A bunny being examined by a vet

A small animal is a big responsibility. They depend on their owners to provide the right environment, appropriate diet, grooming, and enrichment, not to mention disease and parasite prevention. 

Caring for an exotic or pocket pet can be incredibly rewarding when all of these components are aligned, but things can go really wrong – really fast. Knowing what to do when an emergency illness appears can make all the difference when your exotic or pocket is sick.

Weighing In

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for well-meaning owners of exotic and pocket pets to sort of guess at their pet’s wellness. In other words, many exotic and pockets never get the help they need until symptoms are full-blown. 

The Pet Experts Can Help

The secret to the health of these small animals lies in routine preventive care. Without regular attention to baseline values, it can be very challenging to recognize problematic conditions. Given the chance to understand more about a pet’s general wellness, an owner can quickly ascertain when something’s not right.

Getting Clued In

One of the most obvious signs that your exotic or pocket pet is sick has to do with their appetite. A sudden lack of appetite should never be ignored, especially when paired with diarrhea, withdrawal, and respiratory distress. These symptoms may not be directly caused by something obvious, and they may also not self-correct without professional attention.

Breathing Hurdles

Like other pets, exotics and pocket pets rely heavily on their sense of smell to understand and negotiate the world around them. If they are struggling to breath normally, all of the other normal aspects of their daily life can be at risk. Indeed, they won’t necessarily be able to find food, avoid their enemy, or pursue normal everyday functions.

What’s to Blame?

Owners should always assess their pet’s environment. If urine is allowed to build up in an exotic or pocket pet’s enclosure, the negative impact of ammonia can lead to damage or infection of the respiratory tract.

Another possible culprit of an exotic or pocket pet’s illness is hydration. When they feel ill they will generally stop drinking water. Monitor how much your pet drinks on a daily basis and be sure they always have access to clean water. To entice them to drink a bit more, a small amount of sugar can be added. This will thwart issues related to dehydration, such as diarrhea.

Constant Care for Your Constant Companion

Extra attention to their enclosure or cage is paramount to health and wellbeing. Is it large enough for them? Are they warm and dry? Are they active or hiding? Please look at coat and skin quality, conditions of the yes and nose, and any signs of breathing difficulties. 

Help! My Pocket Pet Is Sick!

When the Pet Experts see your exotic or pocket pet regularly we can stay in front of certain health problems that may cause serious illness. Veterinary check ups allow for special consideration of the following:

  • Nutrition
  • Disease and parasite prevention
  • Grooming (including nail trims and dental care)
  • Behavior

When an exotic or pocket pet is sick, it’s critical to act quickly. Because of their fast-moving metabolisms, certain small animals (excepting lizards and snakes) cannot go for a day without food. Also, because some pet-borne illnesses can infect people it is essential to handle sick animals appropriately.

At Springbrook Animal Care Center, we are always here to help when your exotic or pocket pet is sick. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.