Birds, reptiles, and other exotic pets tend to mask symptoms of disease very well. By the time they exhibit signs of illness, some avian and exotic pets are so sick that there’s little that can be done to help them. That’s why regular checkups for avian and exotic pets are a must for detecting potential problems before it’s too late. At Rothman Animal Hospital, we recommend routine checkups every six months for birds, reptiles or other exotic pets.

When you first get your avian or exotic pet, schedule a wellness exam as soon as possible so we can get to know your new family member, and can provide guidance on nutrition, daily care and proper handling right from the start

Avian & Exotics Office Visits: When and What to bring

Bring your pet in every six months for a checkup. We’ll examine him or her thoroughly, and will ask about behavior, nutrition and daily care. Since many health problems with avian and exotic pets are related to improper housing or inadequate nutrition or environmental conditions, we strive to educate owners about the most beneficial practices and preventive health measures to keep their pets healthy for life.

Checkups are a good time to evaluate your pet’s overall health, as well as your husbandry practices. And when your pet is sick, some detective work is necessary to examine possible causes.

No matter what type of pet you have, you’ll want to bring a stool sample for examination. (It’s okay to collect the stool sample up to 24 hours in advance, and store it in the refrigerator in a plastic container or bag.)

Here are more specific instructions on what to bring for the most common species we care for:

For Birds: If you are not bringing the whole cage, please bring recent cage papers, as well as any medications or food that the bird is currently on.

For Rodents: Bring your pet’s stool sample, as well as the brand names you use for bedding and food.

For Amphibians: Bring a stool sample and some substrate, if possible.

For Reptiles: Bring a fresh stool sample, records of last shed, reproduction history, and information on when your pet last ate, defecated/urinated. If you keep a weight chart on your pet, please bring that, too.

For Ferrets and Pocket Pets: Bring fresh stool, and brand name of food.