EXOTIC PET CARE
Exotic Pet Care Services at Rancho Bernardo Pet Hospital
Issues affecting exotic pets, such as reptiles and birds, can make looking after these non-traditional pets more challenging than simply caring for a dog or cat. Fortunately, our animal hospital is more than qualified to help exotic pet owners along this particular journey. Our veterinarian at Rancho Bernardo Pet Hospital, Dr. Stephens, has the training and experience to provide skilled reptile and bird care while also seeing to the health and wellness of your other animals.
Reptiles, Birds and Other Exotic Pet Care Issues
Before even shopping for an exotic pet, animal lovers should do their homework to learn as much as possible about the creature they would like to adopt. This will help ensure that they can properly care for the animal throughout its projected lifespan.
Some snakes and lizards, for instance, can appear easy to house as babies but eventually become several feet long, making their enclosure in a small space challenging for owner and possibility unhealthy for the reptile. Owners should err on the large side when selecting bird cages, lizard enclosures or “pocket pet” environments, although the bars on a bird cage should also be sufficiently narrow to prevent escape. The bottom of an enclosure should be cleaned regularly and re-lined with nontoxic bedding materials.
Our veterinarian can help owners select the right types of bedding and enclosure for their pets. Exotic pets pose some unusual health considerations that vary from one type of animal to another. Snakes, for instance, shed their skin periodically as normal part of their ongoing growth, but sometimes the skin fails to slough off of the tail completely, and this can create a health hazard.
Birds, especially smaller songbirds, can be extraordinarily sensitive to airborne chemicals or particles, and they can actually experience malnutrition on a diet consisting exclusively of bird seed.
Our veterinarian can advise owners on bird and reptile care, diet and environment, but, ultimately, it is up to each owner to provide those circumstances in the home. Our veterinarian recommends regular wellness evaluations, not only for dogs and cats but for exotic pets as well. Our experience in bird and reptile care can help us identify potential problems by checking vital signs, running lab tests and performing a visual inspection.
For instance, a lizard experiencing rapid weight loss may simply be a female expending extra energy during the breeding season, or it may be carrying internal parasites. We can use these symptoms to help us gain a detailed picture of your pet’s health and provide it with the appropriate care measures. Our veterinarian can also give owners extensive advice on proper diet, environmental maintenance and other day-to-day care to optimize the animal’s ongoing wellness and minimize the need for emergency visits.
We encourage exotic pet owners in the Rancho Bernardo area to contact our office and schedule an initial consultation.
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