Regular medical care for your exotic animal family member is an important part of keeping your pet healthy. In fact, visits to your exotic animal veterinarian are often even more valuable, as exotic animals are adept at hiding signs of illness.

Many health issues are a result of improper or marginal husbandry, care, and diet problems. This is why a post-purchase examination is highly recommended to start out correctly to prevent more complex and costly problems later. In addition to a complete physical examination, the initial visit involves an in-depth discussion about your pet’s environment and diet. We may also recommend screening diagnostic tests depending on your pet’s species and history. These tests may include blood work, fecal analysis, and/or additional disease testing. In the event of detectable abnormalities or illness, more advanced or specialized diagnostic testing may be recommended.

 

AVIAN MEDICINE RECOMMENDATIONS

PHYSICAL EXAMINATION EVERY 6-12 MONTHS: As prey animals, birds instinctually hide signs of illness. Regular physical examinations allow for the early detection and treatment of disease. We can answer any health and behavioral questions that you may have. Depending on the age and medical history of your bird, we may recommend wellness exams more frequently.

DIAGNOSTIC TESTING:

  • Blood Work:
    • A complete blood count and blood chemistry panel is recommended yearly.
    • We recommend this for most birds because they are notorious for hiding signs of illness.
    • With the information obtained this basic blood work helps evaluate your bird’s health more thoroughly assisting in the early detection and treatment of disease.
  • Fecal Gram Stain:
    • Regular fecal gram stains help screen for microbial overgrowth, abnormal bacteria, and yeast in the GI tract.
  • Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD) Test:
    • This disease is contagious between birds.
    • The course of this disease can range from weeks to several years but in many cases is fatal.
    • Birds initially show few signs but may develop feather, skin, and beak issues over time.
    • Some positive birds survive to become carriers that can infect other birds.
    • This test is recommended for all new birds.
    • As long as there is no exposure to untested or PBFD positive animals, your bird may only need to be tested once during its life.
  • Psittacosis/Chlamydia Test:
    • This contagious and zoonotic disease can affect humans in addition to other birds.
    • Birds may show signs of illness or appear completely healthy while shedding the bacteria.
    • Treatment involves a long course of antibiotics.
    • This disease test is recommended for all new birds.
    •  As long as there is no exposure to untested or disease positive animals, your bird may only need to be tested once during its life.
  • Radiographs:
    • x-rays may be recommended as part of an annual examination to access bone density and organ size.

GROOMING:

  • Regular nail trims make handling your bird more comfortable and help prevent snagging of sharp nails, which can cause injury. Most birds require nail trims every few months.
  • Wing trims may be appropriate depending on your household and your bird’s behavior. This grooming can help prevent injury or accidental escape outside.
  • Beak trims are not considered a routine grooming procedure, as beak overgrowth and other beak abnormalities are usually due to an underlying health issue. It is recommended that any bird with beak abnormalities be evaluated by a veterinarian prior to trimming the beak.

 

 

SMALL EXOTIC MAMMAL MEDICINE RECOMMENDATIONS

PHYSICAL EXAMINATION EVERY 6-12 MONTHS: Regular physical examinations allow for the early detection and treatment of diseases. Many species have the potential to develop specific species related problems that can be detected early by regular examinations. We can answer any health and behavioral questions that you may have. Depending on the age and medical history of your pet, we may recommend wellness exams more frequently.

DIAGNOSTIC TESTING:

  • Blood Work:
    • A complete count and blood chemistry panel is recommended.
    • Small exotic mammals are basically a prey species so are notorious for hiding signs of illness.
    • Annual testing in rabbits and ferrets should begin at an age of 2-3 years.
    • Blood work may also be recommended in your smaller exotic animal family member, such as guinea pigs or rats.
    • Obtaining samples in small mammals sometimes require a brief anesthetized procedure for your pet’s safety and to be able to obtain an adequate sample with minimal stress.
    • With the information obtained this basic blood work helps evaluate your bird’s health more thoroughly assisting in the early detection and treatment of disease.
  • Fecal Analysis:
    • Analysis of a fecal sample may be recommended in your pet for the detection of parasites or other abnormalities.
  • Vaccinations:
    • Depending upon the exotic pet species rabies and distemper vaccinations may be recommended.

GROOMING:

Regular nail trims make handling your pet more comfortable and help prevent snagging of sharp nails, which can cause injury. Many small exotic mammals require nail trims every few months. While some people can trim their own pet’s nails, many prefer to have grooming performed by our trained staff members.