First of all, it must be said that technically (in most areas) anything other than a cat, dog, fish, or livestock, is often consider an “Exotic Pet”. As such one veterinarian might care for a few types of exotic pets, let us say rabbits, and small animals, while another might care for larger exotics, such as tigers, and wolves.
The Phone Book
Depending where you live your phone book might even have a veterinarian listed that cares for Exotic pets. This should be the first place to check.
You can call various veterinarian offices to see if they do care for the specific animal, or animals, you have, or plan on getting. If they do not, you can ask if they know anyone who does. Some veterinarians have never treated certain exotic animals but are willing to do so – the caution here is that they lack practical experience. Other veterinarians are totally unwilling to work with certain exotic pets and animals. Sometimes livestock veterinarians may be willing to provide care for some exotic animals, so they should be contacted as well.
You can also try calling the local animal shelter to see if they know of a veterinarian who works with exotic pets. Or go even further, if there is a zoo, or wildlife rehabilitation center, you can call them and ask.
You may even have to look out of your area. Being aware that if you have to travel any distance with a sick, or injured pet, it may mean their life or death – as such you may want to reconsider keeping exotics.
Pet bison – up for Auction – photo by Author
Try to find other exotic pet owners in your area through Exotic Pet fairs and exhibitions. You may find they have knowledge of a veterinarian that you were unable to find.
Many magazines on specific pets (lets say pet birds, or reptiles) have ads, while you might not find an advertisement for an exotic pet veterinarian you can use these ads to find owners and breeders in your area, who may know of veterinarians for unusual animals, (see make contacts – above). More experienced owners may even have some home remedy solutions to basic problems, although should not be considered the best source for veterinarian knowledge.
Check the Laws
In most areas there are laws restricting ownership of certain exotic pets. As such finding a veterinarian for any illegal animals may be impossible.