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What is the clinical significance of malocclusion in mice & rats?

interference with the animal's ability to eat

What is the clinical significance of vaginal plugs in mice & rats?

indicates only that sexual activity has occured

What is the clinical significance of barbering in mice & rats?

is a behavior problem were a dominant mouse/rat chews the whiskers or fur off its subordinate cagemates

What is the clinical significance of chromodacroyrrhea ("red tears") in mice & rats?

normal secretions from the Harderian gland that may increase when rats are ill or under stress

What is the clinical significance of ringtail in mice & rats?

due to low humidity environments

What is the specific etiology of murine mycoplasmosis (CRD)?

Mycoplasma pulmonis

What is the clinical signs of murine mycoplasmosis (CRD)?

sniffling, sneezing, squinting, coughing, red-brown tearing, labored respiration & rough haircoats

What does SDAV stand for?

Sialodacryoadenitis virus

What is the specific etiology of SDAV?


What is the clinical signs of SDAV?

squinting, blinking, bulging of the eyes, chromodacryorrhea

What is the specific etiology of Tyzzer's disease?

Clostridium piliforme

What is the clinical signs of Tyzzer's disease?

lethargy, diarrhea, rough haircoat, sudden death

What is the specific etiology of rat bite fever?

Streptobacillus moniliformis

What is the clinical signs of rat bite fever?

recurring fever, endocarditis, polyarthritis

How do you determine a mouse/rat is male?

longer anogenital distance

How do you determine a mouse/rat is female?

shorter anogenital distance

Why are mice popular for biomedical research?

Their popularity is due to their small size, they are inexpensive to purchase & maintain, & they are efficient breeders that can produce many generations of offspring in a short period of time.

What is the normal ambient temperature range for mice?


What is the normal ambient humidity range for mice?


What is the most common permanent method of identification for mice?

ear punching (ear notching)

What is the most common clinical sign of mousepox (ectromelia)?

swelling of the face & legs

What are the common internal parasites of mice?

tapeworms (Hymenolepis nana) & pinworms (Syphacia & Aspicularis)

What are the common external parasites of mice?

fur mites (Myobia & Myocoptes) & sucking lice (Polyplax serrata, the house mouse louse)

What is a common bacterial inhabitant of the respiratory tract of rats?

Bordetella bronchiseptica

What is the most common neoplasia of rats?

mammary fibroadenoma

What is the difference of rat tumors versus mice tumors?

Rats most likely develop BENIGN fibroadenomas of the mammary tissue whereas mice usually develop MALIGNANT metastatic adenocarcinomas of the mammary tissue.

What are some common zoonotic diseases in rats that cause public health significance concerns?

leptospirosis, salmonellosis, cestodiasis * Streptobacillus moniliformis

What are the 3 main health concerns for pet rats?

mammary tumors, pneumonia in young rats & lung tumors in older rats


-Scientific name: Mus musculus
-Common name: laboratory/house/Swiss albino mouse
-Estrous cycle: 4-5 days
-Gestation: 19-21 days
-Litter size: 10-12
-Weaning age: 21 days
-Adult weight: 20-40 grams
-Body temperature: 96.6F-99.7F
-Life span: 1.5-3 years
-Feces: firm, rice sized, dark brown
-Urine: clear to yellow with strong ammonia odor


-Scientific name: Rattus norvegicus
-Common name: laboratory/albino brown Norway rat
-Estrous cycle: 4-5 days
-Gestation: 21-23 days
-Litter size: 6-12
-Weaning age: 21 days
-Adult weight: M 300-500 grams; F 250-400 grams
-Body temperature: 96.6F-99.5F
-Life span: 3-4 years
-Feces: firm, dark brown, elongated mass with rounded ends
-Urine: clear & yellow

What is the clinical significance of cheek pouches in hamsters?

lacks an intact lymphatic drainage system

What is the clinical significance of cannabalism in hamsters?

caused by stress or overcrowding

What is the clinical significance of demodectic mange in hamsters?

causes alopecia without pruritis over the rump, back & neck

What is the clinical significance of Hymenolepis nana in hamsters?


