Most small mammals do not require vaccines (ferrets are an exception), but they should be seen by a veterinarian on a regular basis. As cute and cuddly as they are, they live for a shorter period of time than other mammals, and have a multitude of health problems.
Some of these are obesity (too many treats!), abscesses from bite wounds, malocclusion of incisors or molars (this is when the teeth grow abnormally for various reasons, which can interfere with their ability to eat), cancer and/or tumors, GI blockage, upper respiratory infections and dermatology issues, which may arise from mites or ringworm. Regular check-ups with your vet can help to prevent these problems, or at least keep them from getting so far along that they become difficult to treat.
Beak and Teeth Trims
Birds and pocket pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs have special grooming needs. Their beaks and teeth can grow long enough to impair their ability to eat, which of course can lead to serious health issues. In addition, birds should have their wings clipped if you don’t want them to fly away. Many of our doctors and nurses are trained to perform these valuable services safely and painlessly for your pet. Your pet should be a patient here and be in overall good health (smaller animals are susceptible to anxiety and, as gentle as we are, they may still be anxious in unfamiliar surroundings and in unfamiliar situations).
Avian and Reptile Exams
At Patton Veterinary Hospital, we don’t see only dogs and cats, we also enjoy caring for our feathered or scaled companions. While birds and reptiles don’t need vaccines, they should be seen regularly to ensure they are healthy. In the wild, these animals will hide their illnesses or injuries as long as possible, because any signs of weakness can make them vulnerable to attack.
Your pampered parakeet or spoiled skink has the same instincts, even in the safety of your home. This means that if there is a problem, you may not know until it has progressed to a dangerous degree. We suggest annual exams and of course, bringing your pet in as soon as you notice that something may be wrong. In addition, we are happy to answer any questions you may have regarding husbandry and nutrition for these fascinating pets!