Wellness Exams

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All pets need a check up. Just like humans, pets need to stay healthy by visiting their doctor at least once a year. The same can be said about birds, exotic pets and small mammals. Many exotic pets have specific requirements regarding their environment such as heat, temperature, light, and living quarters.

Beak and Wing Trims

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Clipping a bird’s feathers can protect your bird and your home. Wing clipping is a nonpainful procedure that ensures the safety of your bird in its environment and keeps your bird from chewing holes in your doors and window frames. It limits your bird’s ability to fly, removing the risk of injury from flying into a ceiling fan, onto a hot stovetop, or into (or out) a window.

Having your bird’s feathers professionally clipped helps ensure that the right feathers are removed without irritating the skin. Improperly clipped wings can cause your bird to pluck or chew its feathers. In addition, inexperienced wing clipping can result in a blood feather being accidentally trimmed, a situation that can become life-threatening. We can perform this procedure safely while preserving the aesthetic appearance of your bird. Please feel free to call us to discuss this option, as well as any concerns you might have, or to set up an appointment with Dr. Stachnik.

Beaks continue growing throughout a birds life. Although a birds beak usually wear evenly, some birds develop beak problems and require veterinary assistance. Trimming its beak incorrectly can cause your bird pain and may prevent it from eating, which is why we recommend having your bird’s beak professionally trimmed. Do not attempt to trim your bird’s beak at home. Call us to schedule an appointment with Dr.Stachnik today.

Snakes

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Snakes can suffer from a variety of diseases, some of which can cause serious respiratory, gastrointestinal, and liver problems. They also commonly harbor internal and external parasites, including hookworms, roundworms, mites, and ticks.

We recommend that you bring your new snake in for an initial exam so we can make sure it’s healthy. If your snake needs future veterinary attention, we’ll also have a baseline to compare against. Although snakes don’t need vaccinations, they can benefit from routine exams. Annual veterinary visits can even help your snake live longer.

We are happy to share our specialized knowledge of appropriate enclosures, temperature and humidity, lighting, substrates (ground covering), cleaning, and skin shedding. Besides having feeding requirements that are species specific, snakes can become stressed and may not eat. If this happens, please contact us so we can help.

A healthy snake should flick its tongue and be alert and active, showing interest in its environment; its scales should be smooth and dry. Call us immediately if you notice any of the following signs of illness: vomiting or regurgitation, diarrhea, loss of appetite or weight, weakness or loss of energy, wheezing, mucus or bubbling around the nostrils, changes around the mouth (inflammation, purplish-red spots, dry and diseased tissue), and changes in the skin (reddening, slow-healing sores, swelling, discharge).

Rabbits

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Rabbits are susceptible to a variety of diseases and conditions, including overgrown teeth, hairballs, parasites, and cancer. They also tend to hide signs of illness or pain. We recommend an annual physical to ensure your rabbit is living a healthy life and to rule out any medical problems.

Contact us if your rabbit:

  • Has discharge from the eyes or nose, runny stool, or a gurgling stomach
  • Has an elevated or low temperature
  • Begins drooling, scratching at the ears, or sneezing
  • Starts tilting his or her head
  • Develops bald patches in his or her fur
  • Stops eating, appears overly quiet, or shows other abnormal behavior

In addition, your rabbit can benefit from regular dental checkups. We can help make sure problems with your rabbit’s teeth don’t turn into serious, potentially life-threatening conditions.

If you have any questions about how to best care for your rabbit, we’d be happy to discuss proper diet, housing, grooming, and even litterbox training.

Iguanas and Other Lizards

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Nutrition-related disorders and diseases are common in iguanas and other lizards. We can help you avoid these problems. Call us to set up a nutritional consultation so we can discuss how to help keep your lizard healthy.

We also offer an initial checkup for new lizard owners to help identify current or potential medical problems and, if necessary, begin treatment. In addition, we can provide you with information on appropriate enclosures, environmental requirements, sanitation, and disease prevention.

Small Mammals

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Just because they’re small doesn’t mean they can’t benefit from veterinary attention. Teeth, which grow continuously in gerbils, guinea pigs, and hamsters, often require trimming. (We can also recommend appropriate chew toys, which may help keep the teeth worn down.) Parasites such as lice, mites, and fleas can infest your pet. In addition, these companion animals can suffer from other health issues.

Call us if your pet stops eating, loses weight, appears quieter than normal, has discharge from the eyes or nose, or develops a lump on its body.

Ferrets

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You can help keep your ferret healthy by bringing him or her in for an exam once a year. That way, we can monitor any changes that occur in your pet and help prevent or catch diseases early, when they’re easier to treat. As ferrets age, they may need additional testing and dental care.

Common problems associated with ferrets include gastrointestinal disease, parasites, and cancer. In addition, ferrets are inquisitive creatures by nature and frequently ingest objects they shouldn’t. Regular blood tests can help determine whether your ferret has any problems with the kidneys, liver, or pancreas.

Ferrets can also benefit from receiving certain vaccinations and monthly preventives, which we’d be happy to discuss with you during your visit. Please bring a stool sample to your ferret’s annual exam so we can test for internal parasites.

Unless you are planning to breed your ferret, we recommend that he or she be spayed or neutered. Female ferrets, or jills, do not need to give birth once to stay healthy. In fact, spaying can save a ferret’s life. Jills that haven’t been spayed will stay in heat until they’re bred. This condition can cause anemia (a decrease in red blood cells), which can be fatal. In male ferrets, neutering can reduce their strong body odor, prevent marking, and reduce aggressive behavior.

Please contact us right away if your ferret develops any unusual symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, hair loss, lack of appetite, trouble breathing, black ear wax, discharge from the eyes or nose, lumps, swelling, or an increase in aggression or sexual behavior (especially in neutered males).