What is the clinical significance of postovulatory vaginal discharge in hamsters?

signifies the end of the estrus cycle

What is the clinical significance of amyloidosis in hamsters?

renal function becomes impaired & clinical signs associated with azotemia are seen

What is the clinical significance of antibiotic precautions/considerations in hamsters?

Some antibiotics may cause toxicity at very small, single doses. Antibiotics to avoid in hamsters include all penicillins, erythromycin & cephalosporins.

What is the specific etiology of proliferative ileitis ("Wet Tail")?

intracellular bacteria (Lawsonia intracellularis,Campylobacter jejuni, Desulfovibrio-like species)

What are the clinical signs of proliferative ileitis ("Wet Tail")?

watery diarrhea, dehydration, anorexia & depression

How do you determine a hamster is male?

longer anogenital distance

How do you determine a hamster is female?

shorter anogenital distance

In the hamster, the end of estrus is marked by what?

a creamy post-ovulatory vaginal discharge that is copious, white, thick, tenacious & has a distinctive odor


-Scientific name: Mesocricetus auratus; Cricetus griseus
-Common name: Syrian or golden hamster; Chinese hamster
-Estrous cycle: 4 days
-Gestation: 16 days
-Litter size: 6-8
-Weaning age: 21-21 days
-Adult weight: 90-130grams
-Body temperature: 100F
-Life span: 18-36 months

What is the clinical significance of tail slip in gerbils?

Improper handling commonly results in the tail skin slipping off the tail. The exposed tail is left raw & eventually becomes necrotic. It's a defensive adaptation.

What is the clinical significance of sore nose or bubble nose in gerbils?

Staphylococcal dermatitis; digging in abrasive bedding is a predisposing factor

What is the clinical significance of epilepsy in gerbils?

prone to inherited idiopathic epilepsy


-Scientific name: Meriones euguiculatus
-Common name: gerbil; jird; desert rat; sand rat
-Estrous cycle: 4-6 days
-Gestation: 22-24 days
-Litter size: 3-7
-Weaning age: 21-24 days
-Adult weight: 60-115 grams
-Body temperature: 99-102F
-Life span: 2-4 years
-Feces: firm, dry
-Urine: small volume, concentrated

What is the clinical significance of sensitivity to noise, heat & shipping in guinea pigs?

When stressed from noise, heat or shipping, guinea pigs give up the will to live.

What is the clinical significance of malocclusion in guinea pigs?

all the teeth grow continuously which makes malocclusion of the premolars & molars common

What is the clinical significance of dietary requirements in guinea pigs?

-cecal (hindgut) fermenters
-Free choice timothy hay should always be available for its fiber content as well as for its role in dentition.
-They should be fed a commercial high quality feed designed specifically for guinea pigs.
-Diets supplemented with vitamin C must be provided since guinea pigs cannot synthesize this essential vitamin.
-Guinea pig feed has a 3 month expiration from the milling date.

What is the clinical significance of breeding/pregnancy issues (pregnancy toxemia, dystocia, long gestation period, precocious young) in guinea pigs?

-Pregnancy toxemia: usually occurs in obese sows during late pregnancy or shortly after parturition
-Dystocia: results when the female is not bred before 6 months of age and/or obesity
-Long gestation period: 59-72 days (63 days average)
-Precocious young: the young may still survive if the sow dies because they are born with fur, eyes open, usually stands within minutes after birth, & can eat solid food within first few days postpartum

What is the clinical significance of pododermatitis in guinea pigs?

bumblefoot; common in obese guinea pigs especially those kept in unsanitary, wire bottom cages or on abrasive bedding

What is the clinical significance of urolithiasis in guinea pigs?

can be prevented by offering low calcium diets such as timothy hay based pellets and timothy hay plus plenty of fresh water

What is the clinical significance of cystic ovaries in guinea pigs?

alopecia along the dorsum & flanks commonly occurs in older, intact female guinea pigs secondary to cystic ovarian disease

What is the clinical significance of antibiotic precautions/considerations in guinea pigs?

