Have you recently adopted a sugar glider, chinchilla, hedgehog, or another exotic pet? Good for you! Of course, just like any other animal, these guys do need veterinary care to stay healthy. A Burleston, TX veterinarian discusses taking exotic pets to their doctor below.
Choosing The Vet
First and foremost, you’ll need to find a good vet, one that welcomes exotics. This requires some additional training, as exotics have very specific care needs and health concerns. This can also be a wonderful source of advice.
For transport, you can use a small tank or aquarium, a cat carrier, or even a plastic storage tote. Just make sure it’s both secure and well-ventilated. Some clinics may allow exotics to come in with leashes, but you’ll still need a carrier for the ride over. Be sure to secure the container. The floor behind the passenger seat is often a good spot.
Temperature is also something to consider. Have the car warmed up (or cooled down) before bringing your pet out. Don’t add anything that could fall over onto them during transport. If it’s chilly out and your animal companion needs heat, use hot water bottles or microwaved rice socks. Make sure your pet can’t scald themselves! Blankets or towels can also help with this.
Some exotics, such as sugar gliders and Guinea pigs, are very sociable and need roommates. Take them both (or all) in at once. Being transported is quite stressful for pets, so you don’t want to add to that distress by separating them from their pals. That said, there are caveats: if you know or suspect that one of your pets is pregnant, seriously hurt, or contagious, you may need to split them up. Ask your vet for recommendations.
How often your pets should come in will depend on their age, health, and species. However, most exotics should see their doctors at least once per year. In between visits, watch for potential signs of illness or injury. Although every type of animal has their own unique red flags to watch for, there are some that are pretty much universal. These include things like reduced appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, swelling, stiffness, respiratory issues, and unusual posture or vocalizations.
Do you need to make an appointment for an exotic pet? Contact us, your Burleston, TX animal clinic, today!