It’s not just cats and dogs here at Ridgefield Animal Hospital. We also see a wide variety of exotic pets including birds, small mammals such as, rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, chinchillas and sugar gliders; rodents such as rats, mice hamsters, and gerbils; and reptiles such as turtles, tortoises, bearded dragons, chameleons, leopard geckos, and snakes (non-venomous only). Our service area for companion animals and many types of exotics covers Thibodaux, Grand Isle, Napoleonville, Donaldsonville, Luling, and all the towns in between.
Exotic pets, which are defined as those that are not domesticated like a cat or dog can be very fulfilling to pet owners who seek relationships with creatures who are a bit "out of the ordinary". However, this same "out of the ordinary" part makes their care more time consuming and difficult than the average pet, and requires a significant amount of dedication.
The large number of exotic species prevents us from going into much detail about the care and medical needs of each, but following general guidelines can be a good start if you find yourself drawn to the "out of the ordinary" type pet.
If you are keeping exotic species, you need to have a source for information on proper feeding, housing, and medical care. Exotics come to us with more illnesses and injuries that are due to a lack of proper housing or husbandry than any other cause. Using a gram scale at home can make you aware of weight loss much earlier than by sight or feel.
We recommend at least once yearly exams for all exotic pets and vaccines for ferrets and rabbits (see below).
Ask us about flea and heartworm prevention recommendations for your exotic pets.
Ferrets are one of the only exotic species that receive vaccines:
- Distemper- yearly
- Rabies- yearly
We are now able to offer Medgene's RHDV2 vaccine for rabbits - Please contact us about how to schedule. It takes about 2 weeks for us to order the vaccine to have it ready for your appointment. After their initial RHDV2 vaccine they will need to receive a booster within 21 days. After your rabbit has received their initial and booster shots, they can be vaccinated yearly to keep them protected against RHDV2. Rabbits can be vaccinated as early as 4 weeks of age.
What is RHDV and why should I have my rabbit vaccinated?
Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease (RHDV) is a highly contagious and fatal calicivirus. While it is not present in Louisiana at this time, it has been spreading across the United States since 2020 and it is only a matter of time before it reaches Louisiana. Due to the hardy nature of this calicivirus, it can survive on surfaces for prolonged periods of time which allows it to continue to spread easily. This deadly virus affects both pet and wild rabbits. Since 2021, a safe and effective RHDV2 vaccine is now available to rabbit owners in Louisiana to help protect their pets. For more information on RHDV2 visit: https://rabbit.org/rhdv
Because it is illegal to own wildlife without a permit, we are unable to legally care for wildlife unless you are a licensed rehabilitator. Please call us for a list of rehabilitators in the area.