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Pet Vaccinations

Just like humans, there are dozens of illnesses that can affect pets, but with preventive care in the form of pet vaccinations, you can keep your companion safe. Preventing an illness is far less expensive and effective than treating it, which is why we recommend that vaccines be included in your pet’s overall wellness regime. Avian & Exotic Animal Hospital of Louisiana offers various types and combinations of vaccines to meet the needs of every small mammal that requires them.

Pet Vaccinations

How Do Pet Vaccines Work?

Vaccines essentially strengthen the immune system, once they’re introduced to the body. They do this because they contain antigens that mimic disease-causing organisms, but without causing the symptoms of the actual illness. Upon exposure to these antigens, a pet’s immune system is stimulated and prepared to fight off the real virus or disease, if the pet is ever exposed to it. The antibodies that vaccines create in the body are not permanent, so vaccines need to be updated regularly to remain effective.

What Vaccines Does My Pet Need?

The answer to this question is dependent on your pet’s species, age, breed, lifestyle, and exposure risk. There are two types of vaccines available for pets: core and non-core. Non-core pet vaccinations are optional and recommended only if a pet has a high exposure risk to a certain illness in boarding facilities. Core vaccines are considered essential vaccines for a pet’s overall wellness either because the illnesses they protect against are very severe or because they’re transmissible to humans (or both, such as rabies). We can determine which vaccines and combinations are best for YOUR pet during the wellness exam.


June B.

Dr. Rich is winner of the Oxbow Exotic Mammal Health Award, lecturer at many Exotic veterinary conferences, and deeply involved in local area projects. Twenty years have passed and in that time I cannot begin to count the number of rabbits treated there, all with the best of care. My job as a rescuer of rabbits has been made easier with the support of Dr. Rich, Dr. Pence and the Staff.

Rick R.

I have been dealing with the Avian & Exotic Animal Hospital of Louisiana (formerly West Esplanade Veterinary Clinic), Dr. Rich and Dr. Pence, since 2006. They are the premier exotics only vet in the Gulf South and one of a small handful that are experienced with chinchillas. Every chinchilla surrendered to us is taken there for a comprehensive wellness check-up. Many have been treated for a variety of conditions, both minor and serious. After having more than 100 chinchillas seen there, I could not be more pleased with the competency, courtesy and caring exhibited by everyone there. Many of our animals are enjoying happier and healthier lives because of Dr. Rich and Dr. Pence.

Tom and Tracey L.

We have been breeders of exotic parrots since 1998. Dr. Rich and staff are our first and only stop to make sure the breeders we buy are healthy. The professionalism of Dr. Rich and his staff far exceed our expectations. Regardless the outcome of the exam we know we can trust the results and advice given by Avian & Exotic Animal Hospital of Louisiana (formerly West Esplanade Veterinary Clinic). The clinic is always clean and the staff friendly. We highly recommend all clients set up an appointment to meet Dr. Rich and/or Dr. Pence. Don’t wait until it’s an emergency. Well visits are very important to maintain healthy happy animals. We are very fortunate to have such well respected, professional and caring exotic veterinarians in our area.

Ashley G., DVM

Dr. Rich is the avian expert! The clinic is state of the art, the boarding facility has large, clean cages and the team is very caring. It's with great confidence that I refer my avian patients to Avian & Exotic Animal Hospital of Louisiana (formerly West Esplanade Veterinary Clinic).

Karen and Steve M.

My family and I have been associated with Avian & Exotic Animal Hospital of Louisiana (formerly West Esplanade Veterinary Clinic) for 14 years now. Dr. Rich has received countless awards for his many accomplishments. He is forward-thinking; always in touch with the latest technology and procedures. His leading edge approach has kept my exotic pets healthy and happy!

Maurice G. and Brenda B.

In June 2013 we opened Bon Temps Ferret Rescue and shortly after contacted Dr. Rich at Avian & Exotic Animal Hospital of Louisiana (formerly West Esplanade Veterinary Clinic). Living almost three hours away, we had questions before making the trip with some of our little ones rescued from various situations. Dr. Rich, Dr. Pence and their staff have taken time to return our calls regardless of what day of the week. We have brought in ferrets with varying degrees of medical needs and have always been served in the most professional and caring manner, not only for the ferrets but for us as well in some critical times."

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