Oooo! You've got a different kind of pet!
So...what is it?!?!?
A rabbits? a ferret? a guinea pig? a hamster? A prairie dog?? a pot-bellied pig?
A bearded dragon? a snake? an iguana? a blue-tongued skink??
A cockatiel? a parrot? a Macaw? a toucan??
The most important thing we've found with exotic pet ownership is HOMEWORK. And by homework we mean: knowing how to take care of them at home.
Most illness in exotic species is caused by husbandry mistakes. Do you know the correct enclosure temperature and humidity for your iguana?
Vitamin C to supplement your guinea pig (or that they're the only mammal
besides us that gets Scurvy??) Do you know that your rabbit can't vomit?
Do you know how to try to prevent feather picking in your cockatoo?
It's not easy taking care of an exotic. They tend not to show illness until they're really sick...and even then, they often have no specific symptoms. They just "ain't doing right." And that makes them hard to diagnose and hard to treat. And by hard I mean both difficult for us, the doctors, and also expensive (since they often don't have distinct clinical signs we generally have to do more diagnostics to figure out what's wrong: blood work, fecals, x-rays...
But they sure and fun and sometimes snuggly, and exciting all the time. And they still decrease stress and blood pressure and they NEVER judge you.
So, for all of these special creatures, we recommend you bring them in to be seen before they get sick. Because if they do get sick and it's a weekend or something, it's really hard to find someone who will see them. For exotics, we recommend the following as baseline preventative care and wellness:
Annual exam, nutrition and behavior review
Annual husbandry review
Spay or neuter when indicated
Vaccinations as indicated by species
Year round heartworm and flea prevention if indicated
Annual wellness lab work as indicated by species
So, bring them in and let us meet them. You'll be the hit of the lobby!
* the only species we do not see are primates and horses. With more rare species, we may not have a lot of experience and may discuss referral to a board-certified exotics veterinarian
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