Pet Vet serving Brookfield IL, La Grange IL, La Grange Park IL, Lyons IL, North Riverside IL, Riverside, IL

July 27, 2018

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Exotic Pet Vet (Brookfield IL, La Grange, Lyons, Riverside)

Exotic Pet Vet, Dr Antonicic, Merrick Animal Hospital

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Hi, my name is Dr. Antonicic. I’m an exotic animal veterinarian at Merrick Animal Hospital in Brookfield IL. I am here with Bolt today to talk to you about exotic pet care.

Exotic Pet Vet warns about asking “Dr Google”

Exotics have a lot of different special needs. They’re not as readily apparent as dogs and cats. Exotics do need veterinary care, and it’s often difficult to find out what is appropriate for an exotic animal pet. There’s a lot of information on the Internet, but there is a lot of disinformation available on the internet, and getting the right story is often very difficult. I’ve been seeing exotics for over 20 years, so I have a lot of knowledge in terms of the care of exotic pets. I have seen everything from rabbits to guinea pigs to ferrets, lizards, birds, pocket pets like gerbils and hamsters, and reptiles, including bearded dragons which are very popular now, green iguanas, and snakes.

Exotic Pet Vet emphasizes the appropriate diet

The biggest thing with exotics often is their diet.  For dogs and cats, it’s very easy to go to the pet store, buy a bag of food, tear it open, pour it in the bowl. With the exotics you pretty much have to make their food. There’s not going to be many things that you can grab and put into their food dish. For example, with the rabbits here, while it’s easy to buy pellets, those might not exactly be the best choice, especially if you have an older rabbit that can get overweight on those pellets. So adding hay to maintain the quality and health of their teeth as well as feeding fresh greens is very important but not exactly completely simple. Certain greens are not a good idea to give to your rabbit. Again, to use rabbits as an example, you shouldn’t give them broccoli, as it will give them gas and that can cause colic and GI discomfort that will then mandate a visit to the veterinarian. You shouldn’t give them spinach because that can cause calcium buildup in their system and bladder stones.

Exotic Pet Vet emphasizes the appropriate environment

A lot of the other exotics do have special needs as well. Lizards, for example, need to have an enclosure that has the appropriate temperature, the appropriate humidity, and the appropriate light source, including a UV light source in order to maintain a healthy, productive lifestyle. If those things are missing, you will, again, be seeing a veterinarian because they will not thrive and, in fact, will probably do quite poorly in captivity. There’s a lot of other things that can be done for pets that you might not think about.

Exotic Pet Vet recommends neutering for rabbits, guinea pigs

While exotics don’t need vaccines, rabbits, for example, and guinea pigs can be spayed and neutered, which will make them much more attractive to live with in terms of not causing marking, destruction, aggressive behavior, or may actually be a health risk. And again, using rabbits as an example, female rabbits are at risk for uterine cancer, if they haven’t been spayed.

Exotic Pet Vet treats a lot of birds for feather picking

Another very common pet that I see a lot of is the birds of all sizes, from the large parrots all the way down to the smallest parakeet. The smaller birds are usually a lot easier to take care of. They are one where you can go to the store, get some seeds and pour them into the bowl and they do quite well with that. On the other hand, a lot of larger birds do have very specific dietary requirements and should really be home cooked for every day. So getting their diet right to help maintain their health as well as their behavior is a critical part of avian medicine. Bigger birds are also very social animals, almost too smart to be kept in captivity, and do require very special needs in terms of keeping them active and engaged and mentally stimulated in their environment. So, a lot of these behavioral needs can be met if you know how to meet them.

Exotic Pet Vet urges annual wellness examinations

So, seeing your veterinarian to find out what their recommendations are as far as behavior to prevent damaging behaviors like feather picking, boredom, destruction, or biting the owner is a big thing that we can provide by seeing your pet bird. All exotics, again, while they don’t generally need vaccines, birds really should be seen annually for a health checkup. That way we can assess their teeth, their weight, and how they’re doing physically, so that if any problems do start to arise either due to husbandry issues or age issues, they can be addressed quickly to prevent further loss of health. For a lot of the exotics, we can do blood work and X-rays and all the regular diagnostic tests that we do for dogs and cats. And they can give us all the same valuable information that will help you to have a long and healthy relationship with your pet. Thank you very much for watching this video, and I hope to see you soon at Merrick Animal Hospital.

YouTube Link

Youtube Title: Exotic Pet Vet (Brookfield IL 60513, La Grange Park, Lyons, Riverside)

Exotic Pet Vet, Dr. Antonicic, gives advice on exotic pet veterinary care with special attention given to diets for birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, lizards, gerbils, hamsters, reptiles, (bearded dragons, green iguanas, and snakes).


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Please Tell Us Your Pet’s Needs And Request A Quote.Please call us and ask our Exotic Pet veterinarian about exotic pet veterinary care with special attention given to diets for birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, lizards, gerbils, hamsters, reptiles, such as bearded dragons, green iguanas, and snakes.

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