We see lots of people whose first pet might be a hamster and whilst many of these are quite delightful, many might be a little grumpy. Being nocturnal they tend to want to sleep when we are up & around, and then run around when we want to sleep. Disturbing their slumber can result in them being a bit handy with their teeth!
Pet mice tend to be less likely to nip and are often friendlier than hamsters but some people might find their perfume rather unattractive!
Other pets of similar size are gerbils which are slightly larger, and rats which are bigger still. Whilst many of us have an instinct to dislike rats, they do make wonderful and generally very gentle pets. They are very intelligent and make for very entertaining pets.
Guinea pigs are equally regarding pets and are especially entertaining given their nature to be very vocal, especially when demanding food of which they are often very fond.
Ferrets are not blessed with a nice perfume but are wonderful pets. They can be great fun and of the smaller pets that we see, they are better understood than most thanks to their popularity in the USA. We actually have access to lots of information helping us to identify problems. One of the commonest issues in females results from their normal hormones and the effects on blood cells so neutering them is well worth considering.
Pet chickens and other feathered friends pose us number of problems. When examining many pets that predated upon, they will give very little away as their instinct is to hide all signs of weakness.
The other issue is that if we have problems affecting numerous chickens we tend to have to address these as a flock problem and our colleagues in our farm animal department are better suited to addressing these.
Recent cases seen include George with a broken leg and we were all astounded by just how much character and attitude this particular feathered friend had.