Top 10 Reasons to Take Your Exotic Pet to the Vet

Dogs and cats aren’t the only pets that should have regular Wellness Exams. It’s also important to establish a good doctor/patient relationship with our more “exotic” pets. Birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, lizards, snakes…all of these animals will greatly benefit from a yearly physical with a knowledgeable exotic veterinarian. We have 3 veterinarians on staff here at Oakview who would be more than willing to see your exotic pet come in for an office visit!


Following are 10 great reasons to take your exotic pet to see the vet:

  1. Environment: Many exotic pets have specific requirements regarding heat, light, temperature and cage bedding. There are so many products out there for birds and exotics that it can be hard to know what’s right for your pet. A veterinarian educated in exotic pet care will be able to review your pet’s cage setup to help ensure that you are providing an appropriate environment for your pet’s specific species. Husbandry is a very important key to preventing illness in exotics.
  2. Nutrition: Birds and exotic pets have very specific nutritional requirements, and offering proper nutrition is another important key to preventing illness. A knowledgeable exotic animal vet can teach you specifically what your exotic pet needs to eat to stay healthy and live a long life.
  3. Vaccinations: In many states where exotic species, such as ferrets, can be kept legally as pets, these animals require annual vaccinations to prevent illness. By taking them for a yearly checkup, you’re ensuring that your pet is current on vaccinations against often deadly diseases, such as rabies.
  4. Behavior: The behavior of many birds and exotic pets can change in response to daylight (seasonal changes) and temperature. A veterinarian who treats birds and other exotics can provide you with a better understanding of normal versus abnormal behavior for your type of exotic pet so that you’ll know when to be concerned.
  5. Preventive care: Preventing disease is better for your pet (and for your wallet!) than treating it once it occurs. A veterinarian who is knowledgeable in bird/exotic pet care can teach you about diseases commonly seen in your pet’s species, so that you’ll know what signs to look for before these conditions progress.
  6. Nail trims: If you’ve ever tried to trim the nails of a squirmy guinea pig, a contrary turtle, or a flapping bird, you know how hard it can be, especially if you’re by yourself. In fact, many bird and exotic pet owners are unable to trim their pets’ nails at home and often just let them overgrow. Overgrown nails are unpleasant for both the owner, who might get scratched; and the pet, who may catch their nails on their cage or owner’s clothing. Veterinarians and veterinary staff familiar with birds and exotic species are generally very comfortable trimming birds’ and other exotic animals’ nails.
  7. Teeth trims: Unlike cats and dogs, exotic pets such as rabbits, guinea pigs, and chinchillas have long teeth that continuously grow, often requiring tooth trims. Ideally, the natural grinding action of chewing on toys, hay, and other food items would cause the teeth to stay at an ideal length, but many need to have their teeth manually cut on a regular basis due to a number of health and genetic factors.
  8. Vacation: Bird and exotic pet owners often have difficulty finding care for their animals when they go out of town. Some clinics that treat birds or other exotic animals also offer care when owners go away, providing a safe place to board exotic pets, so that you can have peace of mind when you travel. Ask us about boarding your exotic pet here at Oakview!
  9. Emergencies: When birds and exotic pets get sick, there’s no time to waste. Many exotic pets have such rapid metabolisms that they can’t go more than a day without food, or they become very ill. However, finding a vet willing to treat birds or other exotic animals can be very difficult. Establishing a doctor/patient relationship with an exotics-savvy vet before you have an emergency can be life-saving for your exotic pet.
  10. Spay/Neuter your exotic: Do you have 2 pet rabbits and don’t want 200? Spaying and neutering is the answer! Many unwanted health issues can also be avoided by spaying or neutering your exotic pet. Spaying a guinea pig prevents ovarian cysts. Behavioral problems like aggression and urine spraying will be reduced or eliminated by neutering a pet rabbit. Spaying a female rat might help reduce her chances of developing mammary tumors in the future.

Do you love your exotic pet? Then get them to the vet! They’ll live a much longer, happier and healthier life for it.

by Lindsey Truikys

Lindsay - Oakview Vet Plover Stevens Point WI

Lindsay has been an assistant at Oakview since 2017. She comes to us from the prestigious Anti-Cruelty Society in Chicago and has a degree in zoology. She is passionate about rescuing animals of all species! She has many rescued pets. She is smart, unique, and overflowing with compassion!

