Alternative Medicines for Exotic Pets

If you have an exotic pet yourself, you know how sensitive their GI tract can be. Any sudden changes in environment or diet can impact the way exotic pets like rabbits process their food which can ultimately cause blockages. This is one instance where exotic pets are sensitive to changes in environment.

Medicine in rabbits can be very treaky considering how sensitive they can be. Having volunteered at House Rabbit Society and The Rabbit Haven, exotic pet medicine is still at its infancy and much of rabbit medicine is just using dog/cat medicine with a small dose. Truth be told, my rabbit Mochi has a chronic form of respiratory infection that cannot be cured by any form of antibiotic. Many rabbit owners are told to believe that their rabbit will have to be on antibiotics forever. This is bad considering the fact that antibiotics can cause a weaker immune system in rabbits which can eventually lead to other illness. After understanding this, I knew that long-term antibiotics isn’t the answer to respiratory illness.

After doing some research with some help from a local veterinarian, Dr. Fischer, I found alternative medicine that could possible alleviate the symptom and possibly cure (if the infection was caught early) respiratory infection. Adhatoda vasica is an alternative medicine I found that could cure respiratory infection. Based off the article “Botanical ethnoveterinary therapies in three districts of the Lesser Himalayas of Pakistan” by Abbhasi et al, alternative medicine that could be used to treat respiratory ailments include Oryza sativa L and Adhatoda vasica. The herbal medicines described in this article are known to alleviate multiple ailments in animals. The article also mentions that the way the herbal medicines are uses are similar to the use of tradicional medicines.

Having more research being done on holistic treatment of exotic pets would be helpful in using less antibiotics, which could create more problems by creating drug resistant bacteria.

Works Cited

Mehmood Abbasi, et al. “Botanical Ethnoveterinary Therapies in Three Districts of the Lesser Himalayas of Pakistan.” Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, BioMed Central, 20 Dec. 2013,

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I am Mina Kapadia and I am majoring in Biology with a particular interest in animal medicine. My articles will be deeply rooted in exotic pet medicine. For the past few years, I have worked with organizations such as House Rabbit Society and The Rabbit Haven where I administered medications such as antibiotics. Being a rabbit owner myself, I know there can be a lot of improvement made in the way rabbit illnesses are treated. For the past two years, I have explored alternative medicine including herbs and supplements.

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