Keeping an exotic pet is an exciting and rewarding experience, one that offers something more than a regular household pet, like a cat or dog. However, keeping an exotic pet can mean complicated upkeep, especially when it comes to dealing with the unfortunate situation of your exotic pet becoming ill.
What makes it harder, too, is that with a cat or dog, you can usually tell easily when something is wrong, such as based on the way they move or the noises they make, but this becomes infinitely trickier if you’re dealing with an exotic pet like a snake or other reptile if they aren’t vocal or active. Exotic pets have a habit of not making it easily known when they are suffering.
So how do you know if your exotic pet is sick, and what should you do about it?
Signs Your Exotic Pet May Be Unwell
- Your pet may have changed their eating pattern or stopped eating altogether
- Signs of lethargy
- Acting different or strangely
- Hiding or burying themselves away, especially within cages or tanks
- Moving a lot less
- Physical changes, such as problems you can clearly see, unusual shedding (fur or skin), or other physical changes such as losing weight
What You Should Do When Your Exotic Pet is Sick
Speak To or Visit The Vet
First and foremost, if you think that something is seriously wrong and you are concerned, then speaking to a veterinarian is naturally the right decision. If the situation has happened out of nowhere and you find yourself with a vet emergency, then rushing your pet to the vet is encouraged. It’s a good idea to have backup funds saved for such an emergency when keeping a pet, as well as having the option of taking out quick loans for those vet emergencies which you simply cannot plan for.
Do Your Research
It’s important to understand exactly what you’re looking for in terms of illness in your specific pet so that you can best deal with it. Illness will vary from species to species, and there’s no one answer for all exotic pets. This is why it is important to do some research before selecting your pet on sites such as The Spruce Pets. It will make it easier to notice when something is wrong and can be a big help for the specific animal you are dealing with. Research can be carried out at any time, but if you do suspect that your animal isn’t acting like themselves, trust your gut and then research the matter. It could provide a few pointers as to what you should be keeping an eye out for.
Monitor the Situation
Do you think your exotic pet is sick? If you suspect something is wrong, it may take a period of time to better understand the situation and see if it really is a problem. If your pet is acting normally and eating normally, but you have noticed something different — perhaps a change in their physical appearance, for example — which causes concern, then monitor the situation over the course of the coming days and see if it worsens. You can then contact your vet if you believe there to be a more serious problem.
Understanding how best to care for your specific pet, such as understanding reptile care, is the best way to prepare yourself for any illness.