Written by Mike Corcoran, DVM, DABVP (R/A), CertAq
Welcome to the first entry of our exotic pet series written by our exotics specialist at Bulger, Mike Corcoran!
Dr. Corcoran will be writing about all things exotic pets: interesting cases, pet care, opinions, and more! From reptiles to birds to amphibians to pocket pets to fish, there’s plenty of species to go around!
What is it like to be an Exotics Vet?
People often ask me about what it is like to be an exotics vet. I have to be honest, it’s pretty great! There are ups and downs like anything (no veterinarian likes to lose a patient), but there are some really unique aspects of this job that I wouldn’t experience anywhere else!
A Surprise Every Day
I can’t think of another job that would allow me to care for a 6 foot Red-tailed boa, a hedgehog, a guinea pig, a rabbit, a duck, a ferret, a koi fish, a cockatiel and a bearded dragon all in the same day. For me every day can bring a new set of special animals from all species through the doors. I really enjoy working with these animals and the amazing people who love and commit to them.
We Can Do It All!
From a medical point of view, the variety is just as exciting for me. With exotic animals, specialty care can involve surgery, ultrasound, endoscopy, internal medicine, dentistry, physical therapy, cardiology, neurology or critical care. I primarily work in the hospital, but also get the chance to assist other veterinarians with cases remotely and sometimes do house calls for animals that have more difficulty traveling (koi or large pot-bellied pigs for example). The variety of animals and the variety of services offered definitely keeps things new and interesting in this profession. Offering this advanced level of care to these animals makes me a happy doctor.
The Best Part
That all being said, one of the best parts of the job for me is experiencing the special bond that develops between these animals and their human caretakers.
Seeing a Bearded Dragon come in for an appointment wearing a fuzzy jacket or meeting a Guinea Pig that is a certified therapy animal makes my day better every time.
I love the opportunity to help with new ways to strengthen that bond by giving advice on enrichment and training as much as I get satisfaction from ensuring that the relationship lasts as long as possible by improving the health and well-being of the pet.
I’m very happy to be starting an exotics service here at Bulger Veterinary Hospital and I look forward to meeting many new unique pets and their families.
A member of my exotic animal family is pictured below. This is Button, my Bearded Dragon, enjoying a soak in the tub.