Some of our vets have a special interest in treating exotics. We treat reptiles, especially tortoises, birds and all the small furries. The exotic animals are more difficult to work with as they all have different metabolisms.
Tortoises have a three chambered heart and no diaphragm so they use their front legs to move the lungs. The lungs are in the top half of the shell. As they have a shell enclosing their body we have to use a special doppler machine rather than a stethoscope to hear the heart sounds. Reptiles usually take a little while to show signs of illness and as they have a slow metabolic rate they usually take a long time to get better.
Birds, on the other have a very high metabolic rate and a higher body temperature. They can get sick very quickly and can use a lot of bodyenergy trying to keep warm. They have air sacs as an additional respiratory method in their body and this means that we have to be very careful anaesthetising birds as they can go to sleep very quickly with certain gasses.
Husbandry such as diet, temperature, humidity, housing and light are very important in exotics as they are coming from areas where habitat is very different from ours and it is important to try and mimic their original environment as much as possible to keep them as healthy as we can.
As birds and reptiles can escape, we do microchip these species.
Please feel free to call us if you would like help.