Help! My Ferret is Balding!

ferret alopecia

ferret alopeciaHelp! My Ferret is Balding!

Hair loss in people and pets is also known as Alopecia. That is a partial or complete loss of hair in an area where it is normally present. This is a common disorder in ferrets and will often develop starting as early as 3 years old.

Alopecia can be a symptom of an underlying health issue. The type of hair loss, and the way in which it develops, can be an indicator of the cause.

Large and diffused hair loss – This can be due to metabolic conditions or folliculardysplasi, which is a genetic condition.

Patchy hair loss – This can be a result of a bacterial or parasitic infection. It can be sudden or progress slowly.

Causes

  • Adrenal Disease
  • Cancer
  • Hormone Imbalnace
  • Immune disorders
  • Allergic reactions
  • Bacterial infections
  • Parasites
  • Nutritional problems

To diagnose the ferret with alopecia, your veterinarian will first want to rule out other causes for the ferret’s hair loss such as skin cancer and hormone imbalance. Then, depending on the underlying cause, your veterinarian will conduct a series of examinations to confirm the diagnosis. This may include blood and chemistry analysis to test for anemia, infection or hormone and steroid imbalance.

Treatment

Your vet will need to examine your ferret to identify what is causing the hair loss. A course of treatment will be recommended based on those findings. If it is cancer, then surgery may be needed. However, it could be something as simple as parasites. In which case, you treat the parasites and will usually be given a cream for their skin.

The best prevention is making sure your ferret is healthy. Give them their annual checkup. Make sure to keep up with parasite prevention. Give them a good well balanced diet. Reduce stress and anxiety by playing with them.

 

If your ferret has hair loss, bring them into the vet for an evaluation.

Caring For Your Pet Tortoise

Turtle Albuquerque

As a kid, you remember dreading it whenever your teachers would make you spell the word “tortoise”. Growing up though, you have developed an unexpected affinity towards this huge and slow-moving animal. Big pets such as tortoises suddenly tickle your fancy, as you can’t help but daydream about having a tortoise right in your living room. If you seriously want to have a tortoise for a pet, do think about the following aspects of caring for it:

Diet

Tortoise

Different breeds of tortoises normally have different dietary needs. Your best bet would be to ask the pet store owner or breeder as to what staple food you should give your pet tortoise. As a general rule though, most baby tortoises thrive on a staple diet of mixed leafy greens. An example is the commercially available “Spring Mix”.

Supplements

Just like any bona-fide bodybuilder, tortoises need to be given supplements to cover any nutritional deficiencies in their diet. In particular, babies need to be given calcium supplements to help with the development of their shells and bones. The dosage, though, will vary depending on the tortoise’s species. In this case, it’s still best to err on the “less” side of things. It would put the tortoise’s health at a huge risk if we become too “supplement-happy”.

Indoor shelter

Once again, a tortoise’s environment varies from species to species. To keep your pet tortoise happy and healthy, give it both indoor and outdoor housing. For its indoor shelter, be sure to give it a vivarium. It has to be big enough to give your pet room to move. It likewise has to be warm enough. Inside the vivarium, install a UVA/UVB lamp to keep your tortoise nice and warm. Also set aside some space for sleeping and hiding.

Outdoor shelter

Since your pet tortoise might get a bit too depressed when indoors all the time, you do need to take it outdoors once in a while. For its outdoor housing, it also has to be roomy and warm. You should be sure your pet is protected from other animals. Make sure its pen is roofed, as tortoises are notorious climbers.

A doghouse could work. Inside the pen, provide your pet with a container with shallow water, and make sure there are no poisonous plants or tiny, sharp objects which your pet may accidentally ingest.

So to recap:

  • Most baby tortoises thrive on a staple diet of mixed leafy greens (“Spring Mix”) but do ask the pet store owner what your specific breed eats
  • Most baby tortoises need to be given calcium supplements to help with the development of their shells and bones
  • Tortoises need both indoor and outdoor housing (Keep them happy)
  • Make sure there’s always a container with shallow water in both of the shelters!

Having a tortoise for a pet is truly exciting, and it will sure be the hot topic among your friends. Give your pet the care it needs, and you will establish a meaningful relationship with it for quite a long time.

If you have any questions about the health of your tortoise please contact your vet.

Featured images:

By Jessy Troy

Jessy Troy is the blogger at DIY Gadgets collecting craft ideas and upcycling projects

Your Turtle Can Have an Unhealthy Shell!

Turtle Albuquerque

Turtle AlbuquerqueDid you know your turtle can have an unhealthy shell?

We don’t often think about the health of a turtle’s shell. We usually think of it as their home they tuck their heads inside. However, it is a growing part of their body and can have health problems that need to be looked out for.

1. Pyramiding

Most turtles have rounded shells. Some may have a small peak in the middle. However, pyramiding refers to unusual peaks appearing on the shell. This is usually caused from prolonged malnutrition or lack of UV light. Once your turtle has pyramiding, you cannot repair the shell damage. However, through proper nutrition and lighting you can make sure it does not continue to happen.

2. Shell Rot

Shell rot is exactly what it sounds like. It is when the turtle’s shell starts to rot. Overtime it will have the look of rotting fruit, pits in the shell and a smell. It is caused by a bacterial infection due to dirty beading or water. If left untreated, it will cause the shell scales to completely fall off and expose the bone beneath. This needs to be treated with aggressive antibiotics. If you suspect shell rot, contact your exotic vet immediately.

3. Shedding

Shedding scutes, aka. shell scales, is normal. However, if your turtle is shedding scutes and you see the bone beneath, then they likely have an infection. You will need to get this evaluated by your exotic vets and treat with antibiotics.