Rodents: biology and husbandry

image of Rodents: biology and husbandry
Online Access: £ 25.00 + VAT
BSAVA Library Pass Buy a pass


There is an increasing trend for keeping rodents as pets and correspondingly high client expectation that their pet will receive quality veterinary care. As such it is important for the veterinary surgeon in practice to have up-to-date knowledge when dealing with this mammal group. The aim of this chapter is to outline some of the basic biological, anatomical and physiological features of rodents and give information on their basic housing, nutrition, reproduction and preventative healthcare.

Preview this chapter:
Loading full text...

Full text loading...



Image of 1.3
1.3 Flank glands on a Syrian hamster.
Image of 1.4
1.4 Normal ventral scent gland in a Djungarian or Russian dwarf hamster. (Courtesy of Hannah Orr.)
Image of 1.5
1.5 Ventral abdominal scent gland in a gerbil. Note also the obvious testicles in this male.
Image of 1.6
1.6 Large seminiferous vesicles in a guinea pig on post-mortem examination.
Image of 1.7
1.7 Hooded rat.
Image of 1.9
1.9 Golden hamster, wild-type coloration. (© Thomas Kent, National Hamster Council.)
Image of 1.10
1.10 Russian Dwarf Campbell hamsters. (© Rosie Ray, National Hamster Council.)
Image of 1.11
1.11 Roborovski hamster.
Image of 1.12
1.12 Chinese hamster. (© Alex Eames, National Hamster Council.)
Image of 1.13
1.13 Agouti or wild-type colour variety of gerbil.
Image of 1.14
1.14 English or American guinea pig. Note the short hair coat. (Courtesy of BA Innes, Oatridge College.)
Image of 1.15
1.15 Abyssinian guinea pig. Note the rosetted hair coat.
Image of 1.16
1.16 Peruvian guinea pig. Note the long hair coat.
Image of 1.17
1.17 Black velvet colour variety of chinchilla. (Courtesy of BA Innes, Oatridge College.)
Image of 1.18
1.18 Degu showing natural coloration. (Courtesy of BA Innes, Oatridge College.)
Image of 1.19
1.19 Obesity is common in rats.
Image of 1.20
1.20 Plastic cage housing with linking-tube systems for hamsters.
Image of 1.21
1.21 ‘Gerbilarium’.
Image of 1.22
1.22 Typical guinea pig housing.
Image of 1.24
1.24 Male rat: note long anogenital distance and obvious testicles. Female rat: note short anogenital distance and visible nipples.
Image of 1.25
1.25 Male hamster viewed from above, showing rounded perineum and obvious testicular bulges.
Image of 1.26
1.26 Female hamster with characteristic post-ovulatory vaginal discharge. Note that this is normal in this species.
Image of 1.27
1.27 Male guinea pig: note round preputial orifice and obvious scrotum. Female guinea pig: note Y-shaped anogenital area.
Image of 1.28
1.28 Male chinchilla: note large anogenital distance and lack of obvious scrotum. Female chinchilla: note short anogenital distance.
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error