196This lab exposes the student to the diverse world of avian and exotic animal (or non-traditional species) care. These animals may be seen in private practice, research, zoos, aviaries, private collections and in the field (wildlife). The veterinarian-technician team that works with these animals tends to be more specialized however general practitioners also may see avian and exotic species. Prior to working with non-traditional species, the student should have a basic understanding of husbandry, anatomy and handling to ensure proper evaluation and treatment of the species in question. This lab cannot adequately prepare the student for work with non-traditional species. However, resources will be offered to help interested students better understand care for these unique species.

Students interested in pursuing work with non-traditional species are encouraged to work alongside more experienced technicians and veterinarians through externships, internships, work-study programs and more.

In order to fully appreciate the veterinary technician's role in the collection, preservation and analysis of laboratory specimens this chapter is a bit more in-depth than previously covered topics which focused mainly on small and/or large animal species. Exotics including reptiles, fish, small mammals and avian species are often covered under the auspices of lab animal medicine at a minimal level. This chapter will be more inclusive regarding the role of the technician in the care of these animals including laboratory sampling and procedures.

This lab addresses the following Veterinary Technology Students Essential and Recommended Skills List as set forth by the AVMA-CVTEA in Appendix I, Section 9 – Avian, Exotic, Small Mammals and Fish Procedures:

Define and recognize animals that are ‘non-traditional’ species

Recognize basic concepts of handling, husbandry, behavior, collecting diagnostic samples, administering medications, anesthesia and analgesia and risks/legalities of owning non-traditional species

Perform basic collection of blood, urine, etc. on species as appropriate