Vet Blog

What to expect from our exotic and pocket pet vet

March 19, 2019

When you choose a pet that is a little different to the run-of-the-mill choices, you will want to make sure that your chosen vet has the specialized knowledge and experience of your exotic or pocket pet in Columbus, NC so that she gets the care that she needs and deserves.

What is an exotic pet?

An exotic pet is often defined as being a species of animal that was once considered wild and not suitable to be kept in a domestic setting. However, the desire to keep such animals as pets means that although exotic pets are fairly rare when compared to the more typically-kept cats and dogs, an increasing number of owners are opting to adopt more unusual species of animal.

Some of the types of animals that are typically characterized as being an exotic by nature include:

  • Amphibians, such as frogs, salamanders and newts
  • Small birds
  • Spiders
  • Stick insects and praying mantis
  • Hissing cockroaches
  • Scorpions
  • Tortoises
  • Turtles
  • Snakes
  • Lizards
  • Water dragons
  • Giant land snails

From their habitats to their food, this diverse range of pets have very different care requirements.

What is a pocket pet?

As you might have gathered from the name, a pocket pet is the name given to describe various types of mammals kept domestically that are much smaller than cats, dogs, rabbits and ferrets.

There are lots of different animals that are often characterized as being pocket pets, including:

  • Guinea pigs
  • Hamsters
  • Gerbils
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Chinchillas
  • Hedgehogs
  • Sugar gliders

Their small size means that pocket pets are typically kept in a cage or habitat that is large enough for them to be comfortable in, but has no means of escape for your wily furbaby.

Why do you need a specialized exotic or pocket pet vet?

As you might imagine from looking at our list of exotic pets, the physiology of many of these animals is completely different to that seen in cats and dogs. As a result, the requirements of such creatures can vary immensely too. For example, tortoises need extensive exposure to UV light and heat in order to be healthy, while amphibians require constant access to water deep enough to submerge themselves fully in. Unsurprisingly, significant training and experience are needed to be able to both diagnose and treat pets of this nature.

When it comes to pocket pets, although they are small in physical size, often they are considered to be fairly 'wild' as far as pets go. Although their physiology isn't that dissimilar to a larger mammal, they still have very special husbandry requirements. As such, their health would benefit from the specialist attention of a trained and experienced exotic/pocket pet vet.

What can an exotic pocket pet vet offer?

One of the most common things that we experience here at our veterinary hospital in Columbus, NC is owners bringing their exotic or pocket pets in for the very first time because they suspect that they are sick. While you should most certainly seek professional help if you think your pet is unwell, all exotic and pocket pets, regardless of species, will benefit from regular veterinary check-ups. These appointments, which are normally annual unless otherwise recommended, give your specialist vet an opportunity to thoroughly assess the health and condition of your animal. This could potentially enable them to spot a developing health problem early and before it can cause pain, unpleasant symptoms, and permanent damage to your pet.

Some of the services that your exotic pocket pet vet may be able to provide include:

  • Vaccinations and parasite prevention
  • Other preventative care
  • Nutrition advice and support
  • Behavior advice and support
  • Dental cleaning where appropriate
  • Emergency care
  • Boarding

If you are interested in finding out more about exotic and pocket pets and the services that our dedicated and experienced veterinary team can provide for your more unusual animal, please don't hesitate to call 828-970-1780 to contact our veterinary hospital in Columbus, NC.