Exotic Pet Care for University Park, Sarasota, Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch Residents

Exotic Pet Care at University Animal Clinic in Sarasota, FLEvery pet is special to us at University Animal Clinic. We also know exotic pets are unique and therefore require unique care. Our highly qualified team serves the needs of exotic pets in University Park, Bradenton, Sarasota and Lakewood Ranch. Whether a bird has a crop infection, a snake or other reptile is not eating or has a lack of appetite, or rats, guinea pigs, rabbits, ferrets or other rodents suffer from respiratory infections, we are here to serve the needs of our all exotic pets and their owners. In addition to treating exotic pet ailments, we offer tips and guidance on the proper diet, vitamins, lighting and housing for these unique creatures that visit our animal hospital.

We Provide Veterinary Care for Birds, Reptiles, Guinea Pigs, Rabbits, Rats, Snakes and Ferrets

Our veterinary team and Dr. Leigh Samanowitz have extensive experience and knowledge for treating exotic pets, especially for common issues like crop or respiratory infections. Dr. Samanowitz also has a Cockatiel named Sunny at home.

Although all reptiles share the similar traits of being cold-blooded and covered in scales, they do not follow a one-size fits all outline for proper care. Some snakes and other reptiles need a hot, dry environment while other snakes and reptiles require a humid and mossy enclosure. They also vary in requirements for lighting, diet, vitamins and housing.

Proper housing and lighting are equally important for birds, which need enough room to roam and a steady climate to prevent respiratory infections. Common issues that affect birds, such as crop infections, not eating, a lack of appetite may require additional vitamins or a specific diet, in addition to visiting a veterinary clinic.

Rodents, too, have varying care requirements. Housing for rabbits is not necessarily the best homes for ferrets, while cages that keep rats satisfied may not work for a guinea pig. Knowing the type of lighting in which a pet is most active, such as rats’ nocturnal natures, will help in deciding how to house the pet and when it will be most responsive to human attention. An adequate diet packed with the necessary vitamins is another must.

A pet might display obvious signs of illness, such as not eating, although a lack of appetite is not always an indication of a serious sickness. Our animal clinic is able to diagnose less obvious signs of illness and determine courses of treatment.We are also able to provide exotic pet owners in University Park, Sarasota, Bradenton, and Lakewood Ranch with help and guidance regarding common issues and illnesses that are found in various exotic species.

Caring for Pet Reptiles

Reptiles make unusual pets that require very different care from dogs and cats. Their environment must be carefully controlled to protect their health and yours. Their capacity for socialization is very different from most furry pets, and they can carry different diseases compared to other furry friends.

As the owner of a reptile, you want professional support in learning how to care for your snake, turtle, lizard or another favorite reptile. For a reptile vet in Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch or Bradenton areas, we have the greatest expertise in caring for reptiles. Some of the common health issues we deal with in reptiles include:

  • Parasites
  • Lack of appetite
  • Thermal burns

We recommend bringing your reptile in for a visit to our exotic vet clinic in at least once a year to maintain optimal health.

Bird Health and Preventative Care

Whether your pet is a cockatiel, a parrot or a more exotic type of bird, there are common health issues you should be aware of. Birds are susceptible to diseases that can affect humans as well, like cryptococcosis or parrot fever. Similar to reptiles, birds usually require a more controlled environment than dogs and cats. Regular trips to the veterinarian are a good idea to keep your pet bird, and everyone in your household, healthy.

One common health issue that can affect female birds is egg binding, the symptoms of which include:

  • Lameness
  • Fluffed-up feathers
  • Labored breathing
  • Constipation
  • Straining to pass eggs

If you notice any of these symptoms, your bird will require treatment by an experienced bird vet right away. Egg binding can be fatal if not treated in time.

Other common health issues for pet birds involve parasites. Parasitic infections can be serious and can be passed to humans. It is important to catch these infections early and begin treatment right away. To avoid parasitic infections, keep your bird’s cage clean and free of mold, and always wash your hands before and after handling your bird.

Rabbit Care Services in Bradenton, Sarasota and Lakewood Ranch

Keeping your pet rabbit healthy means being proactive in checking for signs of illness. Rabbits instinctively hide health problems so they do not appear vulnerable. Even the slightest change in appearance or diet should be considered a possible sign your rabbit is not well.

Spayed or neutered rabbits are less likely to develop disease than their fertile peers. Spaying or neutering also has a positive effect on rabbit behavior. Rabbits of both genders tend to be much more aggressive until they are fixed.

Rabbits should see a vet at least once a year or any time you suspect they are sick or injured. Rabbits are relatively small and delicate creatures that should be treated by a veterinarian with exotic pet experience. For an experienced vet for rabbits in the Bradenton and Sarasota area, contact University Animal Clinic.

Health Care for Pet Ferrets

Ferrets require annual vaccinations for canine distemper and rabies, both of which can be fatal to ferrets. Even if your ferret does not go outside or come in contact with other pets, it can still be at risk for contracting these two diseases. The distemper virus can be carried by people who come in contact with dogs and then pet or play with your ferret.

As ferrets age, they are more likely to develop certain types of cancer. Yearly visits to the vet for blood tests and other cancer screenings are recommended. Cancer caught early enough in ferrets can usually be treated. Other problems that could be detected in a yearly checkup include fleas, bladder infections, ear mites and abnormal masses. When noticed early, many of these illnesses can be treated, so your ferret enjoys a long healthy life with you.

Caring for Guinea Pigs

With their soft fur, guinea pigs are similar to dogs and cats as family pets. They like to be handled gently and are easy to take care of. Guinea pigs are usually healthy animals, but like all pets they need a trip to the exotic animal clinic periodically.

Treating Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, and Bradenton guinea pigs, we see common health problems, including:

  • Pneumonia
  • Scurvy
  • Mammary tumors
  • Diarrhea
  • Kidney stones
  • Abscesses
  • Skin tumors
  • Ringworm

The key to treating a guinea pig with one of these common illnesses is catching it early. If you notice any signs your guinea pig is not well, it is a good idea to bring him into the exotic pet doctor. Even a healthy guinea pig, though, can benefit from yearly vet visits.

Find Exotic Animal Veterinarians in the Sarasota, Bradenton, and Lakewood Ranch Areas

If an exotic pet in University Park, Sarasota, Bradenton or Lakewood Ranch does show signs of illness, such as crop infection, a lack of appetite or signs of respiratory infections, our convenient location near Sarasota makes it easy to get to our animal clinic. Since exotic pets are unique and react to situations differently, we encourage you to call us with any questions or concerns at 941-355-7707 as soon as you notice any changes in a pet’s behavior or eating habits.