Hedgehog Photo "Clara" Copyright 2018. Chelsea C. Taylor.

Just like dogs and cats, exotic animals should see a veterinarian regularly.  Exotic animals are very skilled at hiding signs of illness.  Routine preventative care visits can help detect issues before they become a problem. 

Husbandry and diet are often contributing factors to underlying disease in exotic pets.  Doing your research prior to obtaining an exotic animal is a must.  In fact, it may be beneficial to consult with a veterinary professional prior to making a decision.  It is recommended to bring your exotic pet to the vet every 6 to 12 months for examinations because preventing disease is much easier than treating it.  A preventative care exam will include not only a physical exam of your pet, but also an in depth discussion on your pet’s environment, nutrition, and behavior.  Depending on the species, additional routine diagnostics may be recommended. 

  • Physical Exams: Husbandry and nutrition are extremely important, especially for reptiles. Every physical exam will include a discussion on the current habitat.  Small changes in the environment can have a huge impact on a reptile’s health.  Sometimes we do not see the effects of inadequate husbandry until a few months later.
  • Diagnostics:  Like most other exotics, reptiles are adept at covering up illness thus blood work is a valuable tool that can help us evaluate their overall health status.  Depending on the history and type of reptile, routine blood work may be recommended.  Blood work provides good information on blood cell counts and overall metabolic function.  Fecal tests are also of particular importance to assess for any intestinal parasites.
  • Grooming:  Some reptiles may benefit from nail trims.  Occasionally, tortoises may need beak trims due to abnormal growth or wear.


  • Physical Exam: Routine physical exams help detect many issues early on.  Dental disease is common in animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, and chinchillas since their teeth constantly grow.  Each appointment involves a thorough oral examination. 
  • Diagnostics: Blood work is generally recommended annually in small mammals such as ferrets and rabbits.  As with canine and feline patients, establishing baseline normals and monitoring trends is very important in exotic pets.  Depending on the situation, blood work may also be recommended for smaller mammals such as guinea pigs and sugar gliders.  Yearly fecal tests are recommended in most species to screen for intestinal parasites.
  • Vaccinations: Ferrets are required to have rabies vaccines by law.  Additionally distemper vaccines are also recommended. 
  • Grooming:  Small mammals often need nail trims every few months.  Maintaining a healthy nail length will help keep them comfortable and prevent injury.

Superior care for birds, reptiles, & pocket pets*

Small Mammals (Rabbits, Gerbils, Ferrets, etc.)

Reptiles

*Please note that we cannot see monkeys, AMPHIBIANS, or venomous snakes.

Birds

Shiloh Animal Hospital  |  1005 Lichtin Blvd, Morrisville, NC, 27560   |   Phone: 919.825.1000  |  Fax: 919.724.4902  | FrontDesk@ShilohAnimalHospital.com

  • Physical Exam: Birds are known for hiding illnesses well.  Routine exams help detect issues early on.  Exams are heavily focused on not only physical health, but also behavior, enrichment, and nutrition because proper enrichment and nutrition can help prevent many medical and behavioral issues.
  • Diagnostics:  Annual blood work is recommended for most birds to establish baseline normals and follow trends in order to detect early signs of disease.  Routine blood work provides information on red and white blood cell counts as well as overall metabolic function.   Yearly fecal gram stains are beneficial to assess the overall gastrointestinal health of companion avian species.  Intestinal parasite checks are recommended for species such as poultry and waterfowl.  For newly acquired birds, infectious disease testing may also be recommended.
  • Grooming:  Birds may need nail or beak trims due to abnormal wear or growth.  Depending on your bird’s lifestyle, wing trims may also be recommended depending on a birds lifestyle.