Amphibians are not easy pets to take care of. Many reptiles and amphibian owners are surprised to find out that their pets need a visit to a specialized reptile or amphibian veterinarian, at least annually. Even something as simple as setting up the appropriate environment for your pet to live is important to know if you’re an owner of an exotic amphibian. This will ensure that potential problems with your pets are avoided.
When it comes to owning amphibians or reptiles, regular veterinary care is necessary in order to ensure the longevity of your pets.
The most crucial time to go to take your pet to a veterinarian is right after you acquire them. During your first visit, the veterinarian should conduct several diagnostic tests, perform a physical examination, and test if your pet is harboring any illnesses that require treatment. Your veterinarian should also discuss with you how you can take proper care of your pet; whether it’s through proper feeding, housing, or general care.
Always be sure that your pet’s veterinarian is highly qualified and experienced with reptiles and/or amphibians. Reptile and amphibian medicine have now become a specialized part of veterinary medicine due to the fact that most general practitioners don’t have enough knowledge in reptile and amphibian medicine. For that reason, you should be sure that your veterinarian meets the qualifications of being a good reptile veterinarian. You should at least ensure that they are a member in good standing with the ARAV, or the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians.
So, how can you find specialized veterinary care for your amphibian or reptile pets?
Finding a Specialist for Amphibian Pets
While many veterinarians could be wonderful at providing medical care for exotic reptiles and amphibians, but only those with advanced training and proper certification can actually provide the best care for your pets. Just like you look for the most experienced doctors when you have your own medical problems, you should seek the same medical care for your pets. So how exactly do you find the most experienced professionals?
Well, veterinary associations devoted to specific types of animals are probably the best places to start. When it comes to reptile or amphibian pets, one of the best places to go looking is probably The Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians, or the ARAV. The association’s website contains links to specific lists citing their member veterinarians. The members are also searchable by location, so you can find the best veterinarians near you. Furthermore, if you want a thorough list of exotic pet specialists, take a look at this list from Unusual Pet Vets.
Another good place to look for the appropriate professionals is with your local herptile society. Talk to a few members of your society with exotic pets and find out who they go to, who they don’t go to, and the reasons behind their opinions. Find out which veterinarians are most knowledgeable, who are better at handling animals, and who you’re personally more comfortable seeing. While you shouldn’t rely solely on other people’s opinions, they can be quite helpful.
If there aren’t any herptile societies in your area, try contacting your local wildlife rescue organizations and figure out who they contact for regular exotic animal care. Contact their vets and ask if they have enough experience working with amphibians or reptiles.
Keep in mind that a good veterinarian is one who isn’t afraid to go the extra mile or learn something new about your pet. Whether it’s through research on the internet, talking to clients, or talking to other vets who specialize in reptiles and amphibians, be sure that your veterinarian always wants to do more.
Lastly, speaking to your “ordinary” veterinarian can also be a good way to find experts nearby. Most vets are quite content to refer cases that fall out of their areas of expertise to someone that could help them, so don’t be afraid to ask.
While finding the best specialist for your reptile or amphibian pet might be a difficult task, it will always be worth the extra love and care your pet will receive. Start by going online and finding the nearest places with the most prominent professionals. If after looking online, you still can’t find a reptile vet, contact your local wildlife rescue organizations, contact your local zoos vets to see if they know any herptile professionals, or contact your county or state’s veterinary societies to see if they have any listings of specialists. In the end, all that should matter is that you find someone who can provide your amphibian pet with the care it needs.