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Avian and Exotic Pet Vet Services FAQ

We label a few situations as an emergency across the board for all species we see here in the exotics department:

  • 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
  • Seizures
  • Unresponsive/not arousable
  • Straining to go to the bathroom or pass an egg

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 require vaccinations, we always recommend annual visits so we can screen for potential health issues before they become a problem. Preventative measures also should be taken for many of the above species such as flea and heartworm prevention. These medications can be safely prescribed by your veterinarian.

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 that 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 measure 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 health, it’s always best to consult with a doctor.