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 birds, 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.