Exotic Animal Care

Exotic pets are fascinating animals that can enrich our lives and broaden our understanding of the animal kingdom and the world we live in. To properly care for exotic animals we need a thorough understanding of natural behavior, environment, and diet. Many exotic pets are prey animals and they are experts at masking their feelings and hiding illnesses, so as not to become a target for a predator. With regular veterinary examinations we can establish baseline weights, identify body condition, discuss diet, housing and environmental enrichment. All are important in providing responsible care of our exotic companions.

Exotic pet care in Collinsville

Small Mammals

Transport your small mammals to our clinic in secure airline kennels or carriers.

Bring any treats that may help calm your pet. Always include food for herbivores.

Reptiles and Amphibians

We can augment physical examinations with other diagnostic tests such as blood testing, radiographs and parasite checks.

Preventative medicine can help us better provide for the exotic animals we have taken into our homes.

Exotic Animal FAQs

Chinchillas & Ferrets

Chinchillas

Chinchillas are very fun pets to have and easy to care for, but there is a lot of false information out there, especially on the internet and sometimes from pet stores, so make sure to see a veterinarian regarding proper care, caging, bedding and diet before buying all the "wrong stuff." 

Chinchilla Facts

  • Life Span: 10 – 18 years
  • Environment Temperature Range: 60F - 75F
  • Body Temperature: 97F – 100F
  • Gestation Period: 111 days
  • Litter Size: 1 – 5 (range) 2 (average)
  • Weaning Age: 6-8 weeks

Ferrets

Ferrets are inquisitive, lively and charming little creatures that have captured the hearts of thousands of people around the world. They have an average lifespan of five to seven years with the current record being 14 years. The scientific name Mustela purorious furo means “little smelly thief." Ferrets are the domesticated form of either the Eastern or Western European polecat. They have been domesticated since at least 300 BC and were originally used for rodent control and to hunt rabbits. The majority of ferrets in the world today are kept as pets either in the house.

We will discuss the general care requirements of the ferret as well as some of the diseases you should be aware of. There are also several fine books available on the subject of ferret care.

Gerbils & Hamsters

Gerbils

Gerbils are very fun pets to have and easy to care for, but there is a lot of false information out there, especially on the internet and sometimes from pet stores, so make sure to see a veterinarian regarding proper care, caging, bedding and diet before buying all the "wrong stuff."

Gerbil Facts

  • Scientific Name: Meriones unguiculatus
  • Life Span: 2–4 years
  • Environment Temperature Range: 65F - 85F
  • Relative Humidity Range: 30–50%
  • Breeding Range: 10-12 weeks
  • Estrous Cycle: 4-6 days
  • Gestation Period: 24–26 days -- 27–48 days (with lactation)
  • Litter Size: 3-7 young
  • Weaning Age: 21 Days

Hamster

Hamsters are very fun pets to have and easy to care for, but there is a lot of false information out there, especially on the internet and sometimes from pet stores, so make sure to see a veterinarian regarding proper care, caging, bedding and diet before buying all the "wrong stuff." 

Hamster Facts

  • Life Span: 2-3 years
  • Environment Temperature Range: 65F-80F
  • Relative Humidity Range: 40-70%
  • Breeding Range: 10-14 Months (male) -- 6-10 months (female)
  • Gestation Period: 15-16 days
  • Litter Size: 5+10 young
  • Weaning Age: 21-25 days
Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs are very fun pets to have and easy to care for, but there is a lot of false information out there, especially on the internet and sometimes from pet stores, so make sure to see a veterinarian regarding proper care, caging, bedding and diet before buying all the "wrong stuff."

Guinea Pig Facts

  • Scientific Name: Cavia porcellus
  • Life Span: 4-5 years
  • Environment Temperature Range: 65F-75F
  • Relative Humidity Range: 40-70%
  • Breeding Range: 3-4 Months (male) -- 3-7 months (female)
  • Litter Size: 1-6 range -- 3-4 average
  • Weaning Age: 2-3 weeks
African Hedgehogs

African hedgehogs are remarkably hearty pets considering the short amount of time they have been maintained in captivity and how much there is still to learn about their captive dietary requirements. However, you may be faced with a situation where your pet needs medical attention. It is advisable to find a veterinarian who will be willing to treat your unusual pet before an emergency arises.

Reptiles

Information will be coming soon!

Mouse and Rats

Mice and rats are very fun pets to have and easy to care for, but there is a lot of false information out there, especially on the internet and sometimes from pet stores, so make sure to see a veterinarian regarding proper care, caging, bedding and diet before buying all the "wrong stuff." 

Mouse & Rat Facts

  • Life Span: 1.5-3 year, 2.5-3.5 years
  • Environment Temperature Range: 65F-80F, 65F-80F
  • Relative Humidity Range: 40-70%, 40-70%
  • Breeding Range: 50(m)-50-60(F) days, 65-110 days
  • Estrous Cycle: 4-5 days, 4-5 days
  • Gestation Period: 19 – 21 days, 21-23 days
  • Litter Size: 10-12 young, 6-12 young
  • Weaning Age: 12-28 days, 21 days
Prairie Dog

Prairie dogs are very fun pets to have and easy to care for, but there is a lot of false information out there, especially on the internet and sometimes from pet stores, so make sure to see a veterinarian regarding proper care, caging, bedding and diet before buying all the "wrong stuff." 

  • Scientific Name: Cynomys ludovicianus
  • Life Span: 5-10 years
  • Environment Temperature Range: 68F-72F
  • Relative Humidity Range: 30-70%
  • Sexual Maturity: 2-3 years
  • Gestation Period: 30-35 days
  • Breading Season: January-March
  • Weaning Age: 6-7 weeks
Rabbits

Rabbits can make intelligent, friendly and quiet house pets. The average life span for a bunny is 7 to 10 years with records of up to 15 years of age reported. The following information is provided to help you enjoy a happy, healthy relationship with your little friend. In addition to this handout there are a number of excellent books on the topic of rabbit health care that you may wish to consult.

There is a lot of false information out there about how to properly care for rabbits, especially on the internet and sometimes from pet stores, so make sure to see a veterinarian regarding proper care, caging, bedding and diet before buying all the "wrong stuff." 

Sugar Gliders

Sugar gliders can be very fun pets, but are not always easy to properly care for, and there is a lot of false information out there, especially on the internet and sometimes from pet stores, so make sure to see a veterinarian regarding proper care as soon as you get your glider! Discuss caging, bedding and especially diet before buying all the "wrong stuff."