Wellness Care for Exotic Companions

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Rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, hedgehogs, rats and many other pocket pets all need and deserve careful monitoring of their health and well-being throughout their lives just as our cats and dogs do. Comprehensive physical examinations are the most important part of your pet’s healthcare program. Metabolic rates and aging in our exotic mammalian pets occurs much more rapidly than in humans and even compared to dogs and cats. Consequently, comprehensive physical examinations of exotic species occur more frequently throughout their lives. In young ones it is recommended to have medical examinations every 6 months. As they age this may need to be increased to every 3 months depending on their health.

Comprehensive Physical Examination

Since we cannot talk to our patients like human doctors can, we rely strongly on the history of their health and well-being provided by their pet parents. Many exotic pets are prey species in the wild and consequently can be very good at hiding the signs of illness until it is quite advanced. A complete and thorough physical examination is performed of all body systems by our veterinarians to check for any abnormalities or problems. This is also your opportunity to ask any questions or discuss any concerns that you have about your pet’s health and well-being.

Obesity

Obesity can occur in exotic pets just as it can in other domestic pets, which can also lead to health problems and a shorter life. Every patient’s body condition and weight are
evaluated to determine if their’s is under, over or ideal. Weight changes can indicate underlying health problems and can contribute to health problems for your pet.

Nutrition

Nutritional evaluation and advice is provided with each visit to determine your pet’s specific needs. Various qualities of food exist for pocket pets and some foods are basically no better than ‘junk food’. Simply improving the quality of a pet’s diet can improve their health and longevity.

Dental Health

Oral examinations are performed with every wellness consultation. Periodontal disease does occur in ferrets just like our dogs and cats which can have detrimental effects on their health and quality of life. Rabbits, guinea pigs, and rats can all experience dental problems associated with continually growing teeth, that if not treated can cause severe health problems and even death.

 

Immunizations

Immunizations are given to ferrets to prevent some serious diseases including distemper and rabies. Our other pocket pets and rabbits do not typically receive immunizations due to their lower risk of the diseases we currently prevent with vaccinations.

Intestinal Parasite Identification and Treatment

Intestinal parasites affect all companion animals and often occur with little or no signs to your pet. Detection is based on a stool sample submitted one to two times a year to look
for microscopic eggs and larva that are present. Treatment is based upon the specific organism that is present since one deworming medication cannot eliminate all of the different types of parasites.

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