All veterinarians may see exotic pets such as birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, reptiles but the level of experience can vary widely. When you are looking for a veterinarian for your exotic pet, here are a few questions that you should ask when calling.

Does your practice see birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, reptiles? – First you need to ask if the practice sees them on a regular basis. Remember to ask how often the practice sees your type of pet. Does the practice see them on a daily/weekly basis or is it more like every few months. It takes practice to become familiar with each species. If they are only seeing them every few months they will not be as familiar with them as someone who sees them on a daily basis.

What is covered in the physical exam? – Ask what’s involved. Do they discuss diet and how to care for your pet? Is any grooming included such as a nail trim or a wing trim?

Is the support staff comfortable handling my exotic pet? It is important that the veterinarian also have technical staff that are skilled in handling your pet safely.

Are you equipped to hospitalize my pet if necessary? Specialized equipment and housing is needed to support exotic pets when they are ill. Some veterinarians may see exotics pets as out-patients but will refer to another animal hospital when bloodwork, x-rays, or surgery is needed.

Exotic pets are a wonderful addition to your household but need specialized care. It is worth the time and effort to find out where you can bring them for their general and emergency care once they become part of your family.