What is considered an emergency?
There are a few situations that we can label an emergency across the board for all species that we see here in the exotics ward:
- Bleeding or recent blood loss
- Significant trauma/fractured bone(s)
- Difficulty breathing
- Exposure to a toxin
- Animal bites/scratches
- Not eating for 24 hours (with the exception of reptiles)
- Low energy/sleeping more
- Weakness/falling over
- Unresponsive/not arousable
- Straining to go to the bathroom or pass an egg
Does my pet require vaccinations?
If your exotic pet is a ferret, raccoon, kinkajou, coatimundi, or pig, then the answer is, yes. These animals are legally required to be current on certain vaccines. If your pet is a bird, reptile, amphibian, rabbit, rodent, or marsupial, then the answer is, no. Even if your pet doesn’t need vaccinations, we always recommend annual visits so we can screen for potential health issues and catch things before they become a problem. There are also preventative measures that should be taken for many of the above species such as flea and heartworm prevention. These medications can be safely scripted by your veterinarian.
Can my pet and I contract one another’s illnesses?
Certain diseases are considered zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted between species (including our own). For instance, if you have the flu, your ferret can contract it from you, so limit interaction with your ferret if you are feeling under the weather.
Parrots can carry Psittacosis, a disease which is possible to contract as a human and can be very serious in both species. Many animals carry parasites, fungi, and bacteria that can be dangerous to us, especially if you are immune-suppressed/compromised in any way. The safest bet is to always wash your hands before and after spending time with or tending to your pets, and to bring new pets in for a check-up and infectious disease screening. Remember, if there is a concern about your health or your pets, it’s always best to consult with a doctor.