Tips to keep Guinea Pigs & Rabbits Cool this Summer01/05/2017Put the safety and comfort of your rabbits and guinea pigs first this summer The blazing sun beats down on us and we cool down by swimming, drinking ice water or sitting in an air-conditioned area. However, when the sun beats down on guinea pigs and rabbits their thick fur combined with their inability to effectively cool their core temperatures can be troubl...
Put the safety and comfort of your rabbits and guinea pigs first this summer
The blazing sun beats down on us and we cool down by swimming, drinking ice water or sitting in an air-conditioned area. However, when the sun beats down on guinea pigs and rabbits their thick fur combined with their inability to effectively cool their core temperatures can be troublesome.
Animals try desperately to escape the heat, and those that don’t sweat or pant often struggle to lower their body temperatures, sometimes succumbing to potentially fatal heatstroke. Keeping your furry friends cool in summer is essential, and the simple act of putting them in an air-conditioned room or shaded area can make all the difference.
What else can you do to keep your furry friends cool and comfortable throughout the warmer months?
Keep the water flowing
Hydration is the first and foremost important step to ensuring your rabbits and guinea pigs remain comfortable. As much as they don’t sweat, they still need plenty of fresh water to drink, which will keep them hydrated and help them cool down.
Block out the sun
If you don’t have the option to keep your rabbit or guinea pig inside your home then ensure all enclosures are in a cool place, away from direct sunlight. Use umbrellas and parasols to keep your rabbits and guinea pigs out of the sun.
When you’re out
If you keep your guinea pigs and rabbits indoors in the air conditioning, it’s assumed that they will be cool, but that’s not always the case. Heat will sometimes hang and stagnate, and without some movement of the air, it can become suffocating.
Keep windows open for a draft to blow through your home. If it’s a particularly humid and stagnant day, keep the fan or air-conditioning on for better air circulation.
Keep them cool
A popular trick with rabbit and guinea pig owners is to put frozen water bottles in the hutch. Your pets can lie against them to stay cool. Keep a few in the freezer and use large bottles as they take longer to thaw.
But, how do you know when your rabbit or guinea pig needs assistance?
The older rabbits and guinea pigs become the less tolerant they are to hot weather. If your animal exhibits any of the following symptoms, you need to immediately contact us:
- Disorientated – A possible sign of dehydration and an overheating body.
- Laboured or open mouth breathing – This can be a desperate attempt to cool themselves down
In the meantime, you can stabilise them by taking them to a cooler place, and gently wiping them down with water (if they will tolerate it) and increasing cool air flow around them by using a fan or air conditioning unit.
Contact Unusual Pet Vets for more information on how to best take care of your animal. They are specialist veterinarians with experience and knowledge on many common and unusual pets.
Are two rabbits better than one?10/24/2016The look on your kids’ faces when you arrive home with the cutest little rabbit is priceless. The rabbit becomes a family favourite, but it’s only a matter of time before your kids think the little guy or girl needs a friend. But is it a good idea to get a second rabbit, or should you have got two to begin with?Buddy upRabbits are social creatures...
The look on your kids’ faces when you arrive home with the cutest little rabbit is priceless. The rabbit becomes a family favourite, but it’s only a matter of time before your kids think the little guy or girl needs a friend. But is it a good idea to get a second rabbit, or should you have got two to begin with?
Rabbits are social creatures and do often benefit from companionship, it is important for their happiness and emotional well-being. However, not all rabbits get along with other rabbits so it’s important to keep this in mind when choosing them a friend.
Seeing two happy rabbits running around, playing and loving each other, is a pretty special experience.
What is the best pairing to get?
Once you’ve made the decision to get two rabbits, what are the two best to get? It’s ok to get two males or two females, especially if they’ve been brought up together from birth, but generally speaking, a neutered male and a spayed female are best. Whatever pairing you decide on it’s important to neuter and /or spay them both to ensure they are both relaxed and happy, and on a relatively even keel. Owning one amorous rabbit and one neutered one would not work
Can a rabbit choose its own mate?
While some pet shops and breeders are fine to find your pet rabbit, there are plenty of rescue rabbits looking for a good home. Some are quite happy for you to take your rabbit along to see if it bonds better with any particular rabbit.
It’s not all fun and games with two rabbits, and there are a number of issues to consider.
Two rabbits are obviously a bigger commitment than one. They do cost more, but the problem arises later on when one of them dies. Rabbits don’t handle loss well, and a grieving rabbit is not a happy bunny. You might then have to start the process again, and find your sad rabbit a suitable companion to replace the lost one.
So your one rabbit lives a chilled life in your garden, maybe pining for a mate, maybe not. But he’s pretty well-behaved. Until the new one arrives. Suddenly, your rabbit, which never ate your plants or burrowed into your lawn, is learning a bunch of new tricks. Now there’s no stopping them. Your beautiful flowers eaten, your immaculate lawn full of holes, but at least your rabbits are having a good time. Our word of advice is to be prepared to manage the added excitement.
If the rabbits don’t bond
You do the right thing and get your rabbit a companion, but they don’t get on. This might be fairly unusual, but it happens, and then you have an even bigger headache. Do you get rid of one, or both, or bring in a third? Best you speak to our team before making a decision.
Mate like rabbits
Rabbits can be difficult to sex, and often people think they have two males or two females, but they don’t, and the next thing you are the proud owner of a very cute litter of baby bunnies. When you do pair them, make sure you get it right.
