Capuchin monkeys are among the primates kept as exotic pets An exotic pet is a rare or unusual animal pet, or an animal kept within human households which is generally thought of as a wild species not typically kept as a pet. Definition Commonly, the definition is an evolving one; some rodents, reptiles, and amphibians have become firmly enough established in the world of animal fancy to no longer be considered exotic.
Sometimes any unique or wild-looking pet (including common domestic animals such as the ferret and the fancy rat) is called an exotic pet. "Exotic" generally refers to a species which is not native or indigenous to the owner's locale, and "pet" is a companion animal living with people.However, many use the term to include native species as well. Therefore, the American College of Zoological Medicine has defined the group as "zoological companion animals".
Legally, the definition is subject to local jurisdiction, but is defined federally in the US, in part: "[An animal] ...that is native to a foreign country or of foreign origin or charrogacter, is not native to the United States, or was introduced from abroad." However, "[The term pet] ...excludes exotic animals and wild animals." Animals kept as exotic pets Green Iguana Chinchilla Fennec Fox Mexican Redknee Tarantula Slow Loris Lions Madagascar hissing cockroach Axolotl Ring-tailed Lemur Wallaroo Alligator Mantis Shrimp Hyacinth Macaw Chilean rose tarantula Giant prickly stick insect Reticulated Python Kinkajou Tigers Emperor Scorpion Scarlet Macaw Caiman Lizard Goliath Birdeater African Bullfrog Burmese Python Sloths African Grey Parrot Pacman frog Bearded Dragon Chimpanzee Argentine Black and White Tegu Striped Skunk Capybara Serval Capuchin Monkey Sugar glider Hedgehog Cheetah Mexican Red Rump Tarantula Military Macaw Hercules beetle Green tree python Poison dart frog Golden mantella Diana monkey Rhesus macaque Issues Trafficking Contrary to popular belief, most exotic pets in North America are bred, rather than imported.
But smuggling does take place in other areas. Often a massive amount of the species are stored into small, usually airtight, containers and smuggled in. A large number of animals perish as a result. In one example of smuggling, slow lorises trafficked from Indonesia have their teeth removed prior to being sold locally, or exported to Japan or Russia. The animals are not given any pain relievers during their surgeries.
Some importing of live reptiles and amphibians to the USA occurs, though most of the popular reptile species kept in the USA are rarely if ever sourced from wild populations. Some exotic animals (primates, big cats, bears, etc.) are physically capable of maiming or killing their owners, though this is not a concern with most species. Legality The Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna, or CITES, moderates the trade of some exotic pets around the world, to prevent any threats to their survival and ecological damage.
Certain animals may be strictly regulated or restricted outright due to both their conservation status, as well as the possibility of the animal becoming an invasive species. Since most exotic animals are bred in captivity, CITES regulation does not cover much of the trade. The USDA issues permits for keeping and breeding certain exotic species, whether captured from the wild or bred. In the United States, for example, it is illegal to import non-human primates for the pet trade, but animals bred in captivity exist in the trade, using animals descended from those brought in legally before the ban was enacted.
In 2003, the US Captive Wild Animal Safety Act became law and in September 2007 the US Fish and Wildlife Service enacted rules to enforce the CWASA. The law now bans the sale or transport of big cats, which includes lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars, cougars, snow leopards, clouded leopards, cheetahs and their hybrids across state lines for the pet trade. As of September 2014, most US states forbid or regulate the possession of exotic pets, but 5 states have no license or permit requirements.
 Impact on the world Historically, trade in exotic pets has been known to drive the destruction and extinction of animals in the wild. To a much smaller extent, this holds today: one of the major factors behind the status of the slow loris is the fact it is often kept locally as a pet, or traded to Japan. However, with captive breeding exotic animals becoming more prevalent, fewer and fewer animals are being captured from the wild.
Health Veterinary costs for treatment of exotic animals may be significantly higher than for a more conventional pet, owing to the increased specialization required. Zoonotic disease is known to occur in a small number of exotic pets. The American Veterinary Medical Association, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Animal Control Association, the American Zoo and Aquarium Association and the CDC all discourage the private ownership of certain exotic animals.
