01/07/2016

If you own a reptile, rabbit, bird, guinea pig, ferret, rat, frog or other exotic pet you need to provide as much care as you would for a dog or a cat. However, one of the key differences is that your average dog and cat vet won’t be able to offer the best treatment for your unusual pet.

Instead, you need to see a vet with a specialised interest in your particular pet. So, what are the key differences between a regular dog and cat vet and an exotic animal vet? Let us explore.

Treating the species

Traditional veterinary medicine taught at university mainly focuses on five species – generally dogs, cats, sheep, cattle and horses. Exotic animal veterinarians must be knowledgeable about the biology, nutrition and behaviour of hundreds of species. They also need to be proficient in their care, maintenance, medical needs and surgical procedures. It is true that the general approach that vets use to treat domestic species can be used when examining exotic animals, however, the physical examination techniques need to be tailored. An exotic animal, say a guinea pig, has a unique anatomy and physiology to that of a dog or cat. For example, examining their cheek (back) teeth is very important. Without specialised tools, this is difficult (if not impossible) to do.

Examining and treating exotic animals also requires both a firm understanding of disease processes and the ability to apply that knowledge in practice, and solve problems in a rational manner. Each exotic animal is unique and therefore, preventative care and treatment will be different.

Be mindful of their behaviour

In traditional veterinary medicine, animals such as dogs and cats are generally used to new people and are happy to be examined. Many of our patients are not used to being out of their home environment and get very stressed at the vet. For this reason, an exotics veterinarian needs to be able to know how to minimise this stress.

Why choose the Unusual Pet Vets?

With us, your exotic animal can live a happy and healthy lifestyle. We have the following services:

  • General health check-ups

These can help to ensure that your pet is being kept correctly and discuss any husbandry and dietary questions that you may have. It also allows us to pick up any early signs of illness.

  • Microchipping

All exotic pets can escape, however, birds, ferrets and some reptiles are expert escape artists.  Microchipping your pet allows them to be tracked down if they escape and are handed into a veterinary clinic. Believe it or not, we see many stray rabbits, guinea pigs and rats so it is important to microchip these species as well.

  • Surgery

We use the latest technology and surgical equipment to ensure your pet gets the best care possible. Our instruments and anaesthetic equipment are tailored to the small size of your pet.

  • Fully-equipped laboratory

We use the very latest technology to pinpoint exactly what is wrong with your pet through x-rays, blood tests and advanced imaging modalities such as ultrasound and CT.

Keeping unusual and exotic pets is exciting, but can be very challenging due to a lot of misinformation. Whether it’s the type of food you should feed your bird, or how to handle your ferret, we take a genuine care in ensuring that all our pet patients receive top-of-the-line service.

We have a qualified team with a wealth of experience, particularly with bird vet services, reptiles, rabbits and rodents. With our state-of-the-art clinics, your pet will be provided with the best treatment and care.