Exotic pets – How to choose a vet

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All of our family members need proper medical care. That’s true of the two-legged family members and those which are furry, scaly, or feathery too. Great veterinary care for our exotic pets is just as important as vet care for your dog, or medical care for your child. If you own an exotic pet, whether it’s a large snake, a pretty tropical bird, or a cuddly pocket pet, you’ll want to locate a veterinarian who is skilled at exotic pet care.

What is considered an exotic pet?

Sometimes, when we hear the word “exotic”, we think of zoo creatures like tigers and bears. However, exotic pets include a wide variety of animals we consider to be household pets as well. Reptiles, birds, and pocket pets (those small, cuddly animals like mice, bunnies, and hamsters) all fall into the exotic pet category. Ferrets, hedgehogs, sugar gliders and chinchillas: all exotic pets. Even your tropical fish can be considered exotic pets.

Questions to ask your veterinarian about exotic pets:

  • How many and what kinds of exotic pets do you  treat?
    We know that practice makes progress, so the more of any given species a veterinarian sees, the more likely it is that he or she will be skilled in diagnosing and treating that particular animal. Many vets only see dogs and cats, so you’ll want to seek out a vet who has experience treating your specific pet.
  • Do you have the right equipment to treat my pet?
    Many cat and dog clinics don’t have the ability to treat exotic pets because they don’t have the equipment necessary. Ask your vet about tanks for safely enclosing your reptile, scales for weighing your small pet, and heat lamps to keep your pet safe and comfortable. If they don’t have the supplies ready to care for your pet, chances are they don’t often treat the type of animal you have.
  • Do you offer surgery or diagnostic testing for exotic animals?
    You’ll want to be able to have one place to go to accommodate all your pets’ needs. You won’t want to have to travel around if your pet needs special care.

Dr. Gary Andes is one of the few Veterinarians in the Tri-Cities area who treats birds, reptiles, pocket pets, and other exotics. All of our staff are trained to provide high quality medical care for your exotic animals because we believe that these pets will live longer, healthier, and happier lives when cared for properly.

If you have any questions or concerns about your pet or their care,  you should always visit or call your veterinarian. Give us a call today at (423) 378-4443, we are happy to answer any questions you have to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.