Fer­ret­ing out un­usual pets

Melville Times - - News -

DID you hear the one about the snake that swal­lowed the shoe or the ax­olotl that has not been eat­ing at all?

While they might sound like set­ups to a punch-line, they are in fact sit­u­a­tions the team at The Un­usual Pet Vets en­counter on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

Ni­cole Su said the ex­otics-only prac­tice based at Mur­doch Univer­sity saw a wide va­ri­ety of an­i­mals, from snakes, bun­nies and fer­rets to bearded dragons, frogs and even back­yard chick­ens.

But not your tra­di­tional cats and dogs.

Dr Su, who has worked at the clinic for four years, said the ma­jor­ity of an­i­mals at­tended to were fam­ily pets, although they also cared for wildlife.

“Ev­ery species is very dif­fer­ent, so for ex­am­ple the med­i­ca­tions you can use, the pro­ce­dures that you can do, the anatomy – ev­ery­thing is wildly dif­fer­ent some­times from con­sul­ta­tion to con­sul­ta­tion,” she said.

“You might be look­ing at a gi­ant 6kg rab­bit for half an hour, then next thing you get to look at a lit­tle ax­olotl that’s not been eat­ing so well, so it can vary a lot.”

She said there was a fresh story to tell ev­ery day.

“You might have heard of the snake that swal­lowed a shoe… so we do see that all the time – not shoes but some­times rocks and other silly things,” she said.

“To­day I re­moved a growth on a lit­tle pi­geon’s eye and stitched up a wound.

“A while ago I did have a tiger snake with a uter­ine in­fec­tion, so it’s kind of a bit all over the place.”

She said the role of­fered her the chance to come face to face with some of the rarest an­i­mals in WA, in­clud­ing “an in­ter­est­ing mu­ta­tion of a death adder”.

“That’s def­i­nitely not one I’ve seen be­fore. There’s rep­tiles brought in to WA and we some­times get the first look at them as well,” she said.

“That’s pretty spe­cial. You def­i­nitely get a big kick out of it.”

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d481884

Dr Ni­cole Su with a fer­ret at The Un­usual Pet Vets.

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