Learn the signs of small furry pet emergencies with our head nurse Caroline.

August 21, 2020

Hamsters, guinea pigs, and other small furries spend most of their time pottering around and sleeping in the safety of their hutch or cage. So how do they get themselves into situations requiring first aid? Head nurse Caroline Mills explains some of the reasons your small furry pet might need a trip to the vets this summer for first aid.

Download our Signs & Symptoms Quiz

Obvious signs & symptoms that require veterinary first aid include:

  • Bleeding that doesn’t stop after a few minutes
  • Skeletal injuries
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty breathing

Call 01621 828381 if your pet needs emergency veterinary care

There are, however, some less obvious signs & symptoms of small furry pet health emergencies, that you need to be looking out for this season.

Weight loss, stress & difficulty breathing – Just like larger family pets, hamsters, guinea pigs, and other small furries can become stressed in the heat and suffer from dehydration. Make sure their enclosure is shaded from the summer sun, has plenty of air surrounding it, and they are drinking from their water bottle or bowl.

Vomiting, diarrhoea & collapse – Not all fruits, nuts, vegetables, and treats are safe for small furries. For example, tomato leaves, almonds, avocado, potatoes, onion, garlic, chocolate, and apple seeds are toxic to hamsters. Always check before giving new foods to your pet to avoid poisoning.

Swollen, red & itchy eyes – Small pets enjoy a good rummage in their food bowl and sawdust or hay, which can result in seeds and other debris getting stuck in their eyes.

Loss of appetite, weight loss & depression – These symptoms could be a sign of dental problems. Some small furry pets struggle to keep their teeth at a manageable length through diet and gnawing alone. Long and misshapen teeth can hinder eating and drinking, which can quickly become dangerous for them.

Fur loss, red/flaky skin & dandruff, open wounds, scabby patches, weight loss, dull coat, itching, suddenly biting you, and a v-shaped area of chewed fur down the back – one or more of these could be a sign of parasitic skin issues, some of which can be life-threatening if left untreated.

It’s important to remember that when it comes to first aid for hamsters, guinea pigs, and other small furry pets, the best thing you can do is contact your vet for advice.

Test your knowledge by downloading our Know Your Signs & Symptoms Quiz

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