Rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, rats, gerbils, hamsters, mice, degus, and sugar gliders are some of the small exotics seen routinely at Hope Animal Hospital where our doctor and staff are specially trained to handle your small pet.
• Why use a small mammal veterinarian?
Although veterinary colleges are excellent at training future veterinarians on the care of dogs and cats, there is insufficient time to dwell extensively on small mammals. It is much like a medical school where the graduate is a general practitioner upon obtaining his M.D. Students do not graduate as specialists like neurosurgeons, pediatricians, heart specialists, etc. It takes years of additional study to be qualified in other fields outside of general medicine.
Taking the time to attend many classes on various exotics to truly learn about them is time consuming and expensive, but vitally important to the care and well being of your pet. Diet, biology, diseases, and appropriate medication can be drastically different for non dog and cat species. For example, there are some medicines commonly used for cats and dogs that would be deadly if used on a rabbit.
As her experience grew, Dr. Beisswenger was drawn more and more into the field of small mammal exotics. Her love for dogs and cats did not diminish but expanded to include these small pets. She gets quite a grin on her face when handling a chortling guinea pig and an extremely concentrated expression in surgery when trying to save a rabbit from uterine cancer. Her love of small creatures prompted more and more study in order to help them.
• Regular Exams
We encourage regular health exams every six months for all small mammals exactly as we do for dogs and cats. It is always better to prevent illness, sickness, and disease rather than trying to find a cure and better to catch things early before it becomes severe or life threatening.
• Sick Exams
When small mammals start showing signs of illness it is critical that they see the veterinarian as soon as possible. In many cases there is very little time to change the course of the disease. Hope Animal Hospital will work with you to have your small mammal seen as quickly as we can.
• Emergency after hours care for rabbits/small mammals
While emergency clinics available on nights, weekends and holidays are well prepared to handle dogs and cats, we know that an expert on small mammals may not always be on staff. Small mammal owners may call our after hours number (listen to full message as small mammal emergency number is different from our regular after hours message line) and then leave a message for Dr. Beisswenger on the rabbit and small mammal emergency line. If available, she will do an emergency call at the office. Please note that emergency hour fees apply. If she does not reach you within a short time it is still advisable to take your pet to an emergency clinic.