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Emergency Care For Exotics

February 15, 2023

Here at All Pets Veterinary Center, one thing we are proud to offer is critical care for exotic pets. Exotic pets are becoming more popular, and with good reason: they’re quite beautiful and fascinating. However, like any other animals, they can get sick or injured. A local New Albany, IN vet discusses emergency care for exotic pets below.

Warning Signs

It’s important to know the red flags that would indicate a medical emergency. While these vary from animal to animal, there are some common ones, such as lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, refusing to eat or drink, labored breathing, discoloration, limping, trembling, fever, strange posture/behavior, and discharge from the eyes, nose, or mouth. You’ll want to also do some research about your specific pet. Some red flags in birds include ruffled feathers, loose stools, and difficulty laying eggs. Sick ferrets may have hard or swollen tummies, or they may paw at their mouths. For pocket pets, warning signs include rolling, flopping, grinding the teeth, and tilting the head. Reptiles may be cold, sit in stiff or odd positions, or have prolapsed tissue. Ask your vet for more information.

First Aid

It’s always a good idea to have a pet first-aid kit handy. You can get one made for humans, and then add some things that would be specific to your pet. For reptiles, you may want to include non-spermicidal condoms: these can be used to wrap injured tails. Popsicle sticks can make good splints, while styptic powder can stop bleeding. Other things you may want to include include magnifying glasses, a pen light, tweezers, non-stick gauze, an eye dropper, silver ointment, disposable gloves, wire cutters, a turkey baster, toothpicks, bandages, hydrogen peroxide, corn starch, first-aid tape, sugar packets and Pedialyte. Of course, these things will only help if used correctly. Get a good pet first-aid brochure and keep it near the kit. Pet first-aid apps can also be useful.


We recommend getting a secondary tank or terrarium for travel. Add soft towels or paper towels, but don’t include anything that could roll onto your pet during travel, such as basking rocks. You may need to keep your animal friend warm during transport. Things like microwaved rice socks, hot water bottles, and heating packs wrapped in towels can help with this.

As your New Albany, IN animal clinic, we’re dedicated to offering great care. Contact us anytime! 

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