Avian and exotic pets still need to see the veterinarian, but not all hospitals are able to see them since experience and training in avian and exotic animal medicine can be difficult to come by for veterinarians. Avians and exotic pets can have quite different needs than dogs and cats, but they still need access to a skilled, AAHA accredited veterinarian like the those here at Balboa Pet Hospital in San Francisco.
What is an Exotic Pet?
For most veterinarians, an exotic pet is anything that is not a farm animal or a dog or cat. Here at Balboa Pet Hospital, we consider an exotic pet to be anything that is not a dog, cat. The species we see and treat here at Balboa Pet Hospital are:
- “Pocket” pets
- Wild animals
Common pets in each of these categories include snakes, iguanas and bearded dragons, frogs and salamanders, parrots, doves, and chickens, koi and goldfish, and mammals such as sugar gliders, squirrels, skunks, or opossums.
Why Exotic Pets Need Vets, Too
Most people are relatively content not to take their exotic animal to the veterinarian. However, what happens if your exotic pet becomes ill? Not knowing what your pet is like when they are healthy leaves the veterinarian at a disadvantage for treating them. If you do not have an exotic animal vet already, it may also be difficult to find someone to see your pet if they do fall ill or injure themselves.
It is also fairly common for well-meaning owners to receive the wrong information about how to care for their exotic pet or bird. Our veterinarians can help provide up-to-date, scientific knowledge about the best methods of care for your pet. They can also tell you what to look out for because illness in an exotic animal oftentimes will not look like illness in a dog or cat.
Common Problems with Exotic Pets
Some of the more common issues to crop up in multiple species of exotic animals are:
- Improper diet leading to malnutrition, starvation, or obesity
- Improper housing leading to hypothermia, behavior problems, and suppressed immune systems
- Viral diseases
- Bacterial infections
- Fungal infections
- Trauma from falls, fights, or improper housing
If you have an exotic pet that seems like he/she is just not the same as usual, bring him/her to us right away. Many times, the symptoms of disease in these animals are subtle and more difficult to see than in dogs and cats. You are the person who knows what is normal for your exotic pet, so your assessment of the situation is critical to ensuring that your pet receives proper veterinary care.
We know and respect that people care deeply about their pets no matter what species they are. Balboa Pet Hospital prides ourselves on offering AAHA accredited care for most avian and exotic animal species. Contact us today at 1-415-752-3300 to make an appointment for your pet.