Exotic animal is term used to capture all animals that are not classified as large animals (cows, horse, pig etc.) or small animals (cats and dogs). So, by this definition, exotic animals include rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, lizards, snakes, turtles and any other extraordinary animal. So, as you can imagine, it is not uncommon to walk into a home today and find not only your typical pet, a cat or a dog, but to also find an exotic animal.
These smaller cage/tank dwelling animals are growing in popularity due to the ability to keep them in smaller spaces. Historically rabbits, guinea pigs, rats and hamsters have been “starter” pets for many small children; teaching responsibility and providing companionship.
Medical care for an exotic animal is not dissimilar to our cats and dogs. They can take more specialized equipment and some additional training. We can take radiographs, run blood work, test stool samples for parasites and evaluate their general health. As with any pet, they should get routine physical exams every 6 months. These exams allow us to identify problems early and help prevent many of the life threatening problems that can arise.
As with any pet, know what your specific pets’ needs might be. Many of the medical problems with exotic animals can be prevented through proper husbandry. Appropriate housing, diet, lighting and grooming are often the solution to many problems, if they are caught early. Unfortunately, these are so easily overlooked.
When your pet is in need of medical attention, please bring it to a veterinarian as soon as you notice the problem. These small, more unique pets often mask disease and problems until they are very advanced; and then the problems become more critical.
If you have any questions about your pet, please do not hesitate to call and speak with our staff. We are eager to help keep you and your special pet together for as long as possible.