Taking an Exotic Pet to the Vet

Have you recently adopted a small exotic pet, such as a sugar glider, hedgehog, or ferret? Veterinary care is just as important for exotics as it is for any other pet! Like any other animal, exotic pets are susceptible to illness and disease. Many of them also have fairly short lifespans. An Ellicott City, MD vet offers some advice on this below.

Travel Cage

Before bringing your pet in, you’ll need to assemble a travel cage. A small tank or aquarium may work. You can also use a plastic storage box with air holes. Don’t add heating or lighting equipment. It could injure your pet if it falls or rolls during transit. For temporary bedding, butcher paper or a soft blanket may work. Ask your vet for travel tips.

Choosing The Vet

Learning how to diagnose and treat illnesses in exotic pets takes additional training and experience. With some animals, even knowing how to properly house and hold them requires a good deal of knowledge. Finding a vet that is specialized in caring for the type of pet you have is very important!

Making The Appointment

If you have a bonded pair of pets, make the appointment for both of them at once. This will not only help you streamline your schedule, it will also help keep your pets at being upset by being separated. That said, you may need to separate your pets if one of them is pregnant, badly injured, or has an infectious disease. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Required Care

We recommend that exotic pets come in at least once a year, for a full exam and any necessary wellness care. At home, watch for signs of illness. These vary from pet to pet, but some common ones include fever, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, weight changes, respiratory distress, reduced appetite, and unusual vocalizations, behavior, or posture. Call your vet immediately if you notice any red flags.


This is also a great chance for you to get some specific tips on your exotic pet’s diet and care needs. With many exotics, there’s a lot of confusion and misinformation about dietary, habitat, and environmental needs. It’s important to have someone on your team who can give you accurate information!

Do you need to make an appointment for your exotic pet? Contact us, your Ellicott City, MD veterinary clinic, today!

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