If given the wrong antibiotic the guinea pig may form other diseases that could kill the guinea pig or the drug itself could kill the guinea pig

What is the specific etiology of scurvy?

lack of vitamin C

What are the clinical signs of scurvy?

amorexia, lameness, swollen painful joints, hyperesthesia (painful when touched), bleeding gums, loose teeth, inactivity (reluctant to move)

What is the specific etiology of cervical lymphadenitis ("lumps")?

Streptococcus zoepidemicus or less commonly Streptococcus moniliformis

What are the clinical signs of cervical lymphadenitis ("lumps")?

enlargement & absecessation of head & neck lymph nodes


-Scientific name: Cavia porcellus
-Common name: guinea pig
-Estrous cycle: 15-17 days
-Gestation: 59-72 days (63 days average)
-Litter size: 2-4
-Weaning age: 21 days
-Adult weight: male 900-1200 grams; female 700-900 grams
-Body temperature: 100.2-103.1F
-Life span: 3-7 years

What is the clinical significance of captive diet in chinchillas?

-fed high quality commercial chinchilla pellets
-supplemented daily with unlimited fresh timothy hay

What is the clinical significance of temperature requirements in chinchillas?

a well ventilated room with a temperature range of 60-70F will help to prevent heat-related problems

What is the clinical significance of malocclusion in chinchillas?

-Chinchilla teeth continuously grow
-To help naturally wear down the teeth, chinchillas can be provided hay, a wood block, pumice stone, or nontoxic hard tree braches.

What is the clinical significance of paraphimosis in chinchillas?

fur encircles the penis & prevents its retraction into the prepuce

What is the clinical significance of dust baths in chinchillas?

keep them clean without becoming chilled & are a normal part of their grooming behavior that helps remove moisture & oil from the fur

What is the clinical significance of fur slip in chinchillas?

Chinchillas can spontaneously release a patch of fur leaving a patch of smooth skin thus enabling them to escape from captivity. The hair grows back within a few months.

What is the clinical significance of precocious young in chinchillas?

young are fully furred & eyes open at birth

What is the clinical significance of antibiotic precautions/considerations in chinchillas?

are very susceptible to antibiotic-associated enterocolitis

What are the clinical signs of enteritis in chinchillas?

thick, mucousy, black diarrhea & anorexia

What are the causes of enteritis in chinchillas?

food/water contamination by wild rodents, stress & intestinal parasitism (especially Giardia)

What are the clinical signs of heat stroke in chinchillas?

panting, collapse, prostration, wet damp fur, dazed appearance, drooling, nonresponsive to touch, cyanotic or brick red mucous membranes early on fading to a pale color as shock progresses

What are the causes of heat stroke in chinchillas?

environmental temperature exceeding 80F


-Scientific name: Chinchilla langier
-Common name: chinchilla
-Estrous cycle: 30-50 days (average 40 days)
-Gestation: 105-115 days (average 111 days)
-Litter size: 1-4
-Weaning age: 6-8 weeks
-Adult weight: 400-700 grams
-Body temperature: 100.5-103F
-Life span: 10 years average (up to 20 years reported)

Define & describe signalment.

Includes the animals sex, age, reproductive status, species, color

Define & describe Lyme disease.

-caused by Borrelia burgdorferi

Define & describe plague.

-caused by Yersinia pestis

Define & describe tularemia.

-caused by Francesella tularensis

Define & describe hantavirus pulmonary syndrome.

an infectious disease carried by rodents characterized by flu-like symptoms that can progress rapidly to potentially life-threatening breathing problems.

