All Pets Big and Small

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Finding a veterinarian for your "exotic pets"   Pet Talk

Started 1/21/17 by PennyCC; 138 views.

From: PennyCC


Most veterinarians will treat dogs and cats, but finding a vet for your hamster, gerbils, ferret, or rabbit might be difficult. Even if the vet were willing to look at these animals, would you want a vet inexperienced with your type of pet treating it?

I have had a lot of pets. Besides dogs and cat, there were several gerbils and a small rabbit.  My rabbit lived to 10 years, which is old for a Netherland Dwarf Rabbit. The last year of two of his life he had problems with his teeth. In the front part of rabbits mouth, they have 2 teeth on top aligned to the 2 teeth on the bottom.  If those four teeth get out of alignment and do not meet well, then the teeth start growing sideways. My rabbit's teeth needed to be cut every month or so because of this mis-alignment because rabbit's teeth grow continually. That is why they chew so much. So I needed to find a vet for my rabbit.  

I was lucky to find one vet in my area that treated what they call "exotic mammals."  You can visit their website just to see what information a vet should provided as to what animals they treat.

I also had to take one of my gerbils to this vet for treatment twice.  So don't think you will not need a vet at all if you get one of these types of pets.

Here is an article to help you know what questions to ask a vet before they treat your pet. I think the first question is the most important:

1. How many (snakes, birds, ferrets, rabbits, whatever species) has this vet ever treated?


From: LapisAzul


Does this mean I should not get a hamster or rabbit unless I can find a vet first? Won't the pet store I buy it from help me out?


From: PennyCC


I did not need a vet for the first 7 years of my rabbit's life, but I did need it when he was older. Locating a vet for small mammals is something to think about, but I would probably go ahead and get a hamster or rabbit and hope for the best.

LapisAzul said:

Won't the pet store I buy it from help me out?

I would not count on that. Most vets have experience with small animals. Check out their websites before hand and call if you are unsure. I've had a good many small animals than did not require vet care, but it was comforting to know our local vet was able to provide the treatment should they need it. Your best sources of information are GOOD pet websites and experienced owners.

We recently had a problem with our budgies (the female was attacking the male) and were able to find and fix the problem our selves by doing some research on line. This was in the evening when the vet's office was closed. My initial reaction was to remove the female and pack her off to the vet in the morning thinking they would not be able to cohabitate again, which was very upsetting. Being able to find the problem and solution online even before going to bed that night was a huge relief!