1887

General care and management of other pets and wildlife

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Abstract

Pets other than cats and dogs are extremely popular and their numbers are on the increase. The rabbit is now the third most popular mammalian pet in the UK. In addition to small mammals, many people keep birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates as pets. In many veterinary practices, these so-called exotic pets make up a significant proportion of the patient caseload and some practices now offer specialist expertise in exotic pets. This chapter is designed to give information on the species of animals kept as exotic pets; the advantages and disadvantages of exotic pets; basic biology, anatomy and husbandry requirements of exotic pets; how to handle and determine the sex of exotic pets and wildlife safely and humanely; how to recognize the signs of pain and disease in exotic pets and wildlife; how to administer basic medication to exotic pets and wildlife.

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Figures

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4.4 A crossbred rabbit.
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4.5 Handling a rabbit. It is important to support the body. Drawn by S.J. Elmhurst BA Hons (www.livingart.org.uk) and reproduced with her permission.
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4.7 An English guinea pig. (Courtesy of Paul Flecknell.)
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4.8 Perineal openings in male and female rodents. Drawn by S.J. Elmhurst BA Hons (www.livingart.org.uk) and reproduced with her permission.
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4.9 Handling a guinea pig. It is important to support the hindquarters. Drawn by S.J. Elmhurst BA Hons (www.livingart.org.uk) and reproduced with her permission.
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4.10 Chinchilla. (Courtesy of Anna Meredith.)
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4.11 Rats are becoming increasingly popular as pets. (Courtesy of Paul Flecknell.)
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4.12 Handling a rat. The thumb is placed under the mandible to prevent biting. Drawn by S.J. Elmhurst BA Hons (www.livingart.org.uk) and reproduced with her permission.
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4.13 Handling a mouse. Grasping the base of the tail. Grasping the scruff. Drawn by S.J. Elmhurst BA Hons (www.livingart.org.uk) and reproduced with her permission.
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4.14 A docile hamster can be cupped between two hands. Drawn by S.J. Elmhurst BA Hons (www.livingart.org.uk) and reproduced with her permission.
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4.15 A gerbil can be grasped by the scruff. Drawn by S.J. Elmhurst BA Hons (www.livingart.org.uk) and reproduced with her permission.
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4.17 A tame ferret can be grasped around the shoulders with the other hand supporting the body. Additional measures are required for aggressive animals (see text). Drawn by S.J. Elmhurst BA Hons (www.livingart.org.uk) and reproduced with her permission.
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4.18 A simplified bird skeleton. Drawn by S.J. Elmhurst BA Hons (www.livingart.org.uk) and reproduced with her permission.
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4.19 Two basic types of feather. Down. Contour or flight. Drawn by S.J. Elmhurst BA Hons (www.livingart.org.uk) and reproduced with her permission.
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4.20 The digestive tract of a bird. Drawn by S.J. Elmhurst BA Hons (www.livingart.org.uk) and reproduced with her permission.
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4.21 The parts of a normal bird dropping. Drawn by S.J. Elmhurst BA Hons (www.livingart.org.uk) and reproduced with her permission.
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4.22 The respiratory system of a bird. Drawn by S.J. Elmhurst BA Hons (www.livingart.org.uk) and reproduced with her permission.
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4.23 A Sulphur-crested Cockatoo. (Courtesy of Sharon Redrobe.)
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4.25 Holding a budgerigar in one hand. (Courtesy of Sharon Redrobe.)
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4.28 A Royal python. (Courtesy of Sharon Redrobe.)
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4.29 A green iguana in good condition. (Courtesy of Sharon Redrobe and reproduced from .)
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4.30 A box turtle. (Courtesy of Sharon Redrobe.)
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4.31 The epidermis of a reptile is folded to form the characteristic scales. Drawn by S.J. Elmhurst BA Hons (www.livingart.org.uk) and reproduced with her permission.
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4.32 A vivarium suitable for a reptile. (Adapted from ) Drawn by S.J. Elmhurst BA Hons (www.livingart.org.uk) and reproduced with her permission.
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4.34 The internal organs of a snake. Drawn by S.J. Elmhurst BA Hons (www.livingart.org.uk) and reproduced with her permission.
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4.35 The tail of a male snake, showing the position of the hemipenes. Drawn by S.J. Elmhurst BA Hons (www.livingart.org.uk) and reproduced with her permission.
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4.36 Holding the head of a snake. (Courtesy of Anna Meredith.)
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4.37 Femoral pores in a male green iguana. (Courtesy of Sharon Redrobe.)
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4.38 Holding a Chinese water dragon. (Courtesy of Anna Meredith.)
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4.39 Sexing tortoises. Female: short tail; cloaca close to plastron. Male: larger tail; cloaca further from plastron. Drawn by S.J. Elmhurst BA Hons (www.livingart.org.uk) and reproduced with her permission.
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4.40 Alternative methods of handling chelonians. (Courtesy of Anna Meredith.)
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4.43 External features and internal organs of a fish. Drawn by S.J. Elmhurst BA Hons (www.livingart.org.uk) and reproduced with her permission.
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4.45 Wildlife casualties must be handled with great care to prevent further injury to themselves or the handler. First aid techniques, such as cleaning a wing wound in this swan, are similar to those performed in domestic species. (Courtesy of the Secret World Wildlife Rescue.)
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4.48 Hand-rearing of wildlife orphans, such as this wild rabbit, is time-consuming and requires specialist skills, but can be very rewarding. (Courtesy of the Secret World Wildlife Rescue.)

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