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Exotic Referrals

Information about exotic referral appointments

Your exotic pet will have been referred to Ark Referrals at Holly House Veterinary Hospital for further investigations and treatment. Once we receive a referral from a practice we will assess the history and contact you for an appointment if this is appropriate.

Our patient coordinator will discuss appointment options with you. These are often morning appointments, to allow time for further investigations and / or the surgery to be performed. If a morning appointment is not possible, we can be flexible, but the patient may need to be admitted overnight for further tests or surgery to be performed, or these may need to be booked for a different day. Often a history questionnaire will be emailed to you prior to the appointment. This will give us important information on your pet’s diet, husbandry and any current concerns.

Please make sure you bring your pet in a suitable, secure carrier. Reptiles are likely to require extra warmth (eg. a heat mat or hot water bottle wrapped in a towel underneath their container) and birds will likely require a perch within the carrier. It can be useful, especially for rabbits and rodents, to bring some food that they enjoy so they will be more likely to eat whilst they are in the hospital (ie. a packed lunch!). Social species, such as rabbits and Guinea pigs, may also benefit from being admitted with their bonded companion – we encourage bringing bonded friends along.

The referral exotic appointments are usually 30 minutes long, allowing us to obtain a full clinical history (essential for exotic species in particular) and perform a clinical examination. We can then discuss further investigations and tests to try to reach a diagnosis and make a plan for treatment.

Further diagnostic testing may include taking a blood sample, or performing imaging such as X-rays, ultrasound examination, endoscopic examination or performing a CT scan. These may or may not require sedation or anaesthesia, depending on the species and situation. Other tests such as taking swabs for culture or needles aspirates for cytology may also be possible, depending on the circumstances. Such tests will be fully discussed with you prior to you giving informed consent.

Depending on the results of such tests, a treatment plan can then be made. This might be surgical or medical. If surgery is recommended, this may be performed on the same day, or possibly scheduled for a later date depending on the circumstances.

Your pet will be discharged with any medication they may need, plus a discharge sheet explaining the medication and any aftercare required. We will write a report for the referring practice and will organise rechecks either with ourselves, or at the referring practice depending on the situation.

Please contact us if you have specific queries about referral.