as possible in captivity.
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General

Sugar Glider Training Tip

The first step in training your sugar glider is to establish a trusting bond through positive reinforcement. Reward good behavior with a treat. Some favorites are nuts, especially slivered almonds, raisins and cereal. Gliders do what they want to do, and pretend not to hear you if you want them to do something they're not interested in doing.
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General

Tips on Showing Your Rabbit

The American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) encourages the showing of pure breed and pedigreed rabbits, but rabbits do not have to be pure breed or pedigreed to be shown. A casual show exhibitor can have as much fun in a rabbit show as a serious competitor. Each breed has a different point distribution on different parts of the rabbit: (a) general type, which includes body, head, ears, eyes, feet/legs, and tail; (b) fur/wool, which includes the texture, length and density; (c) color/marking and (d) condition.
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General

Why the Budweiser Clydesdales Always Look Great

Joe Ortega and his "beauty shop" crew have standing daily appointments - shampoos, trims, French braids, the whole works - for some very big show biz clients. How big are they? About seven feet tall and 2,000 pounds - and they're furry. Not the typical beauty salon customer. But when you're a Budweiser Clydesdale, you've always got to look your best.
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General

Tips on Weighing Your Small Mammal

Small pets can be difficult to weigh. Small mammal such as guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, gerbils, etc. are best weighed on a small postage scale or packing scale. Place a small disposable plastic bowl on the scale and 'zero' the scale. The small pet can then be placed in the bowl and weighed. Be careful not to let your little critter escape or fall.
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General

Tips on Hedgehog Fun

Your hedgehog will enjoy playing with cardboard boxes and toilet paper tubes. Slit the toilet paper tubes down the side so that your pet does not get stuck in it. Solid rubber balls, rawhide chew toys, and semi-indestructible children's toys are also fun. Large wheels can also be fun but line them with strips of vinyl, duct-tape, or plastic needlepoint mesh to prevent your hedgehog from putting his leg through it while he is running.
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General

When Your Bird's Sick and You Don't Know It

A young couple acquires a juvenile umbrella cockatoo from a local breeder. A few weeks later the bird acts sluggish, doesn't want to eat and starts vomiting. A visit to a veterinarian reveals an advanced yeast infection - but with appropriate medical care the bird recovers. The breeder says it isn't his problem.
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General

Tips on Biting Horses

Biting is serious business. When he nips at you or tries to bite, tell him "No!" in a firm tone of voice and jerk the lead rope. Be ready to block him with your elbow if he tries to bite. Hold your fist up near his mouth so as he swings his head around to bite, he bangs into your knuckles. When your horse acts like he's ready to bite, have him do something incompatible with biting, such as back up or bow on command.
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General

Venomous Snake Tip

Members of the pit viper family, rattlesnakes, copperheads and water moccasins, have broad triangular heads. Non-venomous snakes have narrow rounded heads. Pit vipers have elliptical shaped pupils and prominent curving fangs. Also, pit vipers have a deep pit located between the nostril and the eye, thus the term "pit viper.
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General

Tips on Spooked Horses

The best approach is to redirect your horse's attention by changing his focus. Direct him to move his feet. Turn him to the right, walk him forward, turn him to the left, urge him to take a few steps backward. The instant your horse starts to relax, pet him and tell him what a good boy he is. This way you reward his bravery, not his spooking.
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General

Tips on Preventing Stall Chewing

Use creosote or an anti-crib liquid to make wood less appetizing to your horse. Or mix up your own concoction of cayenne pepper and petroleum jelly. Don't leave racks or wooden feeders that your horse can get hold of. Keep the top of the gate closed and cover the edges of the stall with metal trim. If your horse is cribbing out of boredom, turn him out more frequently or for longer periods to allow him to exercise.
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