Private ownership of exotic pets is allowed in many states across the United States and these animals provide an interesting and diverse change to the furry mammals that most owners opt for. However, since they are so different to ‘the norm’, you should make finding a vet with specific experience in your species of pet a priority. Most standard veterinarians have limited knowledge and proficiency with exotic animals, and while the care they can offer may be ok, to get the care that your creature truly deserves you should take the time to find a professional that specializes in your type of pet.
Types of exotic pet
So, what is classed as an exotic pet? Well, there are plenty of more unusual animals that people like to keep as pets and any that break away from the typical choices of cats and dogs tend to be classed as exotic in nature. These include:
Reptiles and amphibians: snakes, lizards, tortoises, turtles and frogs.
Pocket Pets: hamsters, mice, rats, gerbils etc.
Birds: such as parrots, parakeets, budgies.
Small mammals: possums, rabbits, chinchillas etc.
Farm animals: including goats, sheep and pigs.
Why does my exotic pet need examinations before bringing him home?
Regardless of your experience with exotic pets, we strongly recommend that you make an appointment with our experienced exotic pet veterinarians before bringing your new animal home for the first time. We do this for several reasons. Firstly, it prevents you from taking a potentially sick animal into your home where it could put any other pets, and even humans living with you or at the premises where your pet will be, at risk of developing illness themselves.
Secondly, this appointment gives us an opportunity to do a professional check-up and wellness testing of your delightful creature, the results of which can be compared against future testing so that we can track the health of your pet. In doing so, our knowledgeable and skilled vets may be able to spot any potential patterns emerging that might suggest a health problem developing, enabling us to deal with it promptly and before it has a significant effect on your pet.
What can I expect to be included in my exotic pet’s wellness check?
Wellness checks for exotic pets are not all that dissimilar to those given to dogs and cats. Exactly what will be included tends to vary between veterinary practises, but you can normally expect your vet to:
- Undertake a physical examination of your pet.
- Nutritional consultation. This is where your vet will recommend what food and portion sizes your pet should be eating.
- Laboratory testing. This usually involves blood tests, urinalysis and fecal analysis.
- Preventative medical care. Your vet will tell you if your exotic pet needs any vaccinations and if so, which ones and how often they should be administered.
- Specific testing based on your individual pet. For example, if you own a reptile your vet may perform tests to examine calcium, phosphorous and other indicators of bone health as these are this is one of the most common health issues that this species face.
If you would like more information on the types of checks and examinations you should perform on your exotic pet before bringing them home, our expert team would be happy to help. Please contact our veterinary hospital in Destin, FL.