Exotic Pets

Exotic Animal Vet in San Antonio, TX - Reptiles, Avian Pets, Insects & More

Exotic pets need just as much love and attention as our other furry, four-legged friends. We are proud to have doctors that specialize in the care and treatment of exotic animals.

Services for Exotic Pets

We Treat

Fish & Amphibians
And others, just ask!

Exotic Pet Procedures

From reptiles to pigs & plenty in between.

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Owning exotic pets can be a fun and satisfying experience. These delightful pets are intelligent, amusing and interesting to watch. Like all other pets, there will come a time when you need the help of a veterinarian to keep your pet healthy. Our exotic animal medical services include wellness exams, annual vaccines, medical care for illnesses and injuries, full diagnostic exams, preventive care, and surgery.

What Is an Exotic Pet?
An exotic pet is any animal that would be considered non-traditional to own as a pet. Some animals include the wild canary and other birds, guinea pigs, lizards, snakes, rodents, and turtles. These animals require special pet care that not all veterinarians have the experience to provide. Fortunately for you, Covenant Care Animal Hospital in San Antonio is staffed with exotic animal veterinarians who are specifically trained in treating exotic pets.

Types of Animals Treated by Specialty Veterinarians

Avian Veterinary Care
Exotic birds are magnificent creatures to behold. Whether you own a macaw, cockatoo, canary, or an African Grey, keeping your bird healthy will require regular vet care and expert advice.

Birds are susceptible to a variety of health conditions, including feather picking, egg binding, and inadequate nutrition. If your bird is sick, it might not be obvious, but for the trained eye, you can detect subtle behavioral changes that indicate they’re not feeling well. These signs may include vocal changes, weight loss, lethargy, unusual stool appearance, and sitting at the bottom of their cage.

Our avian vets provide all of the standard wellness services such as biannual check-ups, blood work, X-rays, fecal analysis, and surgery. We also offer beak and foot care, dietary advice, wing clipping, as well as skin and feather management.

Reptile & Amphibian Veterinary Care
Many people enjoy the calm demeanor of reptiles and amphibians. Although frogs, turtles, lizards, and snakes look robust, they're actually fragile animals that need special care, habitats, and diets. As cold-blooded animals, their environmental conditions have a huge impact on their health and well-being.

Common health issues include egg binding, parasites, respiratory illness, metabolic bone disease, vitamin deficiency, and skin infections. All of these conditions can be easily avoided with proper nutrition and husbandry, so we are happy to offer as much advice as you need to give your cold-blooded pet the proper care they need to live healthy lives.

Our care for pet reptiles and amphibians includes dietary planning, habitat evaluation, wellness exams, and surgery.

Rodent & Small Mammal Veterinary Care
Although they're often seen as pests, many people love the intelligence, curiosity, and silly antics of rodents like mice and rats. Hamsters, hedgehogs, gerbils, guinea pigs, ferrets, gerbils, sugar gliders, chinchillas, and other pocket pets have also grown in popularity over the last couple of decades. However, these small mammals are prone to metabolic, musculoskeletal, and bone problems. Some other common health issues in small exotic mammals include dental problems (periodontal disease or overgrown teeth in rodents), vitamin deficiency, obesity, infection, and parasites.

While many of the signs of health issues are similar to those in dogs and cats, it’s not always as straightforward. Look out for these early indications of illness in your small exotic pet:

-Appetite changes
-Gastrointestinal issues (diarrhea, constipation, vomiting)
-Nasal or ocular discharge
-Behavioral changes, such as aggression or timidity

Our small mammal care services include dietary management, preventive exams, dental care, surgery, diagnostic imaging, and more.

What Should a New Exotic Pet Owner Do After Adopting Their Pet?
After adopting a non-traditional pet, we recommend keeping it away from any other pets in your household for at least one month. The animals will be able to smell and hear each other. If your new exotic pet has an illness, keeping them separated will prevent it from spreading to the pets you already owned.

What Should I Know Before Taking My Exotic Pet for Veterinary Care?
Before taking your exotic animal into our office, give us a call first. We'll provide you with specific information about how to transport your pet safely. We'll also explain how to safely wait with your pet. We may ask you to bring a fecal sample or a sample of their food with you. When you arrive at our office, we ask that you give us a call from your vehicle in the parking lot.

What Should I Expect During a Wellness Exam and Preventive Care Visit?
During a wellness exam or preventive care visit for your exotic pet, you can expect us to perform a full physical exam. Our veterinarian will check your pet's heart and breathing rates. We'll also check your pet's coat, eyes, ears, teeth or beak, shell (turtles), feet and nails, or claws.

How Can I Tell If My Exotic Pet Is Sick?
It can be hard to tell when an exotic pet or small mammal is sick since they’ve evolved to hide signs of illness or pain to avoid predation in the wild. That is why it’s so important to look out for the subtle signs so that you can get your pet to our clinic as soon as you notice any concerning changes. These include:

-Sudden changes in appetite or drinking habits
-Sudden changes in stool or urine production or appearance
-Sudden changes in physical appearance (weight loss/gain, fur or feather loss, swelling, skin color changes, etc.)
-Respiratory problems (mouth breathing, wheezing, squeaking, etc.)
-Limping or sensitivity to touch
-Behavioral changes (sudden aggression, lethargy, hiding, sitting at the bottom of their cage in birds, etc.)