Our Exotic Pet and Avian Services
Dr. Rich and the team at Avian & Exotic Animal Hospital of Louisiana are committed to providing your pet with the best health care possible at every life stage. In addition to standard comprehensive wellness and preventive care, we offer diagnostic care, surgical services, grooming, 24-hour emergency service, and a number of other services, which are listed below. Click on the headers to learn more about each service, and call us at (504) 455-6386 if you have any questions.
If we suspect your pet is experiencing an internal problem, such as the ingestion of a foreign body or a bone fracture, we can use one of the following diagnostic imaging tools to examine them internally:
- Video endoscopy: uses a fiber-optic endoscope with an attached camera to view soft tissue structures and abdominal organs
- Ultrasound: uses ultrasonic sound waves and echoes to produce an image of the soft tissues of the musculoskeletal system and internal organs (heart, liver, intestines, kidneys)
- Digital radiography: uses digital x-ray sensors to produce a digital image of the skeletal system
Avian & Exotic Animal Hospital of Louisiana has an in-house retail outlet with high-quality premium diets and supplements for birds and small mammals. Below is a list of some of the diet foods we have available for purchase:
- ZuPreem Avian Diets
- ZuPreem Ferret Diets
- ZuPreem Small Animal Diets
- Harrison’s Bird Food
- Harrison's Bird Bread
- Lafeber products (Nutriberries, Avi Cakes, and Emeraid)
- Oxbow Small Mammal Diets and Critical Care
- Crazy Corn
- Foraging toys for birds and rabbits
We are pleased to offer specialized boarding to all exotic pets that we provide general care for. Our temperature-controlled boarding facility areas are designed for all sizes of avian, reptile, and small mammal pets. Below is a list of some of the amenities we offer:
- Avian boarding: We have seven 5 x 4 x4 cages available to accommodate macaws, cockatoos, and other large birds. We also have several 3 x 3 x 4 cages for medium size birds and numerous table-top cages for smaller birds.
- Rabbits and Guinea Pigs: We have a wide array of cage sizes and shapes available, selected specifically for your furry friend’s comfort.
- Reptiles: Our reptile room is equipped with UV lights and kept between 80-85 degrees.
Exotic Pet, Bird, Rabbit Boarding Requirements
Updated vaccinations are required for ferrets and birds prior to boarding. We also require that all animals have a health exam either at the time of boarding or within the last year prior to boarding.
We feed all of our guests a high-quality diet as well as fresh food. However, you are welcome to bring special healthy treats from home. All boarding guests have their cage and food/water bowls cleaned twice a day, seven days a week. Pricing varies for each species and pet size. Please Contact Us for details or to make a reservation.
Exotic Pet, Bird, Rabbit Grooming
We offer the following grooming and bathing services for all avian and exotic pets:
- Wing trimming
- Nail trimming and filing (birds, small mammals, reptiles, exotic pets)
- Spray baths for pet birds
- Bathing for ferrets
- Hair mat removal, brushing and combing for pet rabbits, pet ferrets and pet guinea pigs
- Bathing and grooming for rabbits and guinea pigs (when deemed necessary by our veterinarians)
For your convenience and your pet's health, Avian & Exotic Animal Hospital of Louisiana is equipped with an in-house laboratory. We are able to perform a number of tests on our patients quickly and have results in one to two hours. These include:
- Clinical chemistry profile (liver function, kidney function, calcium, and protein and glucose levels are a few of the tests we run)
- Avian and reptile hematology (white blood cell and red blood cell counts)
- Fungal testing for ringworm
- Pulse oximetry (a non-invasive method for measuring a patient's blood oxygen level
- Electrocardiogram/EKG (a recording of the electrical activity of the heart that measures the rate, rhythm, and beat of the heart)
- Fecal analysis (analyzes feces for intestinal parasites)
Dr. Rich and Dr. Pence are able to perform the following surgical procedures on our avian and exotic patients:
- Small mammal and exotic spay/neuter
- Avian hysterectomy for reproductive problems
- Surgical repair of fractures for all avian/exotics
- Ferret adrenal gland surgery
- Endoscope-aided kidney/liver biopsy
- Tumor removal
- Trauma surgery on all the species we treat
- Dental procedures and surgery on rabbits, guinea pigs, prairie dogs and other small mammals
As Louisiana’s only hospital dedicated exclusively to avian and exotic, we are equipped to handle a number of pet emergency cases. We use several different therapy and treatment methods, listed below, to treat your pet.
- Oxygen therapy: involves the administration of oxygen to pets that are unable to breathe on their own. We have two specially designed cages for this essential therapy.
- Nebulization therapy: involves delivering medications to the respiratory system via inhalation
- Radiosurgery: treatment that uses high frequency radiation to surgically remove a tumor or lesion
Our facility is equipped with an ICU set up with heated cages, oxygen cages, special lighting for avian/exotic pets, as well as sick or critically ill reptile patients. We also provide daily syringe feeding with nutritional supplements to help pets maintain a positive plane of nutrition while they are recovering from surgery, an illness, or still needing intensive care.
Dr. Rich and Dr. Pence are proud to have a number of highly trained board-certified surgeons as well as internal medicine and ophthalmology specialists in our region, including the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine in Baton Rouge. We commonly consult with or refer cases to these specialists on cases that defy our diagnostic or treatment protocols. In addition, we partner with colleagues that have training in veterinary acupuncture and homeopathic medicine on selected cases.
*** Dr. Rich and Dr. Pence often serve as consultants to many local and regional veterinarians requiring second opinions on avian and exotic cases they have in their hospital.
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.
I have been dealing with the West Esplanade Vet 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. 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 West Esplanade Veterinary Clinic.
Karen and Steve M.
My family and I have been associated with West Esplanade Animal 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 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."