Small mammals

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**Important notice for rabbit owners**

The Greater Sydney Local Land Services have advised that a wild rabbit control program will commence in the Greater Sydney area from mid-February to late March 2017 and will include the release of Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV-K5), a rabbit calicivirus K5 strain. Learn more.

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All pets need to visit the vet for a check up once a year at a minimum to ensure preventable diseases are caught early.

In particular, it is important that rabbits receive an annual calicivirus vaccguinea-pigs-2ination to prevent them contracting the potentially deadly calicivirus.

In addition to annual health checks, you should also get your pet to the vet as soon as possible if it exhibits physical or behavioural changes. Identifying these however, can be tricky with small mammals as in the wild, signs of weakness can make them more susceptible to predation.

Physical or behavioural changes to look out for include:

  • change in feeding habits especially increased water consumption or decreased food consumption
  • change in the frequency, colour and/or consistency of urine or faeces
  • lethargy
  • tooth grinding
  • very hot or cold ears
  • runny eyes or nose
  • difficulty breathing or excessive sneezing
  • drooling or hair loss on the chin or neck
  • loss of balance, poor coordination or head tilting
  • biting or growling
  • excessive scratching
  • changes to fur or skin including scaly, dry or flaky skin or patches of missing fur
  • lumps or bumps, blisters, scabs or bruises
  • paralysis.

If your pet is showing any of the signs above you should get them to the vet as soon as possible.

Click on the links below to see more information on:

For more important information about the care and treatment of rabbits, guinea pigs and ferrets please see our factsheets: