Client Education Handout 

Bloat and Gastrointestinal Blockage in Rabbits Client Handout

Gastrointestinal obstruction and a stomach distended with gas and fluid or “bloat” is a serious health problem of pet rabbits. Use this client educational handout to answer owner questions: What causes bloat and obstruction? Why is bloat a serious condition? What does bloat look like in the rabbit? This handout also explains the basics of a diagnostic workup, treatment, follow-up care, and prevention for this critical condition.

Client Education Handout 

Mud Turtle Client Handout

The mud turtle (Pelusios castaneus) is native to West Africa and its natural habitat consists of aquatic habitat surrounded by dense forest floors or submerged savannah. Shared by Dr. La’Toya Latney of PennVet, this educational handout will help your client understand how to care for and maintain this aquatic turtle species in captivity. Recommendations for indoor and outdoor housing as well as nutrition are described as well as common problems seen pet turtles.

Client Education Handout 

Leopard Tortoise Client Handout

The leopard tortoise (Geochelone pardalis) is found throughout the southern edge of the Sahara and in Southern Africa from the Sudan to Ethiopia. Leopard tortoises inhabit hot arid desert, scrublands, and savannah. Shared by Dr. La’Toya Latney of PennVet, this educational handout will help your client understand how to care for and maintain this tortoise in captivity. Recommendations for indoor and outdoor housing as well as nutrition and breeding are described as well as common clinical problems.

Client Education Handout 

Chinese Box Turtle Client Handout

The charming Chinese box turtle (Cuora flavomarginata) is native to the rice patty and pond environments of Taiwan and southern China. Shared by Dr. La’Toya Latney of PennVet, this educational handout will help your client understand how to care for and maintain this semi-aquatic turtle in captivity. Recommendations for indoor and outdoor housing as well as nutrition and breeding are described as well as common clinical problems.

Client Education Handout 

Sulcata or African Spurred Tortoise Client Handout

Sulcata or African spurred tortoises (Geochelone sulcata) are “gentle giants” found throughout the southern edge of the Sahara in Africa. Sulcata tortoises inhabit hot arid desert, scrubland, and savannah. Shared by Dr. La’Toya Latney of PennVet, this educational handout will help your client understand how to care for and maintain this popular tortoise in captivity. Recommendations for housing as well as nutrition, breeding, and common clinical problems are described.

Client Education Handout 

Spaying and Neutering Pet Rabbits

Should I have my pet rabbit “fixed”? In most cases, the answer is an unqualified YES. In this client education handout, the benefits to spay or neuter of the house rabbit are explored. Recommendations for pre-surgical preparation for companion animal castration as well as aftercare are also discussed.

Client Education Handout 

Ferrets and the Flu

It’s flu season! Ferrets are susceptible to several strains of human influenza virus, which is spread through the air from coughing, sneezing, and other respiratory secretions. Provided by Dr. Connie Kirk, this client education handout describes the signs of flu in the ferret as well as preventive measures to reduce the risk of illness.

Client Education Handout 

Senior Rabbit, Care of the

With proper care, pet rabbits can live long, happy lives. In this client education handout, we explore the aging changes that can be expected in the senior house rabbit including common health problems. Veterinary screening as well as home care of the geriatric rabbit are also explored.

Client Education Handout 

Rabbit Introductions

Does my rabbit really need a companion? Many experts on house rabbit care agree that most individuals are not meant to live in solitude, away from members of their own kind. This client education handout discusses house rabbit companionship and the challenging process of rabbit introductions.

Client Education Handout 

Aggression in Rabbits

To the uninitiated, rabbits have a reputation for being docile, passive creatures. Any aggressive actions from a house rabbit can be surprising–even alarming–to new owners. In this client education handout, fights between rabbits as well as rabbit aggression towards people are discussed.

Client Education Handout 

Prevent Problems with Boas and Pythons

According to the Humane Society of the United States,17 deaths and many more injuries have been related to large constrictors since 1978. Given the tens of thousands of large constrictors sold, the incidence of fatalities and injuries is relatively low, however every incident—including the death of four babies in their cribs and three additional children—is particularly tragic since these cases are completely preventable. In this client education handout, safety tips involving snake feeding, housing, and behavior are discussed.

Client Education Handout 

Breeder Checklist

How to Question the Source of Your Future Lifelong Companion:

By the time you are ready to select the breeder or shop to purchase your companion parrot, you have hopefully done your homework…

Client Education Handout 

Aquatic and Semi-Aquatic Turtles, Care of

Aquatic turtles are personable, popular pets, however their upkeep can be labor intensive. This educational handout will help your client understand how to care for and maintain semi-aquatic turtle species such as sliders (Trachemys spp.), painted turtles (Chrysemys), pond turtles (Graptemys spp.) and aquatic turtles, like softshell turtles (Apalone spp.) and matamatas (Chelus fimbriata). Recommendations for diet, indoor and outdoor housing, as well as common problems seen in pet turtles are described.

Client Education Handout 

Ear Abscess in Turtles

Ear or aural abscess is extremely common in box turtles and aquatic or semi-aquatic turtles like red-eared sliders. This educational handout will help your client understand this clinical problem, the veterinary treatment commonly required as well as follow-up care and monitoring.

Client Education Handout 

Box Turtle, Care of the

Box turtles are one of the most common reptile pets in the United States. There are many subspecies of the box turtle, with the Eastern box turtle and three-toed box turtle being most commonly kept as pets. This educational handout will help your client understand how to care for and maintain this species in captivity. Recommendations for pet turtle diet and housing, as well as common clinical problems seen in veterinary practice are described.

Client Education Handout 

Metabolic Bone Disease in Reptiles and Amphibians

What is metabolic bone disease or nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism? This educational handout will help the reptile and amphibian owner understand this common problem from the underlying cause and signs of illness to the testing and treatment commonly recommended by your veterinarian.

Client Education Handout 

Feeding Snakes

Care of the captive snake requires proper nutrition. All snakes are strict carnivores. Depending on the species of interest, preferred prey items may include appropriately sized rodents, rabbits, fish, birds, reptiles, and even other snakes. This client education handout strives to answer many of the questions that can arise related to feeding snakes and snake diets: When should my snake be fed? Should I feed fresh or frozen prey? How often should I feed my snakes? What size prey should be fed? What if my snake won’t eat?

Client Education Handout 

Feeding Insect Eating Reptiles

An insectivore diet consists completely or partially of insects. Insectivorous or insect eating reptiles include some turtles and snakes, and many lizards. This client education handout explores many practical matters related to feeding insect prey from types (like mealworms and waxworms), size, and number recommended, as well as cautions for toxