Small pets are becoming increasingly popular and are among the most common pets.
Strictly speaking, many other animals (e.g., dogs and cats) are also considered pets according to Article 1 (1) European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals from October 13, 1987, if a person keeps them in their household for their own enjoyment and as a companion or if the animal is intended for this purpose.
In addition to species-appropriate living conditions and nutrition, these animals in particular require fast, expert assistance in the event of an illness. In our well-equipped small animal practice, you will find a competent team of highly qualified veterinarians.
The equipment we have in our veterinary practice allows us to carry out almost all necessary examinations and treatments for pets, ensuring fast diagnosis and treatment.
We are able to take X-rays and perform ultrasound examinations. Our in-house lab allows us to carry out urine tests, stool examinations, parasitological tests, and certain dermatological examinations, so we can respond immediately and initiate the necessary treatment without long waits.
For more information about diet, living conditions, and health of many rodent species, please see Rodent Information.
We can perform all necessary treatments for your pet in our veterinary practice. It is equipped with the latest technology, ensuring fast diagnosis and treatment.
Diet plays a major role in the wellbeing of all pets.
Always make sure that your pet feeds regularly. If rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, degus and small rodents in general stop eating, this may be due to misaligned teeth or improper diet and you should contact a veterinarian immediately.
The amount of water consumed can also be an indication of different diseases.
Another point pet owners should consider is defecation. The animals must continuously have solid bowel movements.
Please monitor your animal’s weight. Significant weight loss should be taken very seriously.
All pets are prone to skin parasites and fungal skin infections. They should have a full, shiny coat and not scratch themselves frequently.
Rabbits and rodents such as guinea pigs have many enemies in the wild and therefore behave as normally and inconspicuously as possible in the event of illness or injury. This is the reason why diseases are often difficult to identify for owners and are frequently noticed at a very late stage.
Preventive examinations are therefore all the more important in these animals!
Our services for pets include the following:
Every pet owner wants a healthy and energetic animal. Whether you have a rabbit, rat, mouse, guinea pig, hamster, degu, ferret or chinchilla: Regular health checkups at the vet are very important and ensure optimal preventive care.
During such checkups we examine the eyes, ears, teeth, skin / coat, lungs, and heart. Regular weight checks and an evaluation of the musculoskeletal system are also included. On request we perform blood tests and advanced diagnostic measures.
Surgical procedures are an everyday occurrence at our veterinary practice and patient safety is our top priority.
Except in emergencies, all surgeries are performed by appointment.
Our practice owns a state-of-the-art inhalation anesthesia device for use in surgeries. Inhalation anesthesia is now standard practice and is gentle on the circulatory system, allowing the patient to be monitored safely throughout the entire operation.
Our practice performs a large number of soft tissue operations: neutering, tumor surgery, wound surgery, caesarean section, trauma surgery, and many more.
Nutritional counseling, feed consultation, and sale of special veterinary diets.
The diet of your pet should be balanced and appropriate to his or her needs. Your pet's food should be adapted to his or her phase of life, breed, and possible illnesses.
Rabbits and rodents such as guinea pigs are herbivores that eat frequently and in small amounts – up to approximately 80 times a day. The contents of the stomach can only be transported further through the digestive system if the animal feeds again, because the stomach consists of a single chamber and has only a thin layer of muscle. Accordingly, feces are continuously expelled; this includes nightly cecotropes. This particular soft stool is ingested by the animals directly from the rectum and swallowed whole. Cecotropes consist of bacteria, mucoproteins, and vitamins, and allow these species to synthesize all necessary nutrients from cellulose-rich foods, which need not contain any other components such as proteins, fats, carbohydrates, or vitamins. Guinea pigs are merely dependent on the intake of vitamin C, which is abundant in fresh fruits such as strawberries, peppers and tomatoes.
Carbohydrate-rich food such as cereals, prepared feed, bread or nibble sticks should be fed very sparingly or not at all. Prepared feed is often too soft to wear down the teeth and tends to promote dental problems. In addition, it contains too much energy: The animals then eat mainly the dry food, which damages their intestinal flora. Too much filling food is ingested in a short time and the animals are bored the rest of the day.
