Small Mammals | Healthy Pets, Healthy People

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Selecting a Rabbitexternal icon
American Veterinary Medical Association

Selecting a Pet Rodentexternal icon
American Veterinary Medical Association

After you touch your pet rodents, rabbits, and other small mammals, wash your hands so you don’t get sick! pdf icon[PDF – 1 page]
In Spanish (en español) pdf icon[PDF – 1 page]
Poster, CDC

How to Stay Healthy around Pets

Small mammal-associated outbreaks

Outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella Tymphimurium associated with rodents purchased at retail pet stores – United States, December 2003-October 2004. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2005 May 6; 54(17):429-433.

Eidson M, Matthews SD, Willsey AL, Cherry B, Rudd RJ, et al. Rabies virus infection in a pet guinea pig and seven pet rabbits. Journal of the American Veterinary Association. 2005;227(6):932-935.

Fatal Rat-Bite Fever – Florida and Washington, 2003. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2005 Jan 27; 53(51 & 52):1198-1202.

Gaudie CM, Featherstone CA, Phillips WS, McNaught R, Rhodes PM, et al. Human Leptospira interrogans serogroup icterohaemorrhagiae infection (Weil’s disease) Acquired from Pet Rats. Veterinary Record  2008 Nov 15;163(20):599-601.

Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus Infection in Organ Transplant Recipients – Massachusetts, Rhode Island, 2005. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2005 Jun 3; 54(21):537-539.

Multistate Outbreak of Monkeypox – Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, 2003. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2003 Jun 13; 52(23):537-540.

Ninove L, Domart Y, Vervel C, Voinot C, et al. Cowpox Virus Transmission from Pet Rats to Humans, France. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2009 May15; (5):781-784.

Tularemia Associated with a Hamster Bite – Colorado, 2004. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2005 Jan 7; 53(51 & 52):1202-1203.

Research articles

Elliott SP. – Rat Bite Fever and Streptobacillus moniliformis. Clinical Microbiology Reviews.2007; 20(1):13-22.

Guarner J, Johnson BJ, Paddock CD, Shieh W, et al. Monkeypox transmission and pathogenesis in prairie dogs.Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2004; 10(3):426-431.

Additional information

Chitty J. Hendricks A. Zoonotic skin disease in small animals. In Practice. 2007; 29(2):92-97.

Pickering LK, Marano, NM, Bocchini JA, Angulo FJ.,et al. Exposure to Nontraditional Pets at Home and to Animals in Public Settings: Risks to Children. American Academy of Pediatrics. 2008; 122(4):876-886.

Riley PY, Chomel BB. Hedgehog zoonoses. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2005; 11(1):1-5.

Smith A, Witfield Y. Household Pets and Zoonoses. National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Healthpdf iconexternal icon. [cited August 27, 2015.] [PDF – 33 pages]

Smith KM, Smith KF, D’Auria JP. Exotic Pets: Health and Safety Issues for Children and Parents. Journal of Pediatric Health Care. 2012; 26(2): e2-e6.

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