Observations from Angela Lennox, DVM:

Highlights from NAVC 2017

Dr. Swisher attended the exotics session at the North American Veterinary Conference in February, 2017.  Here are some highlights from the Exotic Companion Mammal (ECM) sessions:
     a)  Endocrinology:  Some endocrine diseases have long been recognized in ECM, including adrenal disease and insulinoma in ferrets, cystic ovaries in guinea pigs, pituitary adenomas in rats, and diabetes mellitus in hamsters and degus.   However, in recent years, there has been increasing recognition of other, less common endocrine diseases, including hyperthyroidism in guinea pigs and rabbits, Cushing’s disease in hamsters, adrenal disease in rabbits, and disorders of the pancreas (DM or insulinoma) in many species. 
     b)  Idiopathic hematuria in guinea pigs:  While hematuria in guinea pigs is typically attributed to urinary tract infection or urolithiasis, there is increasing evidence that guinea pigs may also develop sterile cystitis of unknown etiology.  This emphasizes the importance of performing appropriate diagnostics, including urinalysis, urine culture, and imaging.  Note that previous studies have demonstrated that almost all free catch samples from guinea pigs are contaminated with bacteria, so this is not an appropriate technique for diagnosis of UTI.  Some guinea pigs with sterile cystitis may respond to NSAID therapy and husbandry changes to increase water consumption.