Protecting rodents' paws from pododermatitis: how to choose a filler?


Every hamster, rabbit, kitty rat, guinea pig and chinchilla deserves happiness and comfortable living conditions.
Pododermatitis is a disease that affects the musculoskeletal system and skin of a rodent. It often occurs due to the owner’s ignorance and due to improper care of the animal.

What happens in your pet's body when this disease develops? In the hind (a little less often, the front) limbs, the blood supply is weakened, which after a certain time leads to ischemia and tissue necrosis. An infection is added, penetrates into the deeper layers of tissue, and thus the course of pododermatitis is further aggravated by osteomyelitis and sepsis. The unfortunate sick rodent suffers from severe pain and loses the ability to move. Lack of movement further slows down the blood supply to the extremities. It turns out to be such a painful vicious circle. How to break it (or better yet, prevent it)?

Causes of the disease

To do this, we will need to consider all the factors influencing the occurrence of pododermatitis in small furry pets.

The causes of the disease include:
► excess weight of the rodent (owners, do not overfeed your pets!). The base of the fragile legs bears a large load;
Causes of pododermatitis ► genetics: nothing can be done about it. Just know that some breeds of decorative rabbits, especially those with short hair on their legs, are much more likely to develop pododermatitis;
► claws. It is necessary to trim claws that are too long, because otherwise the pet, when moving, is forced to place its paws incorrectly, as a result of which the weight is incorrectly distributed;
► hygiene – no one has canceled it. Failure to maintain cleanliness and order, a humid environment in a rodent’s cage leads to the proliferation of pathogenic bacteria and microbes that can lead to inflammation and infection of tissues;
► excessive/prolonged pressure on the paws. Even such a factor as a small pet staying on a hard and flat surface for a long time already increases the risk of being overcome by the disease. Yes, every rodent owner needs to understand how delicate and sensitive the paws of these animals are;
► and finally: rough bedding in the cage. A hard and rough surface injures the pet’s limbs, which means it must be urgently replaced with a softer and safer one.

Symptoms of pododermatitis: how does the disease develop?

If you are attentive to your little furry friend, you can see the very first signals that the rodent’s health has deteriorated. First, inspect his paws. If you see that the skin on them is thickened, reddened, roughened and loses hair, this may be a harbinger of pododermatitis.
In the future, if no measures are taken, the skin becomes covered with abscesses (abscesses) and small ulcers. A plaque of pus also appears because an infection is attached to the wound.

The rodent's mood, of course, also changes. Who enjoys living with pain in their paws? The little pet becomes very restless, but strangely enough, instead of fussing and nervously running around the cage, he moves less and less, eats almost nothing and is losing weight before our eyes.
If you continue to let everything take its course, tissue necrosis develops in the affected areas of the skin of the extremities.

The result of neglect of the disease may be a veterinarian’s decision to completely amputate the pet’s legs. This is done so that the animal does not suffer from symptoms of painful paws (pododermatitis) excruciating pain in the very late stages of the development of pododermatitis. So, dear rodent owners, respond to health problems of your little friends in a timely manner!

How to treat pododermatitis?

► First, the cause of the disease must be determined. There may even be several of them.
And only after this, it is necessary to take appropriate measures to restore the pet’s health: offer the animal food in smaller portions to reduce excess weight; replace the bedding material that irritates the delicate skin of the paws with a completely different one; boost your furry’s immunity by choosing a suitable vitamin and mineral complex, etc.

► It is important to contact a veterinarian (especially if the disease is not detected immediately). An experienced specialist will prescribe the necessary treatment, medications, procedures, and possibly advise solving the existing problem surgically.

► At home, you will need to carefully treat the wounds daily, and after that, apply bandages soaked in ointment with an antibacterial effect.

How to treat pododermatitis in rodents? By the way, a consultation with a veterinarian is also necessary to find out: not all antibacterial drugs can be used to treat rodents. The doctor will provide you with a list of suitable medications specifically for your furry.
But, of course, we cannot help but remind you: it is best to prevent the occurrence of such an unpleasant disease than to try to cure it later. Timely preventive measures will allow you to maintain the health of your rodent.

How to choose the right litter for a rodent?

Let us once again draw your attention to the choice of linen filler. It must perform all its functions and at the same time be absolutely safe for the paws of your hamster, rabbit, degu, etc. So, here is a list of requirements for an ideal filler for rodent cages: ► high ability to absorb moisture; ► softness to the paws; ► you can dig a hole or tunnel in it; ► made from natural materials that are harmless to animals and humans. Congratulations, you are now fully equipped! Whoever owns information owns the world, and also raises healthy pets. The online pet supply store is also ready to offer you other products for rodents: food, treats, cages, toys, vitamins and much more. We wish you good health!

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