Oakview Vet’s Website: A Trustworthy Source for Pet Parents

Do you know how informative our website is? Not only does it answer the most common client questions, it is a reliable source for information about pets. We understand that when your pet is sick, the first place you go is Google. But a simple Google search can lead you to unreliable sites and false facts. That is why we want you to come to our website! One handy tool is the Pet Library. This is sourced directly from a very reliable site, and you can search for symptoms or diseases. There is a link on our homepage, plus a link under “Other Features” in the menu.

Our site talks a lot about Fear Free, which is a special certification many staff members at Oakview worked to obtain. We want you to know that we take special precautions to make your pet as comfortable as possible. A reduced stress vet visit starts at home, so follow the links on the homepage to find out how to prepare. To read a great introductory article, go to a past blog post, What are Fear Free Vet Visits? To see our Fear Free techniques in action, scroll to the bottom of the homepage and follow the link to our YouTube page.

Oakview’s website also goes into details regarding the unique services we offer. Our Service menu includes advanced dentistry, laser therapy, exotic medicine, chiropractics, and Behavior Consults.

One of the highlights of our website is the Pet Portal. Here, you can sign in using the email you provided the clinic to check on your pet’s vaccine due dates, order prescription refills, or see the last time your pet had an appointment. You can even print off vaccine information at home to take to your groomer. You won’t need to print that out for your pet’s stay in Club Vet, because we have all that already! The Club Vet page of our site gives you details about our boarding. You can even download the admit forms to fill out at home and save time at drop off.

If you still have questions about your pet or pets in general, please go to our links page, under the Other Features menu. Here you will find a list of reliable sources, like Poison Control, FDA recalls, and pet insurance to name a few.

Some extras include info about the amazing K9 units we are privileged to care for plus a page about the other work Oakview Vet does in our community.

Don’t forget to find the coupons for new clients or referring a friend! You’ll find these under Other Features.

If you would like to see something on our website or have any comments, just let us know! Use the Contact Us menu link to send us an email.

by Karen Russell

Karen - Oakview Vet - Plover Stevens Point WI

Karen has worked at veterinary clinics for 25 years. She was a receptionist at Oakview for 6 years. She relocated to Florida to be near her family, but still manages the digital marketing for Oakview. She will always miss the staff and exceptional clients at Oakview.
When not working, Karen enjoys time with her family, the beach, reading, and exploring Florida’s beautiful wildlife.

Oakview Vet on Facebook

I worked at Oakview Vet for six years as a receptionist. Though it was hard, last year I made the decision to move to Florida to be near my family. I miss my job there very much. I did spend Christmas day on the beach, and many more, and that helps!

I took over Oakview’s Facebook page while still a receptionist there. I’ve always been interested in technology, so I did some research and used my intuition. The first thing I realized is that no one really wants to be educated on Facebook. That was a hard one for some at Oakview to swallow. You see, we are so passionate about helping pets, and we can’t help them unless their owners understand. Teaching you is a large part of all of our jobs. But on Facebook, no one wants to read long articles. We want to be entertained!

Missile is one of Oakview’s top entertainers, in clinic and on Facebook!

Finding cute and funny posts became a very fun part of my job. Our page soon took off and continues to grow like wildfire, with 1,090 followers and counting! Eventually I realized what was really special about it: we built a digital community. Many of our clients never meet each other in real life, but on Facebook we all can laugh, cry, wonder, and muse together. In fact, now that I no longer am a receptionist at Oakview, Facebook still helps me to feel connected to the staff and clients I miss so much. I continue to do all the digital marketing from my new home in sunny Florida, but the fabulous Nikki Getzloff has taken over Facebook. Everyone helps out, but she is the main one continuing to build the incredible community we have. The next time you see her, thank her for all her hard work!

Meanwhile, keep checking our Facebook page because it rocks! Just like Oakview’s family of staff, clients, and pets.

by Karen Russell

Karen - Oakview Vet - Plover Stevens Point WI

Karen has worked at veterinary clinics for 25 years. She was a receptionist at Oakview for 6 years. She relocated to Florida to be near her family, but still manages the digital marketing for Oakview. She will always miss the staff and exceptional clients at Oakview.
When not working, Karen enjoys time with her family, the beach, reading, and exploring Florida’s beautiful wildlife.

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