Pet rodents make up a small but significant part of the caseload in small animal veterinary practice. Skin disease is a frequent reason for presentation, as it is easily noticed by the owner, even in species that are not regularly handled. Particular problems encountered with the diagnosis and treatment of skin disease in rodents include the stress of handling and restraint, the need for sedation or general anaesthesia to obtain diagnostic samples, problems using some topical medications because of fastidious grooming habits, lack of availability of licensed drug preparations, and adverse effects of certain drugs, particularly antibiotics. This article describes the common skin conditions seen in rodents, and outlines the treatment options for each.
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