The taxonomic name for the laboratory mouse is ________.

Mus musculus

The ready availability of well-characterized inbred strains of mice make them good animal models for research in ________.

tissue histocompatibility

Timed mating of large groups of female mice is possible because of the _______ effect.


Common methods to assess anesthetic depth in mice include _______ and ________.

-movement of the whiskers & ears in response to a puff of air
-failure to withdraw a foot or tail in response to a pinch

The recommended site for blood collection in the mouse is the ________.

retroorbital sinus

The causative agent of the disease syndrome known as transmissible murine colonic hyperplasia is _________.

Citrobacter freundii

The primary causative agent of viral respiratory disease in mice is _________.

Sendai virus

Natural infection with the zoonotic virus that causes ________ is nearly 100% in wild mouse populations.

lymphocytic choriomeningitis

Evidence of nonpruritic alopecia in mice housed in groups is most likely the result of _______.


Accepable methods of euthanasia for mice include ______ and ________.

-injectable barbiturate overdose
-carbon dioxide chamber asphyxiation

The scientific name of the most common species of laboratory rat is _______.

Rattus norvegicus

In rats, secretions from the harderian gland are commonly referred to as ________.

red tears

What physiologic feature makes the rat useful as a model for toxicology studies?

inability to vomit

Animals that are produced as a result of random matings are referred to as ________.

outbred or stocks

When 20 or more generations of brother-sister or parent-offspring mating has occurred, the offspring are referred to as __________.

inbred or strains

An animal with a hole punch at the middle of the left ear & a notch at the bottom of the right ear is designated with the number _____.


An appropriately sized needle to use for collection of blood from the lateral tail vein of a rat is _______.

22 gauge or smaller

Tyzzer's disease is caused by __________.

Bacillus piliformis

The most common respiratory disease of rats is ________.

murine respiratory mycoplasmosis

A parasite of rats that has significant zoonotic potential is ________.

Hymenolepis nana

The scientific name for the Syrian or golden hamster is _______.

Mesocricetus auratus

The ________ of the hamster are considered an immunologically privileged site because of an absence of an intact lymphatic drainage pathway.

cheek pouches

Changes in hamster physiology when they are hibernating make them a good animal model for studies of _______.


The ______ are dark pigmented glands in the hamster that secrete substances used to mark territory.

flank glands

A common renal disease of geriatric hamsters is _______.


The most common infectious disease of hamsters is ______, also called wet tail, regional enteritis, or transmissible ileal hyperplasia.

proliferative ileitis

The scientific name of the species of gerbil most often seen in biomedical research is _____.

Meriones unguiculatus

A common condition of juvenile gerbils characterized by nasal dermatitis is also referred to by the common names _______, _________, or _______.

red nose; sore nose; stress-induced chromodacryorrhea

The scientific name of the domestic ferret is ______.

Mustela putorius furo

Infections with the _____ virus are often fatal in unvaccinated ferrets.

canine distemper

Which laboratory species has the shortest gestation period?

female hamsters

The scientific name of the laboratory guinea pig is ______.

Cavia porcellus

________ is a variety of guinea pig with a short, coarse hair coat that grows in whorls or rosettes.


Like primates, guinea pigs have a dietary requirement for vitamin _____.


Guinea pig food must be used within ____ days of milling.


The primary reason that guinea pigs are not used extensively in biomedical research is their lack of ________.

readily accessible blood collection or injection sites

Leukocytes found in guinea pig blood smears that contain intracytoplasmic inclusions are referred to as _________.

Kurloff cells

Female guinea pigs must be bred before the age of ________.

6 months

The most common outbred stocks of guinea pigs used in biomedical facilities are the ________.

Duncan-Hartley & Hartley stocks

Pododermatitis in guinea pigs is associated with the bacterium ___________.

Staphylococcus aureus

The common name for the disease known as cervical lymphadenitis is ________.


