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Signs Of Sickness In Pocket Pets

November 14, 2023

Do you have a smaller pet, such as a Guinea pig, gerbil, or hamster? These little guys may never be as popular as dogs and cats, but they are actually more common than you may think. They make wonderful children’s pets, and are also becoming quite popular for those who live in small spaces. Of course, just like any other animal, they need good care to thrive. Part of that entails keeping an eye out for signs of illness. Many of the health problems that smaller animals face can be resolved through medicine and/or veterinary care, but only if they are addressed promptly. A Maui, HI vet lists some warning signs that your pet

Changes In Appetite

It’s almost always a red flag when an animal loses interest in food. This is true of little furballs, too. It can be harder to gauge what a tiny animal is eating, so try to feed your little buddy at the same time every day. 

Respiratory Issues

Open-mouthed breathing, squeaking, wheezing, coughing, gasping, drooling, and panting are all signs that a pet needs immediate care. 

Behavioral Changes

Keep an eye out for shifts in your pet’s natural character and habits. While some of our furry pals are naturally shy, others are quite sociable. If your pint-sized friend suddenly starts acting listless, withdrawn, and/or lethargic, there may be something wrong. This is particularly worrisome with pets that live with their buddies and are normally sociable.

Visible Injuries

Hopefully this one goes without saying, but obvious signs of illness or injury mean your little buddy needs immediate care. These include things like limping, swelling, wounds, tail injuries, and lameness.

Changes In Appearance

You’ll also want to watch for changes in your pocket pet’s physical appearance. These may include things like hair loss, lumps or bumps, or skin problems. Discharge from the eyes, mouth, nose, or nether regions is also a sign that something is wrong. Sunken eyes are a red flag as well. 


It’s also important to do some research about the your specific type of pet, as some warning signs vary from animal to animal. For instance, bunnies may grind their teeth if they don’t feel well. They may also vocalize differently. Do some reading about your furry little friend, and ask your vet for more information.

Do you have questions about your pocket pet’s health or care? Please reach out to us anytime. As your local Maui, HI pet hospital, we’re here for you!

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