Rodents might be small, but they are resilient animals. Many live long lives without enduring severe health problems, but some rodents do suffer from health issues throughout their lives. Let’s take a look at some of the most common ones.
1. Respiratory Problems
Sometimes, rodents exhibit wheezing and excessive sneezing. This is a sign of distress and it can cause permanent damage to the rodent’s respiratory system. If you notice loud breathing or constant sneezing in your rodent, it could cause bronchitis, pneumonia and a variety of other lung problems. There is an organism in the respiratory tract of rats called mycoplasma. It is dormant but it has the potential to cause infections. While you can’t stop your rat’s mycoplasma from causing infections, you can prevent respiratory problems by maintaining a dust free environment and keeping your home’s temperature at a comfortable level.
2. Eye And Nose Discharges
If your rodent’s eyes aren’t clear and bright but foggy and discharging a reddish fluid, he is likely ill. His mucus membranes are releasing porphyrin because he is either sick or stressed. You can also tell if he is stressed by monitoring his nose. If it is constantly moist and discharges any red porphyrin, his health is suffering. Consider what environmental factors could be causing the stress. If you have your home’s temperature too low during the day while you are at work, increase it to a more tolerable level. Clear your rodent’s living space of dust, dirt and urine and feces.
3. Skin Problems
If your rodent is constantly itching himself and has scabs or lesions, he might be suffering from the presence of parasites like mites. Skin scabs can be caused by food allergies and dietary issues. Show the lesions to a veterinarian to determine what causes them. His skin might break out when he consumes food with nuts, artificial additives and coloring agents. To prevent parasites, maintain a clean living environment. If you rodent has mites, obtain a pesticide like Ivermectin for treatment.
Rodents can experience infections that result in serious illnesses if exposed to bacteria. You’ll be clued in on the possibility of an infection if your rodent exhibits abnormal behavior, becomes ill or has abscesses. To prevent infections, treat your rodent’s wounds right away if he suffers from a traumatic experience like a fight with another rodent. These wounds can be easily infected with bacteria. Also, a balanced diet, clean housing and frequent visits to the vet will help prevent infections.
Rodents can become excessively fat as they age. If your rodent is idle for most of the day and eats too much, there’s a good chance that he’ll become obese. As a result, he’ll live a shorter life and he might suffer from accompanying health issues. To prevent rodent obesity, don’t feed him a diet that is high in fat. Feed him a diet that is specifically tailored to his age and his level of physical activity. Don’t give your rodent too many treats because he might eventually turn up his nose at his regular food and only want to eat fattening snacks.