Small mammal herbivores part 1: digestive system adaptations to a herbivorous diet
Friday, September 2, 2022
Nutritional disease is common in exotic companion mammals, and the unique dietary adaptations of herbivorous species only compounds this issue. The target species (including lagomorphs, and hystricomorph or caviomorph rodents) exhibit anatomical and physiological adaptations to a plant-based diet that is low in calories and protein, and high in fibre. Digestive tract adaptations such as hypselodont dentition to hindgut fermentation will be reviewed. Veterinary nurses are in an excellent position to counsel pet owners on the appropriate nutrition of their companion animals, and understanding these unique adaptations provides the necessary baseline knowledge to make recommendations.
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