Exotic Pet Medicine and Surgery

Our exotic animal veterinarians are experienced in providing care and treatment for exotic companion animals, including ferrets, gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters, iguanas, rabbits, and reptiles. We understand their unique health needs and can provide diagnostic, therapeutic, and surgical services, as well as counseling on nutrition, behavior, and general care. Likewise, surgery (e.g. lump removals, spay/neuter) and fracture repairs are offered at our hospital.

Medicine and Surgery

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As with dogs and cats, diagnostics (such as blood work and radiographs) can be used to diagnose illnesses. We hospitalize exotic animals that need supportive care. Likewise, surgery (e.g. lump removals, spay/neuter) and fracture repairs are offered at our hospital.”

Exotic Animals

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Our clinic was built with our diverse patient load in mind. We have 3 distinct ventilation systems within the building, and have separate wards for cats, dogs and exotic pets. We aim to reduce patient stress by keeping species separate as much as possible. We also have separate exam rooms to assist us with this. We have specialized equipment for exotics, such as incubators where temperature and humidity can be controlled, appropriate scales for the weighing of tiny patients, and appropriate tools for avian grooming. Although a lot of information regarding exotic animals is widely available on the Internet, it is often difficult to determine what sources to trust. Our wonderful support staff – receptionists and technical staff- are very interested and knowledgeable about various exotic species such as mice, rats, ferrets, sugar gliders, hedgehogs, hamsters, guinea pigs, chinchillas, prairie dogs, degus, birds and reptiles. They all have different areas of expertise and training, many with their own exotic pets at home, and help us to work with you to keep your unique pets healthy.

Not only can we provide medical assessments and perform surgical procedures, but we can also help you prevent many diseases related to improper nutrition, which are common in these animals. Please schedule an appointment so we can discuss your exotic pet’s nutritional needs. In addition, we supply a wide range of foods and supplements for these unique animals.

Rabbits

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Rabbits are susceptible to a variety of diseases and conditions, including overgrown teeth, hairballs, parasites, and cancer. They also tend to hide signs of illness or pain.

Contact us if your rabbit:

  • Has discharge from the eyes or nose, runny stool, or a gurgling stomach
  • Has an elevated or low temperature
  • Begins drooling, scratching at the ears, or sneezing
  • Starts tilting his or her head
  • Develops bald patches in his or her fur
  • Stops eating, appears quieter than normal, or shows other abnormal behaviour
  • No/decreased bowel movement

In addition, your rabbit can benefit from regular dental checkups. We can help make sure problems with your rabbit’s teeth don’t turn into serious, potentially life-threatening conditions.

We also strongly suggest that you have your rabbit spayed or neutered. Not only can rabbits potentially give birth once a month, but they can also have up to 14 babies at a time! Even in households with a single rabbit, spaying or neutering has benefits: It can protect your rabbit from several types of cancer and reduce or eliminate aggression, as well as other undesirable behavior, such as spraying, mounting, destructive chewing, and biting. Spaying or neutering will not change your rabbit’s personality.

If you have any questions about how to care for your rabbit, we can discuss diet, housing, grooming, and even litterbox training.

Reptiles

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Nutrition-related disorders and diseases are common in lizards, turtles, and tortoises. Husbandry-related issues are also a huge contributor as to how and why pet reptiles get sick.

We offer examinations and consultations for new reptile owners to help identify current or potential medical problems and, if necessary, begin treatment. In addition, we can provide you with information on appropriate enclosures, environmental requirements, diet, sanitation, and disease prevention.

Gerbils, Guinea Pigs, and Hamsters

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Just because they are small does not mean they cannot benefit from veterinary attention. Gerbils, guinea pigs, and hamsters are prone to various health issues, and, like rabbits, they also have teeth that grow continuously throughout life.  Sometimes, this can result in overgrowth and malocclusion  if your pet is unable to properly wear them to normal length. It is important that this is caught early so that immediate action can be taken before your pet starts to develop ulcerations in the mouth and/or it starts to affect your pet’s ability to eat. Teeth overgrowth in rodents is often a result of improper diet and may require a dental grind by an experienced exotics veterinarian. External parasites such as lice, mites, and fleas can also infest your pet for which immediate treatment should be done.

Please do not hesitate to call us if your pet stops eating, loses weight, appears quieter than normal, has discharge from the eyes or nose, or develops a lump on its body.

Ferrets

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You can help keep your ferret healthy by bringing him or her in for an exam at least once a year. That way, we can monitor any changes that occur in your pet and help prevent or catch diseases early, when they’re easier to treat. As ferrets age, they may need additional testing and dental care.

Common problems associated with ferrets include gastrointestinal disease, internal and external parasites, endocrine-related disorders, and cancer. In addition, ferrets are inquisitive creatures by nature and frequently ingest objects they shouldn’t. Regular blood tests can help determine whether your ferret has any problems with the kidneys, liver, or pancreas.

Ferrets can also benefit from receiving certain vaccinations and monthly preventives, which we can discuss with you during your visit. Please bring a stool sample to your ferret’s annual exam so we can test for internal parasites.

Unless you are planning to breed your ferret, we recommend that he or she be spayed or neutered. Female ferrets, or jills, do not need to give birth once to stay healthy. In fact, spaying can save a ferret’s life. Jills that haven’t been spayed will stay in heat until they’re bred. This condition can cause anemia (a decrease in red blood cells), which can be fatal. In male ferrets, neutering can reduce their strong body odor, prevent marking, and reduce aggressive behavior.

Please contact us right away if your ferret develops any unusual symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, hair loss, lack of appetite, trouble breathing, black ear wax, discharge from the eyes or nose, lumps, swelling, or an increase in aggression or sexual behavior (especially in neutered males).