Barring the odd rogue rabbit that likes the lonely life, rabbits generally benefit from the company of other rabbits. They will often be far happier and content with a mate. Rabbits are not that unlike humans, they also get bored, even depressed, and when they do, they often act it out with destructive behaviour. Take your time to get a new mate, or even better, buy two rabbits from the start.
If you need more advice about your bunnies, contact your local experts in rabbit care.
Pet Insurance for Exotic Pets08/29/2016Get peace of mind for you and your special pet Are you considering insurance for your exotic pet?Most of us approach the idea of insurance with caution. Often we view it as an unnecessary expense, a luxury, or perhaps just another money-making scam. But this is not true. It often seems unfair to pour month upon month of hard-earned money into insurance an...
Get peace of mind for you and your special pet
Are you considering insurance for your exotic pet?
Most of us approach the idea of insurance with caution. Often we view it as an unnecessary expense, a luxury, or perhaps just another money-making scam. But this is not true. It often seems unfair to pour month upon month of hard-earned money into insurance and in many cases never see the fruits of paying these premiums. Well, we suggest you put the monologue of insurance’s great injustices on hold, if only for a moment, and spare a thought for your special pet.
Pet insurance is a real thing. In fact, it has witnessed some impressive growth of late. If you have a cat, a dog or even a horse, there are a multitude of insurance policies available; your only challenge will be choosing the one that best suits your needs. Up until recently we haven’t had any pet insurance for the pets we see available in Australia, however as of October 2018 a company called Pet Cover has started to offer an exotic pet insurance. More information can be found on their website: https://www.petcover.com.au/policies/exotics-insurance
It’s a great option, however not everything is covered so please read the policy documents carefully before signing up to make sure you get the benefits your pet needs.
If you still don’t like the idea of insurance then another option is to keep an emergency fund for your pet. A guide to this is outlined below.
The principle is much the same as having actual insurance; the only difference is that instead of relying on a third party to provide the funds for medical attention and treatment, the pool of money will be kept and managed by you.
The emergency fund will be available in the event that you are unable to cover ongoing illnesses, pay for surgery when it is needed, or get the necessary treatment when an accident takes place.
How to do it
First and foremost, under your mattress is not the best place to keep your pet’s emergency fund. The best way to go about it is to set up a specific bank account that is separate from your spending account. This will help you avoid dipping into the funds and depleting your insurance fund. Once you have opened the account, you will have the option of how you would like funds to be deposited:
- Option 1: It can be deducted directly from your pay check and transferred directly into the emergency fund account.
- Option 2: You can deposit money in the emergency fund account as and when you see fit, provided you are confident that you won’t become lax with the instalments.
- No paperwork – You will not be subjected to paperwork, applications, or the added strain of having to renew an insurance policy periodically.
- Complete control – Running your own emergency fund account will mean you do not have to worry about your unusual pet insurance lapsing because of a missed payment. It also means you will know exactly how much you have available at all times.
- No additional costs, no surprises – Occasionally, medical coverage is not sufficient to cover the costs of surgery or unique procedures. In these instances, you will be required to top up, but an emergency fund will help you take care of any nasty surprises and additional costs.
- A guaranteed safety net – Most important, you can rest assured that if the need arises, your exotic pet will be well taken care of and receive any required treatment.
It’s impossible to put a price tag on peace of mind, but it’s a great investment to avoid grief. The best way to deal with the unexpected is to prepare for it. Consider starting an emergency fund for your pet today – the earlier you start the better
We specialise in the expert care of exotic pets. If you have any concerns that are exotic pet related, we are the go-to service for professional advice, treatment and relief. Contact us today.
What is the difference between us and a local dog and cat vet?07/01/2016If 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 p...
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.
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.
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.
Wing Clipping04/29/2016Before clipping your birds wings we recommend that you think about the reasons that you are clipping them and what you are hoping to achieve. The reason for this is because once clipped it can take a long time for new feathers to come through and for your bird to be able to fly again. The other thing to consider is the type of environment that your bird lives ...
Before clipping your birds wings we recommend that you think about the reasons that you are clipping them and what you are hoping to achieve. The reason for this is because once clipped it can take a long time for new feathers to come through and for your bird to be able to fly again. The other thing to consider is the type of environment that your bird lives in – you should ask yourself how your bird will manage if it can’t fly and consider if it will negatively affect your bird.
Once you have made the decision to clip your birds wings we recommend that you get someone with competency in the task to show you how to do it until you become comfortable with the procedure. The main reason for this is that we see birds whose wings have been cut too short on a regular basis by those inexperienced. If the wings are cut too short your bird will then have problems with ‘crash landings’ which can cause severe injuries in some cases, some of which need to be surgically repaired.
The aim of clipping your birds wings should always be to clip as little feathers as possible. We start by cutting the outer two primary flight feathers on both wings at the level where they reach the covert feathers. We then test flight by gently dropping the bird in an enclosed room from a short height. If they are able to gently fly down to the ground without getting any lift then you have achieved your goal. If your bird is able to gain a considerable amount of upwards lift then more feathers need to be clipped. This is then done by working from the outside inwards towards the body and taking one feather off at a time from both sides. After each additional feather is cut from both sides flight is then tested again.
Never cut a growing ‘blood’ feather and ensure that your bird is adequately and safely restrained so as not to stress your bird out too much. For any questions please contact us.Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 … 15 16 17 Next Contact Us Now