Birds, Pocket Pets, and Exotics
If you have welcomed a ferret into your life, you are in for a lively and entertaining friendship. All at once, they can be comical AND predatory, yet sweet and peaceful. They have often been compared to having both dog and cat traits rolled up in one which makes them very fun pets to have. But be prepared for careful attention to their special needs.
Ferrets are carnivores who require a high protein/low fiber diet and free access to fresh water. They need plenty of exercise which is supervised so they don’t get into trouble…remember that anywhere their head can go the body will follow. Commonly, they are afflicted with conditions which include adrenal disease, insulinoma, lymphoma, skin conditions, dental disease and foreign body ingestion.
Ferrets who are purchased from a pet store will be spayed/neutered and have their scent glands removed, but will require vaccine boosters and vaccination against rabies on an annual basis.
Ferrets are commonly afflicted with some very serious diseases that can result in hair loss, itchy skin, weakness, weight loss, diarrhea and vomit, and should be seen by a veterinarian right away.
Young ferrets commonly ingest foreign bodies, as well. Ferrets should be vaccinated to prevent infectious disease, and our veterinarians can help you determine if your ferret should be vaccinated.
This rabbit needs teeth trimming due to lack of items to wear down teeth properly. Regular checkups with your veterinarian can help avoid dangerous malnourishment for your pet rabbit.
Owning an exotic pet requires a strong commitment. A commitment to their lifestyle, their housing, their diet and other environmental needs that a lot of times is forgotten in the desire to own a new and interesting pet. By spending the extra time researching and understanding the particular needs of the exotic pet you wish to add to your family, you will benefit in the long run as will your pet. Many exotic pets are purchased or acquired before their needs and the cost of their care is truly realized and it is heartbreaking when many are stricken with illness or death because of inappropriate diet, lighting or housing.
Fortunately, there are many reputable websites available to learn more about a particular species or breed of exotic pet and it is encouraged to visit them in preparation for your new addition to your family. Please visit the links for additional help.
make happy and whimsical pets who are full of entertainment and joy for the whole family…By giving them the environmental enrichment and dietary choices they require for a full and healthy life; you will be rewarded. These guys are fun and inquisitive and interactive. Who doesn’t like the look of a bunny twitching its nose, flicking its ears and hopping around the house?
That being said, having a house rabbit as a family pet requires dedication to his special needs. The right diet is tantamount in ensuring that he will be there with you as long as possible. The wrong diet choices will surely shorten his lifespan.
Rabbits should be supplied with lots of food with high fiber content. When they "fill up" on hay and greens, many of them lose interest in chewing up paper and furniture. They should be allowed to exercise outdoors regularly to maintain a healthy weight, and keep all their systems in good working order. The rabbit in this picture has been fitted with a harness and is ready for a walk!
A house rabbit’s diet should only consist of grass hay supplemented by mixed leafy greens and in TINY quantities other vegetables and fruit. There are many other medical concerns relating to rabbits that require help from your veterinarian. Spaying and neutering are very important in controlling unwanted reproduction and health concerns. Please visit rabbit.org for more detailed information regarding care of your new family member. Before coming in for your appointment with one of our doctors, please fill out the rabbit questionnaire on our website to help us better serve you in maintaining your rabbit’s good health.
Proper housing, foods, and bedding are critical to a long, healthy life in your pocket pets and exotic pets.
This rat is prepped for neutering surgery. A special bed keeps him warm while under anesthesia and careful dosing of pain medication allows him to heal in comfort.
Depending upon which reptile or amphibian you have chosen to join your family, the level of care each requires may vary dramatically. A snake which feeds on rodents will have different needs from a lizard who likes insects.
Common reptiles chosen for pets include Bearded Dragons, Green Iguanas, Red-Eared Sliders, Box Turtles, Corn Snakes and Boas but there are many other choices all with their unique and individual requirements, as well as unique personalities.
Remember to visit reputable websites for detailed information before purchasing your reptile or amphibian (like anapsid.org)…or better yet, look into adopting or rescuing a pet who has been relinquished.
Dr. Henry-Ford, Dr. Michalski, and Dr. Davis have experience and training for handling these special patients. They understand their unique needs and have the training necessary to care many types of birds, including birds of prey or other wild birds. They also care for domesticated birds such as geese, ducks, parakeets, macaws, budgies and many others. A good way to get the most out of your visit at Alpine for your bird, reptile, or exotic pet is to fill out one of the pre-visit forms we have made available on our website. Click here.
Observing small changes in appetite, movement, and attitude may help prevent problems from getting out of control. Also, remember to look at feet and toes regularly for signs of problems or injury. Consult your veterinarian before problems develop. Prevention is better than trying to undo problems created by improper care.