Miscellaneous Medical Information
A licensed veterinarian that has experience with the specialized care and treatment of prairie dogs is rare, however, if your Vet has little or no experience with prairie dogs, it is imperative that they have experience with exotics or small mammals and subscribe to the most recent studies and findings. Ideally, they will be eager to learn more and willing to seek advice from more experienced veterinarians or veterinary teaching universities and hospitals around the world that are specialized with prairie dog health issues.
The links below are provided for your convenience and have been collected through the years from various sources. Some of the information compiled below is from Exotic Companion Medicine Handbook, and is intended to be a quick guide to selected husbandry and medical topics of prairie dogs, and is not intended to replace comprehensive reference material. The wonderful Vets at Purdue University - School Of Veterinary Medicine shared several printouts with me while my Jenna was under their care. This is general information, as is any advice given via the internet. Please do not substitute any information found on the internet for actual Veterinary care. If a prairie dog stops eating or drinking, it is imperative that you seek immediate veterinary care.
The nature of the prairie dog is to hide vulnerabilities such as illness or injuries, because that would make them more vulnerable to predators. In captivity, that innate tendency enables them to hide illness until it's too late to do anything for them. All too often you hear this in the prairie dog world: "I have no idea what the cause of death was. He/she was fine and then with no warning, suddenly stopped eating and died." When we lose a beloved prairie dog family member, a necropsy can give us answers. If we are to move forward in understanding both the common and uncommon afflictions that plague prairie dogs, necropsies must be performed. The study of our loved one's remains will not only aid in diagnosis of prairie dog illnesses, but will also provide the education necessary for advancement in technology and treament. Please.. consider having a necropsy performed to find your own answers and to contribute to the benefit of other prairie dogs.
Sometimes a prairie dog needs to be wrapped (loosely) in 2" self-sticking Vet wrap, in order to prevent them from messing with a surgical area, see illustrations (by Karen Stoica) below for your convenience: