What Causes Diarrhea in Exotic Pets?
As diarrhea is common in cats and dogs, so does it occur in exotic pets. Animals like hamsters, rabbits, turtles, and birds are generally prone to this condition. You may regularly see your exotic pet interacting normally in their enclosure and chewing with their nimble teeth when eating. If you’re a passionate owner of the mentioned animals, you’re fully aware when they exhibit signs of gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea.
So what are the common causes of this condition, and how can you stop it? Keep reading below to find out.
5 Leading Culprits of Diarrhea in Exotic Animals
A few symptoms can be worrying and even messy for pet owners when their exotic animals have diarrhea. Some notable signs to watch out for include excessive drooling, vomiting, watery and bloody stool, and complete loss of appetite. If your pet has been showing signs of the mentioned disease for more than a day, this is when it gets alarming and requires medical attention.
Here are five common culprits of diarrhea and their remedies to help ease your worries.
1. Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Although IBD is among common gastrointestinal disorders in humans, this condition is also present and being investigated in many kinds of animals, including exotic pets. The most common sign of inflammatory bowel disease is diarrhea and weight loss. Although there is no known remedy for the said condition, it can be managed with several medications and therapy to reduce inflammation.
Vets often prescribe antibiotics to rabbits with respiratory infections and hamsters with pneumonia, skin abscesses, and Tyzzer condition. However, these animals sometimes react negatively to antibiotic prescriptions, often resulting in diarrhea. So if your pet starts having watery or bloody diarrhea while being treated with antibiotics, take them to an avian vet immediately.
3. Changes in Diet
Improper diet is the most typical cause of diarrhea in exotic pets. If you have rabbits, turtles, or hamsters, you should never feed them processed foods not specifically designed for their digestive system. A bunny’s diet must consist of 80% grass hay, as they are herbivores. Hamsters should eat a compound pellet ration or a mixture of seeds (pumpkin, wheat, sesame, sunflower, corn kernels) to meet their nutritional needs.
If you want to try healthy alternatives, ensure that the food you’re feeding them is 100% safe for their health. Slowly introduce new foods to their diet to avoid upsetting their stomach. You can also ask the best vet in Alpharetta for healthier food options and recommended diets for your pet’s optimum health.
4. Parasitic Infections
Intestinal parasites are often found in animal stools and water sources. If your pet drinks contaminated water or eats their stool, they might consume parasitic cysts, which often lead to diarrhea and parasite infections. This usually happens to cats and dogs and can be treated by internal medicine vets. You may check their website to see common conditions they specialize in treating.
Worms in bunnies and protozoa in hamsters are common parasites that can cause diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems.
5. Dietary Indiscretion
Other reasons for gastrointestinal problems are overeating and feeding spoiled foods. While giving healthy food options to your exotic pet is great, overfeeding them may do more harm than good. Feed them moderate to average amounts of their recommended diet to prevent upset digestion and constipation.
Now that you know the causes of diarrhea in exotic pets, you can make quick adjustments in your home to alleviate their condition. If your exotic pet has a single bout of diarrhea and is acting normally, there is nothing to be worried about. However, if they’re lethargic, vomiting, rejecting food, or showing signs of weakness in 24-72 hours, veterinary care must be sought immediately to get them back in full health.