The scientific name for the chinchilla used in biomedical reasearch is ___________.

Chinchilla langier

The normally low body temperature of the _______ makes it useful as an animal model for leprosy.


The scientific name for the African clawed frog is____________.

Xenopus laevis

The ____________ is used to study embryonic development.


Studies of echolocation may use ____________ as animal models.


The anatomic site typically used for injections in Xenopus is the _______.

dorsal lymph sac

___________ are one of the most common fish used in biomedical research.


____________ are useful animal models for middle- and inner-ear studies.


Marmota monax is the scientific name for the ______________.


The common name for the zoonotic disease of sheep is caused by Coxiella burnetii is __________.

Q fever

What is the scientific name of the domestic rabbit?

Oryctolagus cuniculus

What anatomical feature led to the classification of the rabbit in the order Lagomorpha rather than the order Rodentia?

4 upper incisors

What are "night feces"?

cecotrophs or cecotropes

Describe the appearance & function of "night feces".

-soft, mucousy fecal pellets
-protein & vitamin rich & enables the rabbit to conserve B vitamins & essential amino acids

Describe the appearance & behavior of an aggressive rabbit.

snort, strike out at someone who is annoying them, thump or stomp their hind feet, castrate other rabbits

What is the normal body temperature range of a healthy rabbit?


What is the ideal ambient temperature & humidity range for housing indoor rabbits?

-Temperature range: 60-70F
-Humidity range: 30%-70%

Important points emphasized in lecture about orphaned wild bunnies.

-Most likely, the doe was away from the nest foraging for food or resting.
-The doe normally only nurses her bunnies for a few minutes each day.

Describe proper feeding guidelines including acceptable treats & foods to avoid in pet rabbits.

-Main diet: 80-85% hay, 10%15% fresh vegetable matter/dark leafy greens, & 10%15% rabbit pellets
-Acceptable treats: high fiber grains/treats
-Foods to avoid: alfalfa, seed/cereal/pellet mixture, sugary fruits, high carbohydrates like bread corn or nuts

Discuss the issue of back injuries in rabbits.

The rabbit has strong muscles but has a weak skeleton so when it suddenly kicks or violently squirms if can injure its back commonly at the 7th lumbar vertebrae.

What percent of the rabbit skeleton comprises the entire body weight of a trim rabbit?


Describe the normal appearance of rabbit urine.

thick, creamy dark brown to red to yellow color with a highly alkaline pH >8

Describe the appearance of a female rabbit in "heat".

will have a swollen, moist, red vulva & will continually hop around the cage, rubbing her chin all over the cage & feeder

What is the gestation period of a rabbit?

30-32 days

Discuss rational antibiotic therapy in rabbits.

Rabbits have a sensitive GI tract so caution must be taken when useing antibiotics. To avoid fatal enterotoxemia do not use lincomycin, clindmycin, erythromycin, amoxicillin, clavamox.

Malocclusion in rabbits

overgrown incisors and/or cheek teeth that causes the rabbit to be unable to eat & maybe death

Pasteurellosis in rabbits

-caused by Pasteurella multocida
-resides in rabbit's nasopharynx for life
-clinical signs: snuffles, septicemia, abscesses, vestibular disease, pneumonia, urogenital disease, meningitis

Coccidiosis (intestinal & hepatic forms) in rabbits

-intestinal: caused by several species of Eimeria; clinical signs include profuse watery or bloody diarrhea
-hepatic: caused by Eimeria stiedae; clinical sigsn include weight loss, icterus, death from bile duct obstruction

Ear mites in rabbits

-caused by Psoroptes cuniculi
-causes brownish, crusty, "cornflake-like" debris in ear canal & the ears are pruritic & painful

Cheyletiellosis in rabbits

-caused by Cheyletiella parasitovorax
-causes nonpruritic or pruritic alopecia of the back & intrscapular area

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