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Companion Animal Practice
Skin diseases of rodents
  1. Anna Meredith

    Anna Meredith graduated from Cambridge in 1991. She is a senior lecturer and head of the Exotic Animal and Wildlife Unit at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh, which she joined in 1992. She is a recognised RCVS specialist in zoo and wildlife medicine, and is a past recipient of the BSAVA Blaine Award. She is currently completing a PhD in wildlife disease. She holds an MA in physiological sciences from Oxford.


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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