 Animals that are captive-bred in the United States have no risk of contracting any harmful disease as they are not exposed to it in any way. In the UK, where exotic pet ownership is high, voluntary organizations such as "SEEPR" (South East Exotic Pet Rescue) take in unwanted, ill, or lost exotic animals and nurse them back to full health before rehoming them. Husbandry Providing appropriate environmental conditions, housing and diet for an exotic animal may be difficult for several reasons: insufficient information may be available on caring for such animals in captivity, though this is rapidly changing.
adequate housing may be difficult and/or expensive to procure or build. This is usually only a problem for large and/or highly active animals that need a large amount of space. it may be difficult to provide the correct environment (such as temperature or amount of sunlight) feeding the correct diet may be difficult or impossible providing the right social environment for highly social species may be impractical or impossible in a home setting.
licensing may be required for the owning or breeding of some exotic animals. Most US states and municipalities, for example, regulate exotic pet ownership. However, captive care and husbandry information for many commonly kept amphibians, reptiles, birds, and small exotic mammals are widely available through literature, animal enthusiast groups, and Internet websites and discussion forums. Risk to humans Exotic animals retain their unpredictable wild nature.
Even if they are bred for the pet trade and raised by humans, they may be unpredictable, relatively resistant to training; in some cases, especially as full-grown adults, they can be dangerous. Injuries to humans may be relatively common, but reported yearly deaths due to exotic pet ownership are rare. Statistics compiled by an advocacy organization indicate a yearly average of less than 3.5 fatalities per year in the United States; and another lists 87 exotic animal incidents resulting in human death from Jun 20, 1990 to Apr 15, 2016.
 Mammals are the most likely exotic pets to injure or kill humans, with non-human primates topping the list. Bears, as well as cats above 100 pounds in weight, kill a slightly smaller percentage of owners. In contrast, reptiles kill a far smaller number of humans. Primates Animal markets in impoverished, tropical countries often sell primates, such as these slow lorises, to both tourists and local people as pets, despite laws against the trade.
It has been estimated that as many as 15,000 non-human primates are kept by private individuals as pets in the United States. Nine states ban the keeping of non-human primates, but no federal law regulates ownership. In 1975, the Center for Disease Control prohibited their import into the US for use as pets. The breeding industry uses descendants of animals imported before 1975. Non-human primates of various species, including those listed as endangered, such as cottontop tamarins, baboons, chimpanzees, Diana monkeys, lemurs and gibbons are still available for purchase in the US, although due to captive breeding, this does not affect wild populations.
For example, chimpanzees are popular in some areas despite their strength, aggression, and wild nature. Even in areas where keeping non-human primates as pets is illegal, the exotic pet trade continues to prosper and some people keep chimpanzees as pets mistakenly believing that they will bond with them for life. As they grow, so do their strength and aggression; some owners and others interacting with the animals have lost fingers and suffered severe facial damage among other injuries sustained in attacks.
 Many professionals, including veterinarians, zoologists, humane societies and others, strongly discourage the keeping of primates as pets, as their complex emotional and social needs and other highly specialized requirements may be difficult to meet by the average owner. Although the breeding population has been largely isolated from wild populations outside the US, they still have the potential to transmit zoonotic disease.
There is a considerable risk of monkey B virus from rhesus macaques. Research workers have died from this disease contracted from non-human primate research subjects. Additionally, there is considerable risk to the non-human primate pet through transmission of human disease. One such example is herpes simplex virus, which can be deadly to certain smaller monkeys. See also Wildlife smuggling References ^ A FRAMEWORK FOR ASSESSING THE SUITABILITY OF DIFFERENT SPECIES AS COMPANION ANIMALS, Appendix C; Animal Welfare 2000, 9:359-372, p.
