top of page
Cute Bunny

Pocket Pets & Other Exotics

FUN PUN: What do rabbits eat for breakfast? IHOP.

The Erindale Advantage


At Erindale Animal Hospital, we offer emergency and standard care for pocket pets including rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, rats, mice, guinea pigs, chinchillas, ferrets, and hedgehogs. We can also care for other exotic pets like miniature and potbellied pigs. Dr. Vivienne Jones has two decades of experience in caring for pocket pets and exotics.  When you bring your pocket pet to Erindale we will promptly examine and care for sick pocket pets as they can deteriorate very quickly.

In addition to general and emergency care for pocket pets and exotics, we also offer advanced dentistry and oral surgery for pocket pets and exotics. Dr. Jones has trained in advanced dentistry, extraction, and oral surgery for rabbits and rodents in British Columbia supervised by Drs. Vittorio Capello and Margherita Gracis.


Regular examinations of pockets pets can detect early signs of  disease, dental problems, infections, as well as monitor any behavioural or physical changes. Regular consultations help to educate owners in the proper care and nutrition for their beloved family members. We recommend an exam schedule based on the pet and dental checks in order to keep your pocket pet in the best health possible. For example, ferrets benefit from annual examinations, vaccinations specifically chosen based on their lifestyle, and routine dental exams. Ferrets are prone to ingestion of foreign objects, as well as specific types of cancers, where early identification is of the utmost importance.


Prompt emergency care for pocket pets can be crucial as their health deteriorates very quickly when sick. If your pet stops eating, appears lethargic, or has difficulty breathing please give us a call right away. We will admit your pet, examine them immediately after they arrive, and give them care that they need. 

Spay and Neuter

Spaying or neutering pockets pets, like with dogs and cats, can improve their quality of life by decreasing the risk for disease and reducing unwanted behaviour like destructive chewing, aggression, and biting. For example, unspayed female rabbits, have a high likelihood of developing uterine cancer, and unneutered male ferrets have a strong body order and they may be more aggressive.

Dental and Oral Health

Regular dental check are recommended for early identification and treatment of problems, earlier treatment is often less extensive and expensive. Rodent species like rabbits, rats, mice, chinchillas, guinea pigs, gerbils, and hamsters have teeth that grow continuously throughout their lifetime. Malocclusion, or teeth that do not line up due to uneven wear, is often seen in these animals and is usually corrected by filing or grinding down the teeth while under anesthesia. If left untreated, overgrown teeth can cause trauma to their sensitive cheeks and tongue, leading to inflammation, pain, appetite loss, and even infection. Ferrets do not have teeth that grow continuously, however they may also require dental treatments that include cleaning and potentially extraction of abscessed teeth. Additionally, dental problems in pocket pets can often be prevented through proper nutrition, diet, the use of toys, and regular dental check ups.


Internal and external parasites can infect pocket pets and are treated through the use of medication and other treatment. Common signs of external parasites in pocket pets are increased scratching and itching, loss of hair, skin lesions, and excessive skin flaking. Internal parasites can cause gastrointestinal distress, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, and lethargy. Please come in to see us right away if you observe any of these symptoms.

Husbandry and Habitat

Each different type of pocket pet has slightly different diet and nutrition requirements. We advise you research the environmental needs of  your companion thoroughly, or talk to us before getting your pet so they have a good start in their new forever home. 

For pocket pets diet, husbandry, and habitat are essential for health and happiness. Caged pets require sufficient space to move around and stand upright and in some cases such as chinchilla's place to hide, sleep and vertical space for climbing and jumping. Pocket pets also require mental stimulation through size and species appropriate toys, frequent playtimes, social or human interactions, and hiding places. 


In order to prevent overgrowth of the nails into paw pads of guinea pigs, rabbits, hamster, gerbils, and other exotics, regular nail trims are recommended. Nail trims can also prevent possible nail breakage. Feel free to ask us for a nail trim demo! 

bottom of page