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Gastrointestinal Disease in Exotic Small Mammals

Huynh, Minh, Pignon, Charly
Journal of exotic pet medicine 2013 v.22 no.2 pp. 118-131
Clostridium difficile, Coronavirinae, Helicobacter mustelae, Taenia taeniaeformis, biomedical research, coccidiosis, diagnostic techniques, digestive tract, emerging diseases, ferrets, gastritis, guinea pigs, hamsters, humans, inflammatory bowel disease, liver, lymphoma, medicine, patients, rabbits, rats, small mammals, veterinarians, veterinary clinics, volvulus
Exotic small mammal medicine is a relatively new specialty area within veterinary medicine. Ferrets, rabbits, and rodents have long been used as animal models in human medical research investigations, resulting in a body of basic anatomic and physiologic information that can be used by veterinarians treating these species. Unfortunately, there is a paucity of veterinary articles that describe clinical presentation, diagnosis, and treatment options of gastrointestinal (GI) disease as it affects exotic small mammals. Although there is little reference material relating to exotic small mammal GI disease, patients are commonly presented to veterinary hospitals with digestive tract disorders. This article provides the latest information available for GI disease in ferrets (Helicobacter mustelae gastritis, inflammatory bowel disease [IBD], GI lymphoma, systemic coronavirus, coccidiosis, and liver disease), rabbits (GI motility disorders, liver lobe torsion, astrovirus, and coccidiosis), guinea pigs (gastric dilatation volvulus [GDV]), rats (Taenia taeniaeformis), and hamsters (Clostridium difficile). Both noninfectious diseases and emerging infectious diseases are reviewed as well as the most up-to-date diagnostics and treatment options.