Two Guinea Pigs

Exotic companion animal species

This study will use EHRs (Electronic Health Records) available through SAVSNET. We will carry out a complimentary package of work including modern text mining for example, “regular expressions” (regex) and epidemiological methods on these data sets to identify the main reasons for guinea pigs, rabbits and other small rodent species (hamsters, rats and chinchillas) to attend veterinary practice. Using this data, we can better understand diseases in these species which will allow us to develop evidence-based targeted health messages, aimed at both veterinary professionals and the public, to help make the most informed decisions around their care.


Mary Coles, a PhD student, in her graduation gown, proudly holding her Guinea Pig, also dressed the same.

Rabbits, guinea pigs and other “exotic” rodent species are some of the most popular pets in the UK, however, research into their welfare has often been neglected. I completed my undergraduate research at the Royal Veterinary College on the nutrition and husbandry of guinea pigs. I have always loved and been fascinated by these species from having them as pets throughout most of my life. Since completing this investigation, I have been eager to become involved in further research that could benefit the welfare of guinea pigs and other exotic species.

Mary Coles, postgraduate PhD researcher
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We are extremely grateful to Burgess for funding this research

Back to: Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network (SAVSNET)