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What is an “exotic pet?” Usually this term refers to any companion pet that is not a dog or a cat. Some of these alternative pets, such as rabbits and parakeets are quite common but veterinary care of these species, and others, frequently requires special knowledge, training and equipment.
Family Pet Hospital recognizes that exotic pets have become popular because many people enjoy the unique qualities these animals possess. Our knowledge and experience with exotic species combines clinical expertise with a personal touch.
At FPH we regularly treat birds, reptiles (such as lizards, snakes, turtles and tortoises), ferrets, rabbits, small mammals (ex. gerbils, guinea pigs, mice, rats, hedgehogs and sugar gliders), amphibians and many more species.
Why chose an avian and exotic veterinarian?
Traditional veterinary education does not include extensive training for the specific needs of exotic pets. For that reason, some veterinarians who have a special interest in treating these animals must commit to additional continuing education and learning about the latest advancements in exotic pet care.
Dr. Woolley leads has more than 20 years of experience treating many different species. Dr. Woolley has taken numerous specialized courses in avian and exotic diagnostics, medicine, surgery and endoscopy techniques. He firmly believes in the value of the human-companion animal bond and the exotic patients of FPH prove that this bond is not limited to dogs and cats. He strengthens this bond through a strong wellness-care plan for all his patients.
Dr Woolley is one of the few Veterinarians in San Antonio who treats birds and exotics! Our doctors and staff are trained to provide high quality medical care for all of our patients. Our goal is to deliver this care in a compassionate way for all patients - feathered, scaled or otherwise
You and your special pets will receive personal, individualized attention in a professional environment. By offering veterinary services for our non-traditional companion animals we share your goal of providing special care for the pets you love.
Bi-Annual Physical Examination
We strongly believe that a skilled staff together with quality diagnostic tools represents the key to preventative health care. FPH recommends bi-annual physical and wellness examinations for your exotic pets to help them live long and healthy lives. During a physical examination, our doctors will review many aspects of your pets care, including diet and husbandry, we will also discuss ways to detect early disease and minimize preventable illness and share any new advances in exotic pet care that might benefit your special pet.
At FPH, we believe that client education is a vital part of preventative medicine and this is especially true for exotic pets. Clients recognize and appreciate our sincere commitment in partnering with pet owners to help provide their special pets with the optimum of health.
Microchipping is an easy, inexpensive way to identify your pet and maximize the chances of recovering them should they become lost or stolen. A tiny microchip no larger than a grain of rice and encoded with a unique ID number is injected into the breast tissue in birds, it is usually performed without anesthesia or sedation. When scanned by a special electronic device, the chip will transmit a code that, like a Social Security number, identifies your pet and links them to you once registered by you. Visit Home Again Microchipping website for more information.
Thousands of shelters and veterinary practices throughout the USA have microchip-scanners and use them to help identify stray animals and those reported as lost. Most microchip companies maintain a 24-hour toll-free hotline seven days a week to reunite lost microchipped pets with their owners.
Sometimes surgery is recommended as a way to minimize future health problems or as a life-saving procedure for an exotic pet. The decision to have anesthesia and surgery performed on a beloved pet can sometimes be difficult. By explaining the procedure, the benefits and risks, we can help you decide what is best for your pet.
The types of surgical services offered at FPH can vary as widely as the patients themselves. Everything from spaying (ovariectomy), neutering (castration) to fracture repair to advanced soft-tissue surgeries are all part of exotic animal care at FPH.
Many exotic animal patients are small and delicate and therefore require refined surgical techniques. Advanced planning, exactness, speed and a steady hand are necessary prerequisites for avian and exotic animal surgery. The exotic animal surgeon must be adept at handling delicate tissues, operating with miniaturized instruments in constrained spaces and using magnification equipment. Due to the small blood volume of many of our patients, even minor hemorrhage can be life-threatening unless adequately controlled. Minimal anesthesia time is extremely important as longer surgical procedures carry greater risks of complication.
FPH has diligently incorporated these important factors into the design of our operating room and surgical protocols. Patients are first thoroughly evaluated pre-surgically to insure that they are appropriate surgical candidates. Once a patient has been approved for surgery, anesthesia is begun, typically consisting of a modern inhalation anesthetic, in combination with other anesthetic agents. Standard surgical techniques are enhanced with the use of electro surgery and special magnification and micro instrumentation.
Advanced computerized monitoring of heart rate, tissue perfusion and oxygenation, electrocardiogram (ECG), respiratory rate and body temperature is available to the surgeon and the experienced Veterinary Technician who assists. Proper body temperature is maintained by the use of special thermal blankets and warm IV/IO fluid administration when indicated.
The doctor will order a pain relieving injection for your pet at the time of surgery to increase its comfort during recovery. The doctor may also recommend that a pet continue pain medication for the duration of their recovery at home. This medication will vary depending on the pet’s size, the type of medication and the dosage.
Costs and Admittance Procedures
When your pet is admitted, you will be required to sign a surgical consent form and leave contact phone numbers. We require all clients to make health and financial decisions for their own pets. Please do not have friends or anyone else drop off your pet for surgery. Some pets must fast before any surgical procedure. Please check with the staff to determine if fasting is required for your pet.
Surgical patients are admitted in the morning between 8:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. Monday - Friday. Special requirements for exotics and reptiles will be given to you when you schedule your appointment.
Diagnostic Imaging (X-rays, and Endoscopy)
FPH’s Radiology and Endoscopy equipment allows us to perform detailed, noninvasive evaluations of our patient’s vital organs and systems.
FPH is equipped with advanced rigid endoscopy capabilities. This minimally invasive diagnostic and therapeutic tool has a wide variety of applications including but not limited to the surgical sex determination, exploratory laparoscopy for organ biopsies, foreign body retrieval as well as advanced dental procedures.
At Family Pet Hospital we treat a variety of exotic pets:
Avian: African Gray, Macaw, Parrot, Bird, Conure, Parakeet, Budgie, Cockatiel, Finch, Canary, Cockatoo, Quaker, Amazon, Eclectus, Lory, Lovebird, Duck, Dove.
Rodent: Rat, Mouse, Mice, Guinea Pig, Hamster, Gerbil, Degu, Chinchilla, Rabbit, Ferret, Hedgehog, Sugar Glider, Pot-Belly Pigs, Prairie Dog, Skunk.
Fish: Koi, Marine, Fresh Water, Gold Fish.
Reptiles: Snakes, Boa, Python, Milk Snake, Corn Snake, King Snake, Lizards, Iguana, Bearded Dragon, Chameleon, Panther Chameleon, Veiled Chameleon, Jacksons Chameleon, Blue Tongue Skinks, Water Dragons, Monitor Lizards, Tegu, anole, gecko, crested gecko, day gecko, tokay gecko, leopard gecko, Fat-Tailed gecko, Turtles, Red-Eared Slider, Wood Turtle, Box Turtles, Tortoises, African Spur Thigh, Sulcata tortoise, Leopard tortoise, Red-footed tortoise, Russian tortoise, Greek tortoise, Hermann’s tortoise, Tortuga.
Amphibians: Frogs, Fire-belly toads, leopard frogs, Bullfrog, Pac-man frog, Tomato frog, African Clawed frog, Tree frog, Dumpy tree frog, Red eye tree frog, White-lipped tree frog, White’s tree frog, American green tree frog, Waxy monkey frog, Dart frog, Salamander, Tiger, Fire-belly newt, Mudpuppy, Waterdog, Axolotls
Other: Hissing cockroach, Tarantula, Millipede, Emperor Scorpion.