The Special Needs and Care of Exotic Pets


If you are one of the many pet owners that enjoy owning exotic pets, you know how incredible and interesting these amazing pets can be.

One of the exciting benefits to owning exotics is people with allergies can still be pet owners since most exotic pets are non-allergenic! What you may not know is that your exotic pet benefits from the same regular veterinary care as your domestic pets.

Knowing what your fascinating pet needs to stay healthy makes exotic pet ownership very rewarding and takes away the guesswork you may have felt. We’re here to help you enjoy all the benefits of exotic pet ownership without worrying if your buddy is healthy.

Many exotics can live decades, and we want those years to be great ones for them and you. We know you want your pet to be as happy and healthy as it can be throughout its life, which is why it is necessary to include regular wellness checks for your exotic pet in our office.

Preventative care is the best way to keep your pet from suffering certain illnesses and problems.

What Pets Are Considered Exotic?

The simple definition of an exotic pet is any pet that is not a dog, cat, or farm animal. This leaves a long list of wonderful animals that can make terrific additions to your pet family.

Some of the more common exotic pet companions include:

  • rabbits
  • ferrets
  • chinchillas
  • rats
  • hamsters
  • reptiles of all kinds, including snakes, turtles, geckos, iguanas, and tortoises
  • amphibians
  • parrots and other bird species such as parakeets and canaries
  • pot-bellied pigs.

This is not an all-inclusive list, so give us a call if your pet is not listed above. We’re happy to answer your questions regarding the types of exotics we care for here in our office.

Do Exotic Animals Need Special Care?

Your unique pet companion requires specialized and specific care to ensure it stays healthy, something our vets can provide with their extensive experience and training in exotic pet care.

Because of exotic pets’ delicate nature and complexity, not all vet offices can provide this specialized care. Bringing your pet to our office ensures that it receives the specific type of care and treatment your pet needs to live a long happy life.

Can You Legally Own Exotic Animals?

What is considered a legal exotic pet can vary from state to state? We recommend checking with your state’s requirements before adopting or purchasing one of these special animals. 

Some exotic pets require permits and special training before you can own one. All of them will require good veterinary care with an experienced vet who knows exotic pets, and you will find that here at our office.

Common Signs of Illness in Exotic Pets

The signs of illness in your exotic pet may not be as easy to notice as it is with furry friends. We’ve listed several common signs below you may notice that could indicate your pet is not well. If you notice any of these signs, call the office to schedule an appointment as soon as possible to take care of the problem before it worsens.

  • parasites or fungus on the skin of your pet
  • change in bathroom habits
  • change in eating habits
  • lethargy
  • odd noises (for example, snakes commonly get respiratory illnesses where you can hear them trying to breathe properly) 
  • any obvious injuries or cuts
  • discharge from the eyes or nose
  • suspected pregnancies (early care can make a big difference in the outcome for the mother and babies, regardless of what species you have)

Exotic pets are very good at hiding illness and can do so until it is too late to do anything for them. Because of this instinctual habit, you need to check them every day for basic symptoms and signs of trouble. 

Wellness Care and Diagnostics for Exotics

When you bring your exotic pet in for its first wellness visit we’ll start by discussing several topics about your pet. Here is a list of various topics we’ll need to discuss:

  • their daily routine and home life
  • their habitat
  • nutritional information about what you are feeding them
  • when they had their last exam
  • any problems you have noticed
  • other pets they may have contact with in the home

After a general conversation about your pet’s home life and eating habits, we will perform a basic physical exam and address any areas of concern you may have regarding your pet.

What Happens If There Is a Problem with an Exotic Pet?

If any problems are discovered during the exam, we will order any appropriate tests needed to get the proper diagnosis and treatment. These tests may include fecal tests, blood work, and microbial testing. Any tests and screenings recommended will be discussed prior to administering so you understand what we are doing and why.

Once any necessary tests are performed, we’ll go over treatment plans and schedule the follow-up visits needed to ensure your exotic buddy is on the road to recovery and doing well.

Services for Your Exotic Pet

During your wellness visit, we can also help you with:

  • nutritional counseling
  • habitat information
  • grooming if applicable
  • vaccinations if required
  • socialization and exercise
  • neonatal care
  • surgery options
  • senior care for your unique pet 

Make sure you write down any questions you may have before your visit, so you don’t forget once the vet is in the room with you. Your exotic pet’s health is our main concern so don’t worry about your questions bothering us, that is why we are here! 

Unusual Exotic Pets That Need Niche Care

Unfortunately, not all exotic pets can be treated by our office. Most often this is because these exotics are aggressive by nature and pose a danger to the staff, or are so uncommon, there is no specialized training available to include them in our covered list. Some of the exotics that fall under this list include poisonous snakes, spiders, a few bird species, and insects.

Have Your Exotic Pet Examined Today!

Owning an exotic pet is an exciting, fascinating experience. With the proper knowledge and excellent, routine health care in our office, you can relax and enjoy the habits and antics of your special exotic buddy for years to come.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a wellness visit for your exotic pet, give our office a call at 501-821-0049.

Request an appointment with Dr. Kline for your exotic pet!

veterinarian with animals in little rock
Beige Blob

Schedule Your Pet’s Appointment Today!

Online appointment requests must be made a minimum of 72 hours in advance of the requested appointment time.