Exotics and Unusual Pets


If you have an exotic or unusual pet that is unwell and needs veterinary attention, please book an appointment with one of our Unusual Pet and Wildlife vets. Due to the unusual, non-standard nature of these pets, consultations are usually 30 minutes. Consultations are in the morning on most weekdays.

The size and shape of many of these pets do not lend themselves easily to a normal clinical examination so our vets often rely on other tests to help determine what is wrong. These may include examination of the droppings or blood work.

Information about diet and housing environment is also helpful in determining the contributing factors to your pet’s ill health. It is important that the person who attends the consultation is someone who has the essential and close knowledge about the pet to help us provide the best outcome and treatment for your pet.


Rabbits are susceptible to the rabbit calici virus (RCV) which was tested by the CSIRO as a means of controlling pest rabbits. During field trials on an island in South Australia in 1995, the virus spread to mainland Australia where it posed a threat to domesticated rabbits. The virus can cause death within 48 hours of infection. Fortunately there is a vaccine that will protect pet rabbits from contracting the disease. Rabbit carers should ensure their pet rabbits are vaccinated against RCV.

Ferrets are susceptible to canine distemper virus and if contracted there is no cure and the prognosis is poor. Ferrets can be vaccinated against canine distemper to prevent contraction of this fatal disease.


Depending on the nature of the condition, the vet attending to your exotic or unusual pet may book it in for a procedure. This will most likely be carried out on the afternoon of the following day. Some of the routine surgeries our exotic vets undertake include lump removal, desexing and dental work on rabbits.


Like cats and dogs, exotic and unusual pets benefit greatly from desexing. Our rodent friends such as rabbits and guinea pigs breed easily and often. Overcrowding with too many animals can also increase risk of disease, interbreeding and fighting.

Please note that we are unable to treat livestock as we do not have the facilities to house these animals. Should you require assistance, please call us on 03 9328 3021 and we will endeavour to direct you to an appropriate vet.

Preparing for your visit

Illnesses or problems in our exotic species can often be traced back to something relating to husbandry. This is not surprising, considering there is so much conflicting advice online.

To enable our exotics team to not only help treat the problem, but to also work on prevention, getting some detailed information about your set up is crucial.

Please download and complete one of the following forms for your pet, prior to arrival.

Ideally please email back to info@lortsmith.com, otherwise print off and bring it with you.