Friday, October 28, 2011

Weird Pets and Weird Infections

Dr. Scott Weese over at Worms & Germs has a great piece about some of the difficult considerations when you adopt an exotic species of animal and then get bitten by it.

As is virtually always the case, I agree completely with him. People sometimes ask why I don't treat various exotic species: ferrets, ocelots, chinchillas, snakes, etc. Well, aside from the small fact of our being a CAT hospital (ie DOMESTIC kitties ONLY), I don't have experience with these types of critters. They can and do have sometimes extraordinarily unique husbandry needs, and can have very rare and strange diseases, many of which can affect people. I never took the exotic animal medicine elective course in vet school, so I prefer to leave that to those who did.

The State of California strictly regulates ownership of many exotic species, and for good reason. The case of 49 large exotics having to be killed in Ohio recently is a tragic case in point. If you are going to keep lions and tigers and leopards, you simply MUST know what you are doing and be equipped to do it right. I will never forget the sight of all those gorgeous tigers lying dead in a heap. I would never want to enable that sort of neglect.

On rare occasion I still see pet domestic rabbits or rats, but the demand for that is virtually gone in this economy so I am phasing them out altogether.

We are all about Felis domesticus. We don't dislike other creatures, we just don't vet them. And yeah, we still don't do dogs.