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‘Exotic’ pets include guinea pigs, ferrets, chinchillas, hamsters, gerbils, rats, mice, degus, jerds, snakes, tortoises and other reptiles and chelonians.  These species are becoming increasingly popular as pets, especially the ‘small furries’ as a first pet for young children.

Small Furries

Respiratory infections are a relatively common problem in these pets, accounting for a reasonable proportion of visits to the vet.  Each individual is susceptible to different types of infection, and can pick these infections up from other animals or from poor environments.  In most cases treatment is successful, but it is important that these problems are detected early in your pets and treated as soon as possible, as, due to their small size, infections can become serious quickly.

Ectoparasites, especially mites, are also relatively common amongst these species.  Infection usually arises from contaminated bedding being bought in.  Treatment is again, usually simple and effective.  We recommend using a spot-on solution applied to the back of the neck, and this product can be used in rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, ferrets, rodents and birds.

Reptiles and chelonians

Most problems that we see with these species, including snakes, lizards, geckos, tortoises, spiders etc, relate to husbandry problems.  Each individual species has very specific requirements in terms of environment provided and diet.  To maintain a healthy reptile or chelonian, these requirements need to be met as precisely as possible.


Ferrets can be vaccinated for distemper, using the DHPPi dog vaccine.  Vaccination can take place from 12 weeks of age, with a primary course of two injections given two weeks apart.  Annual boosters are then required to maintain immunity to the disease.

Female ferrets (‘jills’) also need special consideration as they will remain in season unless they are mated.  This prolonged season can cause serious illness, including a severe anaemia.  If you do not intend to mate your female ferret, neutering is recommended and can take place from 6 months of age.  Alternatively, we can inject them with ‘Delvosteron’ (the ‘jill jab’) just before their season or once they have come into season.  This injection should stop them cycling for the rest of the breeding season, which runs from March to September.

Male ferrets (‘hobs’) can be castrated in a similar manner to dog castration.  Castration ideally should be done between January and September when the male is sexually active and the testicles are fully descended.

Head Office Address
Address -
5 Chapple Rd, Witheridge,
EX16 8AS,
United Kingdom (GB)

Telephone -
01884 860236 

Fax -
01884 861266 

Emergency -
01884 860236 

Email -

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