360 pet animal, as defined by the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals (Council of Europe 1987) as: animals sharing man's companionship and in particular living in his household. ^ "Exotic Animal Law & Legal Definition". USLegal. Retrieved 8 October 2012. Exotic animal is defined by 9 CFR 1.1 ^ "Pet animal". USLeagal. Retrieved 8 October 2012. According to 9 CFR 1.1 [Title 9 -- Animals and Animal Products; Chapter I -- Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Department of Agriculture] ^ Hundreds of dead wild animals found at South Africa airport.
^ "What is CITES?". Retrieved 2010-03-26. ^ Federal Register: August 16, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 158) ^ Summary of US State laws regarding Exotic Pets from the Born Free USA website and Map of Exotic-Animal-Laws at Born Free USA website. Both accessed May 22, 2016. ^ "Exotic Pet FAQ". Retrieved 2010-03-26. ^ Exotic animals bringing health risks with them ^ Responsible Exotic Animal Ownership ^ "Total Numbers and Odds of an Accidental Death in the USA by Cause of Injury in 2005" (PDF).
REXANO. Retrieved 8 October 2012. ^ "Exotic Animal Incidents Category: Escape/Attack resulting in human death". Born Free, USA. Retrieved 22 May 2016. ^ a b "The Perils of Keeping Monkeys as Pets". Retrieved 2008-07-13. ^ "B-virus from Pet Macaque Monkeys: An Emerging Threat in the United States?". January–March 1998. Retrieved 2010-03-26. ^ a b "Chimpanzees Don't Make Good Pets". The Jane Goodall Institute.
Archived from the original on 2 February 2015. Retrieved 1 February 2015. ^ "The Problem with Pet Monkeys – Keeping Monkeys as Pets". Retrieved 2008-07-13. ^ "B Virus (Cercopithecine herpesvirus 1) Infection CDC NCID". Retrieved 2008-07-13. External links American College of Zoological medicine (ACZM) - Certifies veterinary specialists in zoological medicine which includes zoological companion species.
Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians (AEMV) - US and international database of exotic mammal veterinarians Wild & Dangerous: The World of Exotic Pets Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Exotic_pet&oldid=819897506"See Also: Animal Shelters In Washington State
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Animal Care Unlimited offers comprehensive exotic pet care by experienced veterinarians, including: Ferrets—Medical and surgical management of insulinoma and adrenal gland disorders, skin conditions, hair loss, seizures, comprehensive dental care Rabbits—Urinary disorders, treatment for chronic respiratory disease, abscess care and treatment, comprehensive dental care Reptiles—Seizures, eating concerns, metabolic bone disease, egg problems Guinea Pigs—Itchy skin, eating concerns, dental care Hedgehogs—Quill loss, masses, itchy skin Birds—Beak, wing, and nail trimming, egg binding, DNA sexing, Chlamydia testing, feather plucking Exotic services include husbandry and housing, nutrition, behavior, routine medical care, general wellness, soft tissue surgery, and diagnostics for all species.
Getting Ready for Your Exotic Pet's Appointment Exotic pets (for our purposes here, anything other than a cat or dog) typically require special handling and exceptional care. To give you the best recommendation for proper husbandry and nutrition, we need to know as much as possible about their current living environment. Forms Please complete the appropriate Exotic Pet Information Sheet and submit it online 48 hours prior to your appointment: If this is your first visit to Animal Care Unlimited, complete the New Client Form and stop at our New Client Center for more information.
Bring a Picture It is helpful to have a photograph of your pets’ living quarters at home for the veterinarian to review and include in the medical record. If possible, snap several photos, print them out, and bring them along, or send the photos to us via email. Bring Samples For birds, the day before your appointment, place clean cage paper on the cage floor. Fold up and bring the newly soiled paper to your appointment.
We will use this sample to evaluate the visual condition of your bird’s stool, as well as possibly performing a microscopic evaluation for intestinal parasites. For reptiles, if your pet voids a fresh stool sample within 24 hours of your appointment, please place it in a small sealable bag and bring it along to your appointment. We will use this sample to evaluate the visual condition of your reptile’s stool, as well as possibly performing a microscopic evaluation for intestinal parasites.
