When it comes to exotic pets, owners sometimes don’t realize how much they can depend upon veterinarians for help. Exotic pet owners don’t need to feel alone when it comes to taking care of all the needs of pets like iguanas, ferrets, parrots, snakes, and rodents.
The same veterinarian that cares for common domestic animals like cats and dogs can care for exotic creatures, too. In fact, when you own an exotic pet, there’s even more reason to establish a relationship with your veterinarian, since these kinds of animals have unique needs that have to be met. Following are some common reasons to bring your exotic pet to the vet.
1. Establishing a Relationship
Any new pet in your home, especially exotic pets, should meet with a veterinarian who specializes in exotic animal care for an initial consultation. This allows the veterinarian to properly examine your exotic pet to see whether it has any present illnesses, as well as inform you about its future care needs.
This is also an excellent opportunity for you to ask the exotic vet any questions you may have about caring for your particular pet. You can talk to the vet about housing, food, and routine healthcare maintenance, among other things. Finally, establishing this relationship with a veterinarian will ensure that if you have an exotic pet emergency, you’ll know exactly who to call.
2. Check-Ups on a Regular Basis
Exotic pets, like any pets, require regular health and wellness examinations. Even if your exotic pet is a species that lives for a long time—for example, a parrot—you must keep up with periodic check-ups by working with a reputable veterinarian.
Regular checkups can help you and your veterinarian stay on top of any potential health issues with your exotic pet. You'll also be able to see issues before they become serious and begin working on remedies, treatments, and management choices.
Some exotic species require frequent immunizations, while others do not. Your exotic pet's immunization requirements and schedule will be determined totally by the kind of animal you are growing. For example, many types of rodents require rabies vaccines, although not all do. Reptiles, on the other hand, seldom receive any immunizations.
When you bring home a new exotic pet, consult with your veterinarian right away to learn more about the immunizations your exotic pet needs. The veterinarian can also notify you if there are any recommended immunizations that aren't always necessary in every situation.
4. Nail Trimming and Grooming
Many exotic pets require grooming or nail trimming. But depending on the sort of pet you have, this might be difficult or impossible to do on your own. When you take your exotic pet to the veterinarian, you may ask for assistance with both tasks.
You can also ask if your pet requires anesthesia for grooming or nail trimming. If so, your veterinarian can provide that service. Trimming a hedgehog's nails, for example, is necessary, but doing so without the assistance of a veterinarian may result in bites or attempts to injure you with their spines.
It's possible that you want to breed your exotic pet. If that's the case, you'll need to consult with a veterinarian who is familiar with the breeding of exotic animals to see if it's a good candidate for breeding. Your veterinarian can also ensure that your pet is healthy during the breeding and birthing process, as well as thereafter.
You can also consult with your veterinarian to see whether there are any reasons why you should not breed your pet. Your pet, for example, may have a genetic characteristic that makes it a difficult breeding choice, which your veterinarian may help you discover.
6. Signs of Illness
Although it should go without saying that you should take your exotic pet to the veterinarian if it shows indications of disease, it can be difficult to discern whether certain animals are ill. Snakes, for example, are prone to upper respiratory infections, but it can be difficult to tell when this is occurring to your pet.
7. Unusual Behavior
If your pet appears to be "odd" in any way, it's usually time to seek exotic vet assistance. Unusual or unexpected behavior shouldn’t automatically be attributed to personality or the fact that it’s an exotic pet. Anything unusual about your exotic pet needs to be reported to your veterinarian. This is because certain oddities in behaviors aren’t personality-driven, but could be symptoms of an underlying condition.
8. Untrustworthy Sellers
Unfortunately, there are some sellers of exotic pets that are not as forthcoming about existing illnesses as they should be. Depending on where you acquired your exotic pet, you may need to be extra cautious about the pet that you brought home.
An unhealthy exotic pet has the potential to make other pets in the home sick, or even pass on a contagious illness to a vulnerable member of the family. This is yet another reason to bring in your exotic pet to a veterinarian for a check-up as soon as possible.
Exotic pets can offer a fun and rewarding experience to you and your family. They are interesting to watch and see how they differ from the more common household pets. With help from your veterinarian, you can make sure that your experience with an exotic pet is a positive one.