How to pick a veterinarian for your hedgehog
You are the link between your veterinarian and your hedgehog. It is very important that you as a pet owner have a good relationship with your vet, and can communicate with your vet. It is much better to establish this relationship when your hedgehog is well with a routine checkup than it is under an emergency situation.
There is no right vet for everyone. They all have different philosophies, personalities and office environments. It is a personal decision. Sometimes it may be the vet around the corner or one much farther away. It may be the most specialized practice in the area or a general vet who mainly treats dogs and cats but is willing to do the research required for a hedgehog.
Sometimes, it takes more than one vet visit to diagnose and treat a problem. It also can involve a bit of detective work. This is another reason it is important to find a vet who you can work with and who you and your hedgehog feel comfortable with.
In some areas, it is hard to find veterinary care for a hedgehog. By making telephone calls, you can usually tell right away which offices will gladly accept a hedgehog as a client, which ones are reluctant to do so and those that refuse to treat hedgehogs at all. In addition to your regular vet, you should also have the phone number of at least one emergency or 24 hour veterinary practice that treats hedgehogs.
You should never leave the vets office without having all of your questions answered. If there is a test or procedure you think should be done, ask why they have not done it. Do not be afraid to speak up. You are paying them for their services. A vet who will listen to you and explain things to you is more likely to be able to diagnose a problem quickly and accurately.
If you already have a relationship with a vet for your other animals, they may also treat your hedgehog or they may know of another vet in the area who they would recommend. In addition, most breeders will be familiar with the veterinarians in their area who treat hedgehogs and may be able to give you a few names to check out.
I recommend a well pet vet visit within the first few weeks of hedgehog ownership to establish a relationship with the veterinarian of your choice.
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