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Avian and Exotics FAQs

I have an appointment to see Dr. Sojka. What should I bring with me? 

  • An appropriate carrier for your pet to travel in (all pets, including birds, MUST be securely contained in a carrier in order to be seen at Pieper Veterinary)
  • Any applicable permits or licenses for ownership
  • Medication your pet is taking in the original containers
  • Photographs or descriptions of your pet’s cage, cage materials, and regular diet
  • Aquatic pets: recent water sample, knowledge of any water additives or conditioners used in their tanks
  • Any previous medical records, bloodwork results, radiographs (x-rays), etc. you may have at home 

If I come in through the ER after hours, will I get to see Dr. Sojka right away? 

No, the Exotics team is not available 24/7. If you come in after hours, your pet will be triaged and receive basic stabilization and treatment from an ER veterinarian. Depending on the severity of your pet’s condition, the specialist may be consulted by your ER clinician via phone. In some cases, the specialist may be physically called in to perform special procedures as needed.

If my pet was transferred to Dr. Sojka after coming in through the ER, can Dr. Sojka become our primary care veterinarian from now on? 

No, if you already have a primary care veterinarian, Dr. Sojka cannot take over your pet’s primary care unless their care is directly transferred to him by your primary care veterinarian. Dr. Sojka can also accept referrals from your primary care veterinarian for work-ups, procedures, or hospitalization for a specific issue. If you have come through the ER, Dr. Sojka will assume care of your pet for that specific issue until care can be resumed by your primary care veterinarian. 

If you do not already have a primary care veterinarian, you can register your exotic pet as a primary care patient by making a Wellness & Husbandry Consultation appointment with Dr. Sojka.

How often do I actually have to bring my exotic pet to the veterinarian?

All exotic pets, like other pets and humans, should be seen at least yearly - from birth - for wellness check ups. We recommend the following patients are seen every 6 months for optimal management of their wellness:

  • Parrot species over the age of 35 years old
  • Ferrets over the age of 4 years old
  • Rats over the age of 1 year old 

I am traveling out of state or out of the country. Can Dr. Sojka write a health certificate for my pet so it can legally travel?

Yes! Dr. Sojka can do this if you schedule an appointment with him for a health certificate. We strongly recommend that you research how early you need to apply for one to allow for ample time to get an appointment with Dr. Sojka.

I just got a new exotic pet. It appears healthy, but I am not sure I have the best idea on how to care for it. Can I make an appointment with Dr. Sojka to discuss proper care for my pet? 

Yes! These are Dr. Sojka’s favorite, and most important, appointments for his patients. You may schedule a Wellness & Husbandry Consultation appointment with Dr. Sojka to talk about ways to help your new exotic pet live a long and healthy life with you. 

My pet is a member of a bonded pair. Can I bring both animals to the appointment/to be hospitalized even if the other is currently healthy?

 No, we unfortunately cannot allow this for several reasons. Exotic animals are very susceptible to infectious diseases, and by visiting with sick or unwell animals this puts them at risk of disease which we cannot be liable for. It can be difficult to keep track of one patient's progress (e.g. eating habits, urination/defecation) if there are multiple animals in one enclosure. Additionally, extra animals also take up valuable hospital space and technician/assistant time when our priority is to focus on treating sick or injured patients.

I have a colony or multiple members of the same species at home. If Dr. Sojka sees one of them, can he prescribe treatments for the remaining members even if he doesn’t examine them personally? 

This option would be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. At the very least, the sickest member of the group should be brought in for a formal appointment. Pending assessment, Dr. Sojka will make recommendations to examine each member individually, a small group of representatives, or just the single one already presented to treat the others. 

I found a wild animal in my backyard that is injured, sick, or otherwise suffering. Can I bring it into Pieper for treatment? 

No. For your own safety, we recommend you call your local Animal Control office to handle its collection and removal from your property.

If you are unable to get in contact with Animal Control or if you want to contact a wildlife rehabilitator directly, you can consider contacting the wildlife rehabilitators on the DEEP website.

Remember that it is illegal for any person, other than a state appointed rehabilitator, to care for wildlife.

I found a wild animal in my backyard and it appears healthy. Can I keep it as a pet? Will Dr. Sojka be able to be my wildlife pet’s doctor if I do? 

No, you may not keep it as a pet. The State of Connecticut has very specific laws that bans most wildlife (native and non-native) from being privately-owned pets. Remember that it is illegal for any person, other than a state appointed rehabilitator, to care for wildlife. If you bring a banned or improperly permitted wild animal that you are keeping as a pet to Pieper Veterinary for care, we will not be able to treat it.

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