A small sample of the cage bedding is also helpful. In addition, bring a small sample of your pet’s most commonly fed dry food (pellets, seeds). It is also helpful if you can provide the brand name of the feed. Protect from Cold, Heat, and Other Stress Don’t forget to protect your pet between the car and home or hospital. Pre-warming or cooling your vehicle is a good idea. Use towels or other cloth covers over carry cages to avoid drafts or heat and cold stress.
Large reptiles may benefit from adding a warm—not hot—water bottle to their travel container, to help maintain normal body temperatures. You may use a clean, one-quart plastic milk or soda container, and secure the bottle to prevent rolling. For smaller reptiles, a temporary “waterbed” consisting of a sealable plastic bag of warm water, with a small towel covering the bag inside the travel container.
Whenever bringing your exotic pet in for an appointment, use an appropriately sized pet carrier or secure travel container to maximize safety and minimize environmental stress. Bird Care An examination of a newly acquired bird is recommended within the first 3 days after purchase, to identify and prevent diseases or conditions and to educate the owner about appropriate care for the specific type of bird.
For medical history, we want to know background of your bird: its age, sex, origin, length of time in the household, diet, and caging. Depending on the bird's history, results of physical examination, species, age, and general condition, we may perform some of these diagnostic tests to assist in evaluating patient health: Appraisal of droppings and fecal exam Chlamyophila Test for psittacosis or parrot fever, a zoonotic disease Blood Tests for disease or parasites Microbiology, such as a culture of the choana (throat), cloaca (vent), or crop Radiographs to assess the internal condition of your bird Cytology Virus Screening Annual exams are also advised, for early identification and management of developing conditions and diseases.
The AAHA offers this guide for Pet Bird Care. For everything from choosing a bird to health care advice and products, visit the Bird Channel website. Reptiles & Amphibians Reptiles and amphibians offer a variety of pet options including lizards, snakes, and turtles, excellent for those who are allergic to pets with fur or feathers. The care of reptiles and amphibians varies by type, each requiring specific care, diet, environment, and equipment.
Because they cannot control their own body temperature and require precise environmental conditions, a heat-controlled setting with regulated moisture is often required. The risk of exposure to salmonella is high in these pets and can cause illness in your family members, especially children. Proper education, good hygiene, and regular veterinary care are critical to the health of these pets and their owners.
Visit the CDC Healthy Pets, Healthy People website for more. The Reptile Series from Veterinary Partner offers helpful articles about caring for these unique pets. Small Mammal Care Small mammals include a variety of wonderful pets including ferrets, rabbits, chinchillas, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, mice, and rats. These small mammals are often called “pocket pets” because they are cute, relatively inexpensive, and many can fit in your pocket.
Each type of small pet has specific requirements for proper diet, housing, and handling, demanding as much care and attention as a dog or cat. Some require vaccinations, such as ferrets and skunks, while others need a basic checkup. This annual exam includes weighing your pets and monitoring for species-related conditions and diseases. Many of these smaller pets live only two to eight years. This means they age at a high rate, experiencing physical changes in the span of 1 year equaling 40 years of a human life.
Because their health can change so rapidly, regular veterinary exams are essential for these small mammals. Ferret vaccines: Distemper—Beginning at 6 weeks; repeat every 3 weeks until 14 weeks; then booster annually. Rabies—Beginning at 12 – 14 weeks with an annual booster; we recommend separating vaccines by at least 1 week on annual visits. Skunk vaccines: Distemper—Beginning at 6 weeks; repeat every 3 weeks until 16 weeks; then booster annually.
Rabies—At 16 weeks and annually. The Small Mammal Series from Veterinary Partner offers helpful articles about caring for these delightful pets. Visit the experts in small animal health and download these helpful pet care guides for chinchilla, gerbil, hamster, guinea pig, rabbit, and rat pets: Oxbow Pet Care Guides. AAHA offers this selection of articles about small animal care. Other Exotics Please call ahead to schedule an appointment, so we may properly prepare for your unique pet.
If you own any type of exotic pet, contact our hospital to discuss your needs. Visit our Ohio Wildlife Center for more about the care of wild birds and animals.