My pocket pet is sick. What should I do?

Loss of appetite, unusual lethargy, diarrhea, self-imposed isolation, wounds, hair patches, and problems in breathing are the most common symptoms of illness in small animals. If you notice these symptoms in your animal, bring your pet to a local vet for appropriate medication. Make sure the veterinarian specializes on care of small animals.

Most illnesses are indirectly caused by poor hygiene, so make sure the enclosure and equipment are thoroughly clean. Urine left unwashed leads to ammonia build up, which causes respiratory tract damage. This, in turn, makes your pet highly susceptible to infection. Wash the cage, food bowls, and litter box with bleach solution, then let them dry thoroughly before adding fresh bedding. Wrap a heating pad in a towel then place it on one side of the cage to keep your pet warm.

Ailing pets need proper hydration to recover quickly. Add a little sugar to the water to make it more appealing to your pet. If your pet is suffering from diarrhea, consult your veterinarian on how to replace lost water.

If your pet refuses food or shows sign of weight loss, sweet/ sweetened high calorie foods, such as sweetened oat meal or milk-soaked bread crusts, may do the trick.

Never use medication without consulting your veterinarian. If you need to administer syringe-based or eyedropper-based medication, measure the medicine properly. Stabilize or immobilize your pet by grasping the scruff with thumb and forefinger. If this doesn't keep him still, wrap him in a towel, then force the syringe into his mouth. Don't release your pet until he has swallowed the whole dose.



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