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Preventive Care and Your Exotic Pets

Cats and dogs are not the only pets who should see the veterinarian every year. All exotic pets, from turtles to parrots to ferrets should see an exotic knowledgeable veterinarian at least yearly for a full physical and to discuss even minute health and behavior changes. Routine exams are important for discussing diets and husbandry routines for these unique pets, as well as helping to detect and treat illnesses before they become severe.

An exotic pet veterinarian will obtain a thorough history of your pet’s diet, housing, and amount of contact with people and other animals. A thorough physical exam is performed and care will be taken to address your pet’s special needs. For example, dental exams are performed on rabbits as they often need dental procedures to help with overgrown teeth or malocclusions. Ferrets are prone to adrenal and pancreatic tumors which can be screened for by examination of the hair, abdominal palpation and through blood work. Birds can require nail or wing trimming depending on owner preference, and some birds require corrective beak trims. Many birds will pluck their feathers or develop aggression towards their owner or other pets. A doctor’s exam and discussion can help uncover medical and behavioral causes of these problems. Even snakes, lizards and turtles should have an exam to ensure they are eating a balanced diet and housed with appropriate spectrum lights. Preventative care for your exotic pets is one of the best ways to ensure they will live a healthy and happy life with your family. Holly Weber DVM CVA, Best Friends Animal Hospital, (941) 927-4567


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