In general, fresh water should be provided daily, ideally in a drinking bottle. The main food source should be structured crude fiber in the form of fresh straw and hay. Fresh green and wet food should be offered daily. High quality is important. Vegetables and fruit such as chicory, lettuce, endive, mache, cucumber or tomatoes are well suited. These animals like apples, pears, grapes, or strawberries. Branches of unsprayed fruit trees should be offered for nibbling.
The veterinarians and veterinary assistants in our practice are trained in these areas and will gladly advise and support you!
Neutering is very important in pet animals.
For a long time, it was common to only neuter male pets in order to achieve population control or correct unwanted behavior.
Neutered animals are much more easy-going and social in dealing with people and fellow members of their species. This applies to both male and female pets. In female animals, neutering may be necessary for medical reasons. Unneutered females tend to develop cysts on their ovaries, mock pregnancies, or uterine infections.
Early neutering relieves aggression and prevents diseases of the sexual organs. Often, pet owners have concerns as pet anesthesia used to be considered risky. The anesthesia-related risks are reduced through the use of modern anesthetic agents combined with the method of inhalation anesthesia.
Many questions arise as part of everyday life with an animal – and if you are about to introduce a new pet to your home, there are many things that should be considered to prevent (potential) future problems. Expert advice from a veterinarian is therefore very helpful. We are happy to take the time to provide detailed advice on all of your questions!
Frequently asked questions include, for example: Which pet is suitable for the family. Is it a species which should be kept as a couple or alone? Are the animals nocturnal or diurnal? Do the animals like to be touched? Can the animals transmit diseases or cause allergies? The needs of the future owners must be taken into account, while at the same time ensuring species-appropriate living conditions for the animal. What should the animal be fed? How big should a cage be? What litter is suitable?
We look forward to helping you when it comes to integrating a new animal into an existing group, or if you would like to know more about nutrition!
Among the small pets, only rabbits are vaccinated. There are no approved vaccines for other pets such as guinea pigs, chinchillas, gerbils, or degus.
The annual vaccination provides an opportunity to check the health of the patient during the thorough examination carried out in advance. We work with state-of-the-art vaccines. The vaccination schedule is based on the recommendations of the International Medical Council on Vaccination and is customized to meet the needs of each patient.
Vaccinations for rabbits
For rabbits we recommend vaccinations against RHD (Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease / China Disease) and myxomatosis.
RHD is a viral disease that is specific to rabbits and hares. The virus is very persistent and exhibits a high survival time in the environment, even in extreme weather conditions. It is transmitted through saliva, urine, and feces as a "droplet infection" from animal to animal, by live vectors such as mosquitoes, fleas, mites, ticks, and lice, as well as by inanimate vectors such as contaminated green fodder. Although most cases of RHD are observed in the months of May to October, infection is also possible during the remaining months. The incubation period is 1-3 days. Infected animals suddenly exhibit labored breathing, loss of appetite and apathy, and sudden deaths are also possible. Diseased animals die after 2 to 3 days by suffocation, accompanied by discharge of blood from the nose.
With the RHD vaccination you can effectively protect your rabbit from this disease. We vaccinate healthy young animals from the age of 5 weeks. The vaccine requires an annual booster.
Myxomatosis is caused by a virus related to pox. This highly contagious disease originated in South America and spread to Europe only after 1950. Since then, epidemics have repeatedly wiped out large numbers of rabbits. If you walk through parklands in the summer at dusk, the diseased wild rabbits are commonly seen in the meadows. Typical symptoms include eyes swollen shut and swelling of the entire head.
The virus is transmitted by mosquitoes and fleas. These ingest the pathogen when feeding on the blood of infected animals and transmit it to the next rabbit when biting. Since mosquitoes can also be found in our homes, it is quite possible that even a rabbit kept indoors can become infected. In addition, the pathogen can be transferred directly by sniffing or through objects or food tainted with the virus.
The disease first manifests itself 5-10 days after infection. Initially, the affected animals only appear to be sensitive to light and exhibit purulent conjunctivitis. As the disease progresses, they develop a "lion's head": swelling of the nose, eyes, and ears, as well as the lips and anus and vagina or testicles. Later, they develop shortness of breath caused by purulent rhinitis. The affected rabbits no longer have any appetite and grow increasingly weak. In a less dramatic course of the disease, which some of the affected rabbits survive, small nodules can form in the skin instead of the massive swelling associated with more serious cases.
Vaccination can be administered from the 5th week of life in pet rabbits. Since the vaccination is often done using a weakened pox virus and not with the myxomatosis virus itself, temporary swelling usually develops at the site of inoculation.
For rabbits, we recommend the following vaccination schedule:
|6 weeks old||RHD and myxomatosis|
|10 weeks old||RHD and myxomatosis|
This should be followed by bi-annual myxomatosis boosters and annual RHD boosters. We will be happy to advise you on this issue, as rabbit vaccinations are also dependent on the living conditions of the animal.
Additional information can be found in the Leitlinie zur Impfung von Kleintieren (guidelines for the vaccination of small animals) published by the Ständige Impfkommission Vet. (StIKo Vet.; Standing Veterinary Vaccination Committee).
Typical external parasites that affect small animals include biting lice and mites. There are specific drugs such as injections or spot-on treatments that prevent or eliminate infestation. To prevent the spread of mites and biting lice, cages and their surroundings should be cleaned regularly.
Internal parasites include roundworms, passalurus, giardia, and coccidia. These should be ruled out by means of regular stool examinations and eliminated using appropriate products if necessary. Some of these parasites can also infect humans.
The measures necessary for endoparasite prevention depend on the age of the animal and on its living conditions and lifestyle. This means that the younger the animal and the more contact it has with members of the same species, the more frequently it should be treated for endoparasites, as the common drugs have no or hardly any preventive effect.
Stool examinations for worm eggs and coccidia eggs are recommended for young animals or new arrivals in particular. They should also be carried out in the case of gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea in order to then initiate the necessary treatment. We would be happy to advise you in this regard.
Prevention includes the regular clipping of nails, as many pet animals are unable to wear down their claws sufficiently, especially when kept in plastic cages. This results in deformities of the toes and an increased susceptibility to inflammation of the paw pads. You should check the claws of your pet regularly – and please feel free to stop by for help or advice.
Good dental care is essential for maintaining the health of your pet. For our pets, a healthy set of teeth is an important prerequisite for pain-free feeding.
Rabbits, guinea pigs, and chinchillas, in which dental malocclusions may lead to sharp edges and excessively long teeth, are frequent dental patients. These problems must be corrected to allow the animal to feed without pain. Dental problems in rodents can even cause the animals to stop feeding completely within a few days – a life threatening condition!
All rodents, as well as rabbits and hares have open-rooted incisors that continue to grow throughout their lifetime. In rabbits, hares, guinea pigs, and chinchillas, the molars also continue to grow. The molars of hamsters, rats, and mice have roots and have thus completed their growth when the animal reaches a certain age. Therefore, it is important that these animals wear down their teeth regularly through intense grinding of coarsely textured crude fiber. The duration of feed intake and the consistency of the food are crucial for the effectiveness of this process.
Dental problems can arise if the balance between the abrasion and the growth of these renewable teeth is disturbed. This is the reason why incorrect feeding, which does not ensure the uniform and continuous wear of the renewable teeth, is the most common cause of dental or jaw disorders in our pets.
Incorrect feeding commonly results in misaligned molars, as the permanently increased pressure can cause them to shift. Peaks develop in the teeth, which may grow toward the inside of the cheek in the upper jaw and towards the tongue in the lower jaw, where they can lead to injury. Other consequences include enlargement of the eyeballs, changes in the nasolacrimal duct, and abscesses.
Every general examination therefore always includes an examination of the oral cavity. If this examination reveals dental or gum problems, these must be rectified as soon as possible.
This usually requires light sedation or short anesthesia, since – as for us humans – manipulations of the teeth are often uncomfortable and sometimes even painful for our pets. Inhalation anesthesia is now standard practice and is gentle on the circulatory system, allowing the patient to be monitored safely throughout the entire operation.
If the case requires it, we will consult with specialists and clinics to ensure optimal care fore your pet. If necessary, we like to work with (surgical) specialty clinics, specialized veterinarians, and third party laboratories.
Specific entry requirements are only in place for dogs, cats, and ferrets. However, when traveling outside the EU you should please check this with the respective consulates.
For more information, please visit the following websites: