Veterinary Care for Small Mammals, Pocket Pets, Exotics and Birds
Pets are loving companions and important members of our clients' families. At Ahwatukee Animal Care Hospital, we recognize that animals do not have to fit a specific description to make good pets. That is why we offer veterinary care for small mammals and pocket pets, such as ferrets, rats, rabbits, gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, sugar gliders, and chinchillas, and other exotics, such as reptiles and amphibians, and birds. We understand the anatomy and physiology of many different animals, allowing us to diagnose and treat potential health problems that may not be obvious to pet owners or other pet health care providers who are unfamiliar with exotic and avian pet care.
Perhaps a usually lively and active ferret suddenly becomes lethargic, or a lizard stops eating. Most veterinarians would turn these types of animals away, accepting only "traditional pets" like dogs and cats. At Ahwatukee Animal Care Hospital, we are highly trained and experienced in the treatment of birds, snakes, lizards, rabbits, ferrets, rats, tortoises, turtles, gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, sugar gliders, chinchillas, wallabies,and other exotic pets that may struggle to find veterinary care elsewhere.
Health problems in exotic pets may be caused by a number of factors, including age, species, exposure to disease, nutrition, activity level, and environmental components. We are skilled in the detection of health issues and their source, whether it is an underlying parasite, allergy, or other issue.
Dr. Jeff Jenkins, the owner and Medical Director of Ahwatukee Animal Care Hospital, has a special interest in exotic and avian medicine, and is dedicated to our hospital offering the same level of exceptional care to your bird or exotic pet as we do for our cat and dog patients. Whether it is a tiny pet mouse, preening parakeet, or a 100 pound tortoise, we understand the unique and special needs and health concerns of your pet.
In addition to diagnosing and treating illnesses, our hospital provides preventive care for exotic pets and birds in Phoenix, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale, and surrounding areas.
Exotic and Avian Preventive Medicine Services Offered Include:
We recommend thorough yearly wellness examinations beginning at an early age. The doctor will gather a thorough health history and then carefully examine your special friend to ensure that he or she is happy and healthy. Physical examinations for birds and exotic pets are performed very similarly to those in dogs and cats, with a few differences, of course.
During this time, many pets undergo important and potentially life saving vaccinations, which may include rabies and distemper immunizations. Obtaining these vaccines is one of the most affordable ways of preventing deadly disease and, in some cases, protecting family members and other pets from becoming sick.
Your doctor will provide information and recommendations regarding any necessary treatments, the most appropriate food, housing, cage bedding, environmental temperature, light, vaccinations, and other factors your bird or exotic pet may need to stay healthy.
Like dogs and cats, many exotic pets can be spayed or neutered to prevent reproduction. Often, domesticated exotic pets, such as ferrets, are sterilized before they are adopted to new homes. Unless you plan to breed your pet, talk with our veterinarians about spaying or neutering options for your exotic pet.
Exotic and Avian Post-Purchase Examinations
Your veterinarian will check your new bird or exotic pet to ensure she/he is healthy, which is especially important if you already have other birds or exotic pets.
Exotic Parasite Screenings
Intestinal parasites are incredibly common in captive reptiles. Using a fresh fecal sample, we are able to quickly screen your pet reptile in house for a variety of different parasites and prescribe any necessary treatment.
Many exotic pets require vaccinations to protect them from disease. For example, ferrets should be vaccinated for both rabies and distemper, receiving a series of vaccinations as babies, followed by annual boosters as adults.
Avian and Exotic Medicine:
Exotic and Avian Laboratory Testing
Blood work and other laboratory tests provide valuable information and can help us to know more about what is going on inside your pet. We are able to perform many tests in-house and utilize external labs for more comprehensive panels.
Digital X-Rays and Ultrasound
These diagnostic tools can be utilized to look for foreign bodies, tumors, pregnancy, pneumonia, bladder stones, egg binding, and a variety of other problems and conditions. A common concern in small mammals is the presence of tumors. Our ability to perform ultrasound in-house helps us discover tumors as well as understand more about the composition and placement of the tumors. This enables us to make better diagnoses and helps you make better informed decisions.
Avian and Exotic Therapies
Exotic pets often require special medications and treatments that dogs and cats do not require. We are able to perform a range of treatments in our hospital, as well as provide instruction for you regarding the proper care of your pet at home.
Avian and Exotic Nail Trimming
Nail trims may be necessary for birds, lizards, small mammals, and turtles. Birds receive their nail trims by dremel. This is done to reduce the risk of damage to their delicate nail shaft. Mammal and reptile nail trims are done with small nail clippers.
The decision to have your bird's wings clipped is a personal choice. However, if you decide wing clipping is best for your pet, we are here to offer advice, information, and safe and comfortable service. We will take the time to ensure your bird is relaxed. We perform the trim on each individual feather, not the entire wing. We are able to clip your bird's wings in three different styles, depending on what you need.
Corrective Beak Trims
Often, inadequate husbandry in tortoises and box turtles may lead to overgrown and deformed beaks which results in severe difficulty eating. In addition to reshaping your pet's beak to improve his or her ability to eat and to help restore normal appearance, we can address any husbandry issues that may have caused or contributed to the problem. Unfortunately, many of the changes that occur during inadequate husbandry are permanent, resulting in pets that may require routine trimming for the rest of their lives.
Birds may require beak trimming for a variety of reasons. Some birds may develop overgrown beaks due to medical problems; therefore,this will be explored and addressed at your visit.
Sometimes the overgrown beak is purely a physical issue. Either way, we can help your bird look terrific again!
For those reptile pets that hibernate over winter, we recommend a thorough pre-hibernation examination. These visits are designed to ensure your pet is ready for a long winter's rest. We check their weight, hydration, feel their belly for anything abnormal, and listen to their breathing to make sure it is nice and clear. A fecal examination to screen for parasites is also highly recommended.
Exotics Husbandry Consultations
Our veterinarians understand that exotic pets often have very special needs and that proper care is vital to their well being. We are available to provide the advice and information you need to help your friend remain happy and healthy.
Avian and Exotics Behavioral Counseling
Behavior problems are not exclusive to dogs and cats. At Ahwatukee Animal Care Hospital, we understand the special challenges encountered related to exotic pet psychology and behavior. Whether you have a screaming macaw, a feather picking cockatoo, or an aggressive tortoise, we are here to lend a hand.
Exotic surgery may mean a tortoise shell repair following a dog attack or repairing tissue that has been hurt from a light that was too hot. Exotic surgery includes the normal preventive spays and neuters (which help with behavioral problems, too), as well as tumor removals and a variety of other surgical procedures.
We recommend making an appointment for a pre-surgical examination and consultation with your veterinarian prior to arranging a surgery appointment, there may be different variables to consider, depending on the species and the health condition of your pet.
If your exotic pet must remain in the hospital, you may feel confident that they will receive the same high quality care as our canine and feline patients. Reptiles are kept in their own ward. Birds are kept in their own ward, too. All pets are checked on hourly (sometimes more frequently, as needed) during business hours and frequently after hours by our skilled veterinary technicians and/or doctors. Their special needs are monitored closely. If your doctor believes more intense treatment or more frequent monitoring is required, a referral will be made. Your special pet's needs are our first priority in any decision made regarding hospitalization.
Exotic and Avian Boarding
Ahwatukee Animal Care Hospital and Pet Resort offers pet day care and full service boarding for your birds and exotic pets.
Let our friendly staff care for your special friends while you are away. We also offer day care for those pets that become lonely during the day while you are away at work.
Please call our staff to receive more information (480) 893-0533.
Visit our Pet Care and Education link for more information on how to care for your pet.