Google Maps location for Jimboomba Veterinary Surgery

Jimboomba Veterinary Surgery
1/10 Euphemia St
QLD 4280

1800 217 794
07 5546 9079

Pocket Pets

Part of enjoying our rural lifestyle and raising our families in this great area, is owning small pets, also known as "Pocket Pets".  Not only are they cute and interesting companions for adults, but they are hardy and easily maintained pets to help teach children about responsible pet keeping.   Pocket Pets can be kept economically and as long as their health and nutritional needs are met will provide your family with years of joy.

JVS has put together a number of "must knows" for keeping the most common pocket pets.

Rats & Mice

Life Span: 1-3 Years (Mice) 2-4 Years (Rats)

Sexual Maturity: 7-8 weeks (Mice) 4-5 weeks (Rats)

Litter Size: 6-12 "Pups" per litter

Housing: Mice and Rats should be housed in a metal or glass house (to avoid chewing and possible poisoning).  As they suffer from respiratory conditions, shredded newspaper or cloth is the best bedding.


Rats and mice are easy to take care of and we recommend commercial pelleted food for rats to ensure they have nutrional balance. You can supplement their diet with small amounts of fruit and vegetables (no onions, citrus or potato).


Heat! Rodents can suffer heatstroke in temps exceeding just 30 degrees Celsius, so experts recommend housing them indoors during summer.  If this isn't possible, then fanning or putting in blocks of ice wrapped in toweling is suggested.

Respiratory Disease - caused by a variety of of agents and bacteria and also from environmental stresses.  Signs to look out for are abnormal breathing sounds, shortness of breath, weight loss, sneezing or runny nose (rhinits), and eventually a "hunched up" position.   JVS can treat this if treated early enough.  All pet rats are susceptible to this and can be fatal if left untreated.

Lice, Mites and Fleas.  Yep mice and rats suffer from these pesky creatures too!  You might notice them "digging" like a dog to scratch them, or you might even be able to see them.  Cleaning the environment regularly will help reduce the overall risk, but treatment is available.  Topical drops (the same as those used on dogs and cats) are available at JVS to use on your pet rats and mice.  Just come on in and we will help you with the dosage.


























Guinea Pigs

These are probably our most common of pocket pets and offer owners a variety of colours, sizes and temperaments!!  Some of you may know them as "Cavies" and are known for their docile personalities and for being quiet and clean around the home.

Life Span: 5-6 years

Sexual Maturity: 2-3 months

Litter size: 1-13, however 2-4 is more common

Housing: Guinea Pigs need well ventilated housing so ensure that the housing you have has mesh up high to allow the ammonia produced by their urine can escape and not endanger your cavie.  Over crowding can be a risk also especially in Queensland's high temperatures during Spring and Summer.  Bedding needs to be plentiful as Guinea Pigs need somewhere to hide when startled.  Shredded newspaper is best to minimise respiratory irritants.


 Feeding Guinea Pigs a pre made pelleted food is recommended to ensure all their nutritional needs are being met.  Most of these pellets will have the required amount of Vitamin C as this is very important and more so with pregnant does.  However prolonged storage may reduce the vitamin C content, so you need to replace with a supplement.  If Guinea Pigs get low on Vitamin C, they will suffer from Scurvy, the same as humans...  the symptoms of which include weakness, lack of energy, difficulty walking, subcutaneous bleeding, rough coat, diarrhoea and eventually death.  If you suspect your cavie has any of these symptoms, best to call JVS straight away on 07 55469540.


Vitamin C Deficiency - discussed above.

Gastro-Intestinal disturbances resulting in diarrhoea and weight loss are quite common in Guinea Pigs. This can be caused by Coccidiosis or Salmonella.  Risk can be reduced by regularly cleaning cages with hospital grade disinfectant, not feeding old or rotten food and by isolating immediately any Guinea Pigs that show signs of illness.  Ring JVS for a consult if you have a Guinea Pig with diarrhoea.

Malocclusion - This just means the misalignment or mismatching of the teeth between the two teeth "arches".  This can happen in Guinea Pigs due to their teeth being open rooted and continuously growing.  If one tooth is damaged or impacted, this can cause the misalignment or mismatching and may need veterinary intervention.  Signs of this are drooling saliva profusely or the cavie will stop eating altogether.

Skin Complaints - From itchy skin, to hair loss through to abscesses and wounds, Guinea Pigs suffer them.  The most common ailment we see at JVS with Cavies is itchy and balding skin.  Commonly this is caused by a type of mite that live deep within the skin.  They can be missed in a skin scraping and possibly misdiagnosed, so always bring your pet in for a consult, however, just like rats and mice, JVS has topical drops and medicated washes that can assist with this condition and one of our Veterinarians will work out an effective and affordable plan to get your Guinea Pig back on track.

Respiratory disease is again common in cavies.  Difficulty breathing, abnormal breathing sounds, depression, weight loss, sneezing, nasal discharge and inappetence are all signs we need to see your pet.