RECOGNIZABLE SIGNS OF ILLNESS IN EXOTIC PETS
Sadly, by the time most exotic pets are brought to see us, they are very ill or severely injured and have little chance for a full recovery. Like dogs and cats, exotic pets will instinctively hide signs of their illness or injury. This means that they depend on their owners and vets to recognize the early signs that something is wrong.
It is important that all pet owners pay close attention to their pet – your pet’s behavior, posture, general appearance, habits, and even the appearance and consistency of their stool will all give you insight into their overall health. Keep an eye out for any signs of changes in the following areas:
- Appearance – Weight loss/gain, changes in skin or fur appearance. If you have a pet snake be sure to look for signs of difficulty in their shedding (not shedding in one piece, retained eye caps present). Also look for your pets to display a disheveled appearance, new lumps/bumps, lesions, or other injuries.
- Eating/drinking habits – Have you noticed that your pet eating or drinking more or less? Vomiting or regurgitation can also indicate a problem.
- Behavior – A change in behavior including sudden aggression, more hiding, lethargy, excessive digging, less climbing activity, tremors, or anything else out of the ordinary is a good indication something is going on.
- Stool – The appearance of your pet’s stool and urine can be a good indicator that there is a change in their overall health. Too much or too little excretion, staining, or discoloration may be cause for concern.
- Posture – Call us if your pet is unable to assume its normal posture. For example, limping, lameness, birds being unable to perch (sitting on the bottom of their cage), or excessive vertical posturing in snakes.
- Breathing – Rapid breathing, wheezing, a squeaking sound while breathing, and excessive saliva production all indicate potentially dangerous breathing issues.
Exotic Pet Care at Terry Animal Hospital
The behaviors of exotic pets can vary with temperature, light, humidity, and environmental changes. Through regular wellness exams with our team at Terry Animal Hospital will allow us to get to know what’s normal for your pet, and pinpoint any problems before they get out of hand.
Please our talented team with any questions about your exotic pet, or to schedule an appointment. We’re here for you!