Avian and Exotic Medicine and Care

We offer basic care of many exotic pets, including birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, and rats. Unfortunately, at this time, we do not offer care to reptiles.We do basic care of exotic pets, including birds, rabbits, hamsters, rats, etc. We DO NOT see reptiles.We can provide nutritional counseling, health assessments, grooming assistance, sexing, fecal parasite testing, medical and surgical services, and annual physicals. In addition, we’d be happy to discuss general care, disease prevention, safety, appropriate housing and toys, and breeding.We recommend that you bring your bird in for an initial checkup, then stop by once a year to ensure that he or she remains healthy and isn’t hiding signs of illness. Some birds require more frequent visits. During the exam, we will check your bird’s beak, nails, and feathers to determine if they require any specialized attention. Regular exams can help catch diseases and problems early, when they tend to be easier and less expensive to treat.A bird that doesn’t groom itself correctly, appears ruffled, or has unkempt or missing feathers is probably sick. Other signs that your bird might not be well include changes in eating or sleeping habits, difficulty breathing, and abnormal droppings. Birds are good at hiding signs of illness, so if you notice that your bird is acting unusual or if something just doesn’t seem right, call us as soon as possible.

Birds

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Our pet birds tend to live longer, healthier lives when they receive regular veterinary care. We can provide nutritional counseling, health assessments, grooming assistance, sexing, fecal parasite testing, and annual physicals. In addition, we’d be happy to discuss general care, disease prevention, safety, and appropriate housing and toys. During regular annual exams, we will check your bird’s beak, nails, and feathers to determine if they require any specialized attention.

Wing Clipping

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Clipping a bird’s feathers can protect your bird and your home. Wing clipping is a nonpainful procedure that ensures the safety of your bird in its environment and keeps your bird from chewing holes in your doors and window frames. It limits your bird’s ability to fly, removing the risk of injury from flying into a ceiling fan, onto a hot stovetop, or into (or out) a window.

Having your bird’s feathers professionally clipped helps ensure that the right feathers are removed without irritating the skin. Improperly clipped wings can cause your bird to pluck or chew its feathers. In addition, inexperienced wing clipping can result in a blood feather being accidentally trimmed, a situation that can become life-threatening. We can perform this procedure safely while preserving the aesthetic appearance of your bird. Please feel free to call us to discuss this option, as well as any concerns you might have, or to set up an appointment.

Toenail Trims

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Most birds need to have their nails trimmed regularly. However, the process can be detrimental to your bird if its nails are trimmed too short. We can take care of this procedure for you so that you don’t have to worry about nicking the blood vessels inside the nails. Call us if you’d like to schedule an appointment.

Be careful if you perform this procedure at home. In fact, we only suggest that you attempt this at home if your bird is small and has white nails (which allow you to see the blood vessels). We also suggest you keep a caustic agent, such as styptic powder, on hand in case a nail bleeds.

Providing perches with rough surfaces can help reduce the frequency of nail trimming, but do not use sandpaper perches. They don’t wear down the nails and can cause skin problems.

Sexing

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Unfortunately, relying on physical appearance is not an accurate method of determining the sex of many birds. We can reliably tell you your bird’s sex by performing a laparoscopy. This technique involves making a minor incision while the bird is anesthetized and using a small camera to visualize the bird’s internal sex organs. Although other methods of sexing are available, they are less reliable. Please let us know if you have any questions about laparoscopy or other sexing procedures.

Beak Trims

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Beaks continue growing throughout birds’ lives. Although birds’ beaks usually wear evenly, some birds develop beak problems and require veterinary assistance. Trimming its beak incorrectly can cause your bird pain and may prevent it from eating, which is why we recommend having your bird’s beak professionally trimmed. Do not attempt to trim your bird’s beak at home. Call us to schedule an appointment.

Other Exotic Animals

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Although a lot of information regarding exotic animals is widely available on the Internet, it is often difficult to determine what sources to trust. You can rely on our experienced veterinary team’s knowledge of mice, rats, pot-bellied pigs, hedgehogs, and other exotic pets.

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 extremely 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 very similar to those we see in our feline and canine patients. Bunnies also have some unique issues that they have to deal with, including teeth that grow throughout their lives! In addition, they are very susceptible to health complications when they aren’t fed a proper diet. They also tend to hide signs of illness or pain.

For all of the reasons listed above, we highly recommend bringing your bunny in for regular check-ups on an annual basis. We see bunnies for basic care, including general check-ups, illnesses, and grooming (nail & teeth trimming).

Please keep in mind that we are not a specialty clinic and, should your bunny require more in depth care, we will refer you to an exotics specialist.

Guinea Pigs, Rats, Mice & Hamsters

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Just because they are small, doesn’t mean they won’t benefit from veterinary attention! Like bunnies, their teeth grow continuously and often require trimming. They can also be affected by parasites and other health issues.

Call us as soon as you notice that your pet has stopped eating, lost weight, or seems quieter than usual. Any subtle signs can indicate much bigger problems and we like to catch things early!

Ferrets

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We recommend annual check-ups for your pet ferret as well. Ferrets can suffer from a variety of unique health ailments which are best to be caught early. You can also speak to our vet about vaccines for ferrets!