51 Leicester Road Hinckley Leicestershire LE10 1LW

Email: enquiries@fairfieldvets.co.uk

Fairfield Pet Stories

Fairfield Veterinary surgeons Terry Dunne and Geraldine Young write "Interesting Pet Stories" articles for the Hinckley Herald, published by the Hinckley Times.

View our Pet Stories below from dogs, cats and all kinds of other pets and wildlife. The stories are all genuine cases from the Fairfield archives.
Warning: Some images may be upsetting for some viewers.

View our archive Pet Stories Here

"Chaplin" - Gerbil with Tumor

Although pet rodents constitute only a small percentage of pets seen our practice, owners are as dedicated to those pets as are other owners to the more common dogs and cats.

Rodents make excellent pets, with low space, feeding and economic requirements. However it can sometimes be very difficult to pick up on diseases in them so I was glad that Miss Cleobury brought me her gerbil, Chaplin, as soon as she noticed a swelling on his tummy.

All male gerbils have a diamond shaped slightly pink-yellow and bald patch on their tummy. It is located at the site of their belly button. This is called the ventral scent gland. Especially on older animals it is quite easy to detect. The size of the gland is influenced by male hormones.

The ventral scent gland can get inflamed or develop tumours. The incidence of tumours is low in gerbils, but tumours in gerbils are usually malignant Therefore the treatment of choice will always be surgery. Chaplin was admitted and had his operation the next day.

Because gerbils have tiny blood vessels, it is impossible to give the anaesthetic agent directly in a blood vessel, like we would normally do in dogs and cats. In small rodents the anaesthetic is injected in the tummy. I excised Chaplin's tumour and put absorbable skin sutures in the skin, which do not need to be removed.

After the operation the aftercare is very important. All rodents and rabbits will get fluid therapy, so the anaesthetic agents are neutralised quicker, and they are kept warm in an incubator. Only when they have woken up fully will we send them home the same day. Chaplin had a slower recovery after his operation, and was kept in the incubator overnight to give him the best possible care. The next day he was running around again and reunited with his caring owner.

Terry Dunne
BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS

"Rosie" - Thoughts on Sprockers and Labradoodles
"Mandy" - Tortoise with eye injury

How to find us

Fairfield Veterinary Centre

51 Leicester Road,
Hinckley,
Leicestershire
LE10 1LW

Tel: 01455 637 642
Fax: 01455 631 898

enquiries@fairfieldvets.co.uk

Emergency Number
0116 255 6360

Get in touch