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Tufts OpenCourseware
Authors: Gretchen Kaufman, DVM, Wendy Emerson

OCW Zoological Medicine 2008
Exotic Companion Animal Practice (2009)
G. Kaufman, DVM / W. Emerson, DVM
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University

1. General Issues

1.1. Exotic companion animals in society

  • Exotic companion animals seem to be gaining in popularity - why is this happening?

  • Wild vs. domestic

  • Regulation - landlord, city, state, federal, international

1.2. Common exotic animal species seen in general practice

  • Snakes, lizards, turtles and tortoises

  • Psittacines - parrots

  • Passeriformes - finches, canaries, songbirds

  • Anseriformes - ducks, geese, swans

  • Galliformes - chickens, turkeys, pheasant, peacocks, quail

  • Ratites, Raptors, Columbiformes (Pigeons)

  • Mammals - ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, and mice

Avian visit

1.3. Captive animal circumstances

  • Sources - captive breeding vs. wild harvest

  • Pet store/retail resources

  • Owner education?

1.4. Role of the veterinarian

  • Animal health

  • Human health and safety

  • Owner education!!

  • Animal advocate

  • Practice builder?! - economic implications

1.5. Target Issues

  • Client knowledge base

  • Basic veterinary knowledge base less developed

  • Industry reluctance to improve standards (cost factors)

  • Perception of poor economic worth

  • Resistance by traditional veterinary counterparts

2. Support resources and continuing education

2.1. Professional organizations

Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV)

Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians (AEMV)

Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians (ARAV)

2.2. Continuing education resources

Veterinary Information Network - free to students!

North American Veterinary Conference,

Western States Veterinary Conference, etc.

2.3. Formalized Training/Board Certification

2.3.1. Internships and Residencies (selected)

There are very few exclusive companion animal exotic internships and residencies. Some of these are listed below. Some of the academic zoological medicine residencies and internships include a component of companion animal exotics.

2.3.2. Board Certification

American Board of Veterinary Practitioners - Avian Specialty

American College of Zoo Veterinarians - Avian Specialty

American Board of Veterinary Practitioners - Exotic Companion Mammal Specialty

2.3.3. References and Resources

CLIENT BROCHURES: from Zoological Education Network , from AAV .

KEEPING CAPTIVE / EXOTIC WILDLIFE in Massachusetts - a summary of Massachusetts regulations regarding exotic animals and wildlife in the pet trade.

Altman, Robert B., et al. Avian Medicine and Surgery. Philadelphia. W.B. Saunders Co., 1997. Chapters 1, 4, 7, 38, 57, 58.

Exotic DVM. Lake Worth, FL : Zoological Education Network, c1998-

Johnson-Delaney, Cathy A. Exotic Companion Medicine Handbook for Veterinarians. Zoological Information Network. Available from Zoological Education Network.

Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine , Elsevier

Orcutt, Connie J., and Kristine Palmer-Holtry. Editorial. Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery 11 (3), 1997, pp. 149-150.

Ritchie, Branson W., et al. Avian Medicine: Principles and Application. Lake Worth, Fla.: Wingers Publishing, c1994: Prologue, Chapters 1,2,4.

Veterinary Clinics of North America. Exotic Animal Practice. Philadelphia, PA : W.B. Saunders Co., 1998-