A growing number of people are caring for small animals that would be considered by many to be non-traditional pets. These pets may include:
Exotic animals has specific housing, dietary and socializing requirements. Each is prone to specific diseases requiring diagnostic tests and treatments that can vary, sometimes significantly, from those needed to treat dogs and cats. Veterinarians who treat these patients have to obtain special training beyond that given in veterinary school, and specialized equipment to meet those needs.
Yearly wellness examinations are strongly recommended for all avian and exotic pets. Unlike dogs and cats, avian and exotic pets instinctively hide their symptoms of illness as long as possible. This means that just because they look healthy doesn't mean that they actually are. The yearly wellness examination is an opportunity to review husbandry requirements and to detect possible problems early in an effort to treat health conditions before they become advanced.
Wellness blood screening is another part of the yearly wellness exam that is important and encouraged for all avian and exotic patients, particularly as they age. Blood screening may detect liver and kidney problems much faster than with a physical exam alone, and may also detect specific diseases (such as insulinoma in ferrets) before they start showing symptoms, when these diseases is easiest to treat.