Veterinarian Visits and Vaccinations
Whenever you bring home a new exotic pet, whether they are old or young, from a known breeder or the street, always take your exotic pet for an initial veterinary visit. The veterinarian can make sure your exotic pet is healthy and identify any potential health problems. During the initial vet visit, your doctor will conduct some more in-depth tests to get a baseline for your pet’s health. For example, with reptiles, a veterinarian may do tests to examine calcium, phosphorous and other indicators of bone health since this is one of the most common health issues they face. Your veterinarian can also help you with periodic grooming activities, like trimming claws on lizards or filing teeth on rabbits.
Spaying and Neutering
Most pet owners don’t breed captive reptiles and amphibians. However, spaying or neutering could have a negative effect on these animals’ endocrine systems. Generally, unless an animal is experiencing a health-related problem associated with reproductive organs, spaying and neutering are not necessary procedures. However, if you do expect to breed your pet, be sure to read about the specific courting behaviors, reproductive processes, and infant care for your species.
Common Health Problems
Animals are susceptible to many of the same kind of diseases humans face, such as cancers, gastrointestinal diseases and kidney failure. Among herptiles (reptiles and amphibians), metabolic bone disease can be a common problem. That is why it is important to supplement their diets with the vitamins and minerals needed to strengthen bone development and balance calcium and phosphorous intake.
Each species has its own health idiosyncrasies. For example, some iguana species can lose their tails and regrow them. In some herptiles, changes in skin color can be normal, while for others it may indicate an illness. It is important for you to learn about the conditions that apply to your chosen pet. However, if you observe any bleeding, paralysis or bone penetrating the skin, take your pet to the veterinarian immediately.
A zoonotic disease is one that originates with an animal but can spread to humans. Most animals have the potential of spreading zoonotic diseases. Some of your pet’s required vaccinations are designed to prevent zoonotic diseases. However, there are never any guarantees. Among reptiles and amphibians, salmonella is the zoonotic disease to watch for. Regular veterinary visits and testing will help ensure your pet’s continuing health related to zoonotic diseases.
Most importantly, always wash your hands before and after handling a reptile or amphibian. In addition, after handling food be sure to wash your hands before you touch your pet.
Exotic Pet Boarding
We are one of the few facilities which will care for your exotic pet while you are away. We board all exotic pets and our team members love and have experience in the field of exotic animal care.
Our team at Oak Park Animal Hospital attend to all your pet's needs while you are away, making sure your pet feels relaxed and loved in their new temporary surroundings. Having the ability to leave your pet with our experienced team of doctors and staff will not only give you peace of mind, but also will make for a more pleasant and less stressful experience for your pet.
It is our intention for you to enjoy your vacation or take care of business without worrying about your pet. We understand that you will miss them, and that they will miss you; we strive to make your time away from each other as pleasant and stress free as we can. We want your pets to feel like this is their “home away from home!”
All exotic pets must be current on an annual examination performed by one of our veterinarians and a fecal screening. Since there are so many different housing requirements for each type of exotic pet, we ask that you bring your exotic pet in their housing. This not only ensures that we can care for your pet with the proper environment, but it will also decrease their stress level since their habitat has not been altered. Please also bring their personalized food with instructions for their feeding care.