Dan Johnson, DVM, DABVP
Intubation provides better airway control than a face mask and minimizes the risk of aspiration. This is especially important for complex and prolonged procedures, when complications such as respiratory obstruction and hypoventilation are more likely to occur. Rabbits and rodents are difficult to intubate.
Rabbits, chinchillas, and guinea pigs are monogastric, hind-gut fermenters; all have a functional cecum and require a high-fiber diet. Fiber is broken down in the cecum by a variety of microorganisms which are nourished by a constant supply of water and nutrients from the stomach and small intestine.
Exotic animal medicine is an exciting and rapidly growing part of companion animal practice. Exotics represent roughly 25-30% of the companion animal market for veterinary services. Pet owners readily seek out veterinary care for birds, small exotic mammals, reptiles and amphibians.
As the popularity of reptiles has grown, so has the demand for quality veterinary care. Today, reptile medicine represents a viable subset of companion animal practice. Reptiles are stoic and have evolved to mask signs of illness, which makes them a challenge to diagnose and treat. For veterinarians and technicians who are willing to become proficient, however, reptile practice offers many rewards.