WWL>Topics>>4-4-14 3:10pm Angela: on exotic pets

4-4-14 3:10pm Angela: on exotic pets

Apr 4, 2014|

Angela talks exotic pets with Dr. Greg Rich of the West Esplanade Veterinary Clinic.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Well I was very remiss in not mentioning in our last hour that -- -- and I are going to spend. All three hours of next Friday show in the French Quarter camera going to be Jackson square. And we're going to be talking all about the French Quarter fast and were both looking forward to that a lot and hopefully it will be beautiful weather. But we are moving on for this hour were getting very close to Easter. And that brings up the visions of baskets filled with colorful eggs and chocolates and other candy. But hopefully not with real rabbits or real checks. There is nothing sadder than a week after Easter -- rabbits and chicks abandoned. Is not on the streets and parks. -- an area shelters and that has been the case for years. So to discourage what happens all too often we have one of the top exotic animal veterinarians. In this country. Doctor grade rich. We're gonna talk all about all kinds of exotic pets from snakes to to chill is but we're gonna start with these rabbits and if anybody has any questions for doctor rich about if you if you do have an exotic pet of any kind have any questions this man we'll have the answers. Give us a call at 2601870. But let us start. With beefed thanking you for tanking an afternoon off than spending it here with us. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to be an old friend of mine Angela hill and hopefully -- listeners out there who. In joy a Angelos. Commentary and enjoy exotic pets. Certainly. Rabbits are dear to my heart at this time of the year and one of my. Great friends and clients and a good friend of of Angeles is -- June Booth with a house rabbit society. Our our message. We keep putting out there we keep getting more people being attentive to it. And that. Rabbits are a suite that lovable than the they should not be. Something that you think about all the -- down they should not be got to have a now 'cause it's Easter. And -- little Mary our little Joseph be so thrilled to get this rabbit they will be thrilled for day or week and then it's over. And that is the problem Jim Booth I want talk about -- Booth because. She is an original but for the people who don't know about the house rabbit society that is a national group and she brought locally. Correct -- -- and it really isn't educational organization. To talk about rats she is what's known as a house rabbit society educator her main goal in life is to educate people about. The right size cage the right nutrition the right care. If it's having behavior issues how to help control those so the rabbit and it doesn't become a problem and then get abandon. She and I have worked together for a over a decade now. Taking in -- when people. Have illnesses -- many more. We. Spay neuter them. With funds she has. Coordinated or donated and through the -- from a society we give discounts. And then we we home Mosul guys. And with -- -- process. Kind of like a shelter taken a patent that somebody else didn't have -- the time or the finances or had health issues -- Getting them straightened away again and and in good health and go into the interview process and finding the perfect home. There's no greater joy in life than watching a family that made a conscious decision yes and won a -- -- With all their heart and all their soul. It's just a wonderful situation in this Booth has enabled me to be part of that program -- will she let me come to our house went and did a story on this was years ago. And the thing I remember most. Was the need of rabbits to be socialized that they are Smart. They'd like to play that you just don't stick them in the cage and -- aren't they fluffy and cute. They they want to participate. A without a doubt. They can be as adoring and as entertaining. And certainly -- -- adult. If you teach a rabbit to come when you call it it will come when you call it we solve. Of video. Guess it was last month that somebody. Of north had produced of their rabbit that would. Jump through hoops. Would. Go through a canal all and all a little too to get to the -- -- -- door -- on the for better door. -- would open not gonna care so they're tradable their lovable. They do take some some time it's an effort and that's the big part that we want trying to across to people. Of like you site. Putting in the cage. Just not fair. Not really necessary. But there's a lot to learn about. But let's suck but chickens -- breeze and I say that is because. Don good to pre -- show on Dubuque. Saw that we were talking -- -- -- -- to going to be talking about that because I get so tired of seeing those died chickens. In the little chicks again cute for Easter. But it's what you gonna do when it's over it's an M posts. Yes they're cute. But they do grow up. Where you got a house that what are you don't beat it and just this past weekend mom and this was two weeks ago and now. Unfortunately. At the crawfish festival down and -- net. As prizes. For ring toss is there we're giving away baby rabbits and -- us. This week alone we've had three baby rabbit command that did not make it the week because the people were not. Cognizant of the right food the right cage. There -- feeding partially. And -- should not be an impulse buy neither should cute little baby chicks that are pink or blue her. It's not fair now it is not -- you -- -- you just brought up something one of the great victories that June. Started and won. Was with the archbishop -- payment and good for her. Wrote a series of letters which I've received and he was so respectful during the whole process but it's really to get all of the Catholic schools in the church players. Not. To give out these animals during that because again people are loving the moment. And it's the wrong time to do today they have nixed it yes. Archbishop has done a phenomenal job of educating our populace of what not to do and up until this recent fare. We had a great success the strawberry festival quit doing it most church -- school -- quit doing it so. We hoped to press settle on where next year the crawfish festival will not do it because. Baby chicks are cute but maybe chip too cute if you decide that I have read about it I know about it I have the right cage in the right food. And I -- nurture this guy to be a lovable sweet pat not it's an impulse I won it. My kids and acquire photo taken home. That's just not the right circumstance now. But three cheers for -- Booth and I hope you're listening junior are appreciated because it's a lot of work with this woman is really committed her life to -- And she's helped us that immensely with educating the populist that we have and our city and some great wonderful city that loves pets. About. Rabbit care and there's a colleague of ours up in Baton Rouge. Windy that runs magic happens and Wendy has the same concept where she educate people about rabbit care she. Adopts rabbits out to take rabbits and when their and one homes and which have a good environment that we can help people win. We you know we're gonna do we're gonna take a break in this is where everybody. It's a free for all we're going to be talking about all kinds of exotic pets with the veterinarian who can help answer any questions you have. And we're gonna learn I wanna know about rats as pets. I just met -- just learned that in has rats as pets they're -- he loves them. They're neat stay with us everyone it's 260187. -- I'm Angela we'll be right back. Doctor Greg rich are very special guest today talking about exotic pets he has been a veterinarian for the over thirty years but the -- thing before we get going let's take this call. -- Larry and chunky at all. I -- I didn't wildlife control operator and -- questions. Want a separate question all the time and I have great you know that's. What. What you know -- patient. Well it would be -- our war. Right rector many are courier or -- you are. People that. And I happen a lot about our -- That people do as pets which are never meant that. Tom thanks it wouldn't. And let the correct information about race. All cleaned -- the oil barrier are. Born there are -- -- EU -- that slightly in backs and I call and I never got cracked and preparation. Legally speaking. -- -- illegal to. -- status for everybody is. -- licensed rehabilitate your. Take that maybe to a rehabilitated or have them lease it back in the wild. If -- sick if it's it'll. The license rehabilitated and were -- and who does wild life. And help that -- reckoned it better so can go back in the wild as far as the oh rabies passing in the central barrier. Not a question that likening it to -- a -- in -- because that's not something we get asked. -- for me you know right off the tip my. My head. The tough part about -- reckoned his pets is as you've dealt with a heard about over the years. Great for six month to maybe a year that -- party and then after that they start to -- an upper house and they start -- and a pin or -- things. And they get released and now they ban socialized and they either one don't work in the wild environment. Or two. Didn't call somebody to harm -- 'cause. This so socialized they'll walk up to humans and humans gonna hurt it produces some harm to. So but those people out there listening if you find baby raccoon and maybe nutrient baby pops -- Call your local veterinarian called the Ella -- -- school have them get to in touch with licensed rehabilitate her. Vick and take that little baby Ian. Rehab it and release it back to the wild where should be. Iowa and Alex is here with. -- People that hat and that they have one injured Patrick at -- and patched and are different conflicting information and I never out. A lot we can destroy the election winner trap. And I never thought he'd collect information on the end I have -- I have an exotic at which it and I hate. Virginia outcrop from turning glitzy and she's a wonderful. -- life and asks her. Yes possibly can make need pets but the same thing. As we tell people that want to have there. -- vaccinated for rabies. Because it's not a a the vaccine and it's originally designed to backs Nate wildlife. It certainly has to be won a killed vaccine. And then secondly its not recommended most veterinarians. Will not backs -- a a raccoon or skull but 'cause of the risk of hiding an animal. That's already potentially. Contracted the rabies vaccine but just not joint symptoms. Exactly well -- or not the problem right or not. Abbott bought temperature should I. Anyway at opry structure -- I'm not that. I am now like what the director call. Appreciate you so much yankees in they're very quick puff of summer I feel a colony of cats and have for a decade over by the river walk into by the ferry landing. And I drove up one night my headlights caught the the pack of cats. And this one was sitting up and I thought with that thought -- got out. Walked up it was upon some it was not a -- it. And it was not afraid of me not afraid of the cats the cats were afraid of it. It was like the surreal moment on the eight months facility that will carry on in this game and kept it. Lettuce but let's talk about other kinds of pets people have like Guinea pigs. And Chinchilla it's. Both are are phenomenally. Great pets for the person does not that doesn't have a lot of room. Or for the -- the family that you know. Wanna start awful but smaller. Chinchilla -- have specific need to -- their environmental temperatures. Are different than a rabbit or Guinea pig so they really can't take. Certain extremes of temperature of as much as a rabbit or Guinea pig could. -- Guinea pigs have a requirement for vitamin C has to be met through either the right food -- the right nutrition. On the same thing for Chinchilla and rabbits and a cell site. Really we acquire all of our clients to buy their food from good quality high quality pet stores. What you gonna get at some of the mart stores or grocery store that says rabbit food Guinea pig food. It's just not good quality enough does not provide them with a proper nutrition stay healthy. But. I guess the biggest issue. Is it -- dog and cat food that regulated. By our government that if the label says it's got certain requirements it has to have it. Rabbit food and Guinea pig food and bird food and fair food and say premium. Best in the country right best of Louisiana best you've ever -- it doesn't have any bearing on actually the quality of that product. So if you go to pet store and you buy. From a grocery store deluxe rabbit the doesn't only mean the thing is just something to make us buy it because we think deluxe means better. So buying pet food from a pet store. And talking to the. Salespeople. And in best case situation talk into your veterinarian about what do you recommend. And as a pet. Guinea pig and I see them at that as a pet stores. They're just fun to watch. They are somewhat interactive. They certainly are of locally interactive bills we old bill. Her bill chatter. There. Very rarely are they -- very rarely will they scratch and -- nails are too long. There are small. -- the child can handle quite easily. That life expectancy is 68 years to deliver a fairly decent amount of time. So like I consider the Guinea pig kind of a step up my hand strip -- hamsters the live. Two to three years and if we look at mom and dad's OK because Kerry hands she did a good job. But -- -- every two years you've got this crying fit as your pet passed away. Moving up to a -- church and -- or. A pet rabbit would be a great next step for a furry -- what about. There bathroom habits he's in kitty litter or do you thing you do paper. Certainly Chinchilla -- Predominantly I'm gonna go on one location to be litter -- fairly easy Guinea pigs can be litter trained we don't recommend using. Cat litter. For rabbits Guinea pigs -- can cellist. But 'cause they'll tend to lick at the -- to it -- and that can be caustic for the digestion -- so there are. -- at the pet stores that will be more conducive for rabbit to -- And a Guinea -- But I would recommend cat litter as far as. You know their entertainment by they're wonderful they're neat. Because there. In a sized cage you can have them run around indicate it's an exercise. It's something that a child can have in his play room -- is his bedroom. Okay stay with us everyone we're going to be talking with Greg rich about other exotic pets we gonna talk reptiles here and birds and ferrets. Now let's go to the newsroom and -- names. Well do you have a snake is a pet do you have a rat is a pet do you have -- birds as a pet. Give us a call 26018. Summit they were talking with doctor -- rich. On that one if you have any questions and if you have any comments what it's what it's like for you to have what most people would consider an exotic pet. Let -- talk about six. Cynics. I just I only say I love all animals and I do but I don't see the personality factor. In snakes. It's an unusual. Connection that people have. Like myself. I'm not a cat person. I can compare them and handle all luck and see him but it's not open almost say. That's most gorgeous well I gotta have one just like -- The same thing with snakes or iguanas. There's an attraction. Sometimes. Visually. Sometimes it's just. I want something different and know something a mutual. Of snakes. Knots slimy and slippery like most people think. They're dry. A lot of -- drop take most -- to school the kids are just. Amazed that they can touch it and it doesn't feel unusual tool. Most of my -- clients. Do a very good job they've research what they have they researched. The right. Environment the right temperature or the right setting. So we have a pretty good knowledgeable group in the New Orleans region. That understand -- care. The one thing that we see. Over and over and over again is my -- night eating in my my pet store personnel said just heat up the cage more or change out the the carpeting or something else in the -- and that'll help. Snakes turtles lizards. They're not that much different band puppies and kittens. Snakes lizards and turtles. Classically a born a caged environment -- their parents and apparently to wild caught. Or if there an environment where there's sand and mud and -- and other things. Reptiles can get parasites parasites are extremely. Easy to fine. Situation for that there and take a stool sample look on the microscope you know to have a keynote and looking for. It's also extremely easy to treat and stop the illness most of the illnesses are improper shedding. Losing weight. Or not eating. Not too much different than a puppy or kitten with intestinal parasite to warms. So when we see parasites. One -- tell people at great we found it we treated it. Here's how you clean up the environment because there are still parasite eggs in -- cajun dome. And then if you got. This snake indicate with five others. But also -- treat the five others. So it keeps getting passed on because there -- caged environment where they have up a stool sample and there's parasites. Every time they walk through it -- climb through it slid -- through it they're picking up more parasites so late in the wild yes all snakes been. -- sales -- most makes most lizard species on the wild have parasites. But they eat the right things that control -- and then secondly. They don't live an environment where they're costly walk into the world stool sample. The again the visual and again this is not a discriminatory thing of oh hates snakes I don't think it's thanks I just. Look at all beings as well what is interesting meant yes visually that's that's interesting. I can seem more personality in a lizard. Or on another -- that you know they blinked on that there's something there. And I think that's which you know that the human bond with the animal that's to me when it's all about out. Certainly. A lot of snakes it is a visual thing that they'd they'd like to look well a snake either color size or shape com. I guess in my 28 years I've had. To snake clients that said they would let their snake out their cage and they actually follow on into the courtyard. Where they would sit and settled along. So. There is that. Rare circumstance where the people actually have a connection with a snake when they let him now. They'll climb out of the courtyard sit on the patio furniture and son while the only throughout their re -- the morning paper. That's not the nor the norm is people have a Medicaid watch on steel and study elm. Sometimes he'll have friends over in the -- let friends touch him and handle but for the most part they are a a visual. Prospect. The people that have them that taken out the morning draw and front you know touch must make a dollar a let -- that's not the fairest thing to do for the snake. You know Eric Paulsen and my favorite people on this -- has turtles big big big turtles and on and he has a relationship. With those turtles and is very protective of them and you know and some have passed over but I mean some more like forty years old -- -- -- -- morals -- did you. But I can see that you know they just sort of lumber along and there's something may year. We were. Talking about that I was on Debbie -- -- yesterday morning with Eric talking about -- campaign -- -- campaigns come up Palm Sunday I'll go to now. For those of you out there -- dogs and cats it's not about the show but. Bremer Paul Sunday -- rabies campaign. Can be nine stations and Orleans parish and ten stations and -- who perished these -- fire station correct yes on eight if you're interested in getting rabies campaign. On board with your pant -- and get local rabies vaccine go to that LE SP CA website for the Jefferson SP CA website. So little sideline until ledger doing that because that's very important and it's a wonderful surface we wanna make sure that. Everybody's pat -- it was vaccinated -- there veterinarians office. Or the come up to rabies campaign and provides a benefit but Erica and I are talking about the the total situation because every time we see each other egos you know. Doc. Not to say you -- -- to me that's a problem for some guy that has a -- for. 51020 years and never seen a veterinarian they say well my pets healthy. Well let me know in the medical world health is is only ascertained by a doctor that can listen to the hard look at them outlook and the guys. Checksum blood functions that we need to. Health has not just eating drinking and having -- -- right. So what those people out there who have a rabbit apparently -- paid a snake at turtle turtle or tortoise. Having a home and saying it looks healthy. All means it's it's alive and it's eating and drinking. Being healthy means that you've taken to a veterinarian knows about your exotic -- and can say. I have look at Japan have examined a pet and in some cases -- -- -- blood work and we -- heart fund long spine liver fine kidneys spine. That's the only way to really ascertain do you have a healthy pat is it to go live it's normal life expectancy. Ravaged -- lived in that ten to twelve years. Constantly we have plans to finance the six year old rabbit it's not gonna live longer they didn't take you ever properly. -- together pet store always says analyst sixers anyway now. The ten to twelve years for -- Guinea pig ought to be 68 years. Two until this can live as long as twenty years. A long time. A long time for a stay with us everyone we're gonna continue our talk with doctor Greg rich run after this. Enriches our friends and our guest today we're talking about exotic pets. Ferrets ferrets can get heart forms I'm stunned. It's something that most people think about something that as a veterinarian we know about we've seen cases since December of I've actually had three cases come through my clinic. The problem always he would ferret. It's the same disease process they get bit by mosquito. Mosquitoes can carry the heart warms and at the fair to drop on preventative. They can get the heart worm disease. -- Kind of have a presentation like cats and that it's what's called cult disease you can pick it up in the bloodstream. And you'll see symptoms until it's way late in the process with -- they have difficulty breathing bad chest full of fluid. And sometimes. They came make it past the first initial diagnosis stage of just X rays -- such a crisis state so having. All of our -- in the Louisiana area Mississippi area of Texas area on heart worm preventative important for those of us who see fair -- it's it's a mandate. Push -- push -- preventative actually more than up which vaccines one. I wanna move on only because we're running a talk about birds the so many people love birds and had birds. Birds obviously that's that's my heart. You know like yourself with your your lovely. Big hit it passed away. She was such a sweetheart she was with art art and like we were talking about people with snakes you what drawn -- ride -- draw mile high no doubt about it. But they have special care special foods national medical care you know when -- and had a just a simple parakeets live ten to twelve years -- steals twenty years Amazon -- forty to 45 years. If we don't freedom ride. They're knuckle lived that life expectancy and when they get sick it's gonna cost more money to repair the damage from improper diet. A lot of people feed their birds peanuts as they like them they're great and wonderful. No peanuts high in cholesterol low in calcium -- by dominate. -- predominately see diet and if -- for Donnelly -- dial with a lot of peanuts they are prone to atherosclerosis. Like -- -- million parting of the arteries so. Having bird on a well rounded dial -- a lot of vegetables. Broccoli cauliflower corn squash zucchini Brussels -- same thing that we should be eating. Our -- should be. That prevents a lot of illnesses builds up their immune system keeps their liver the kidney their heart working fine. But we wanna stay away from sunflower seed we wanna stay away from from peanuts. Open that makes such sense -- -- saying oh my god shall we think about when you've seen birds in the wild. South America. Look at all the Tarzan movies that you and I grew up with you never saw some power plant in south South America Central America. Crocodile Dundee movies over Australia you never see -- some power plant. Makes a lot of sense stay with us everyone Greg rich will be right back. Doctor Greg rich a wonderful friends an exotic vet thank you so much for your time all the information. Have a beautiful weekend and everybody out there have a great weekend now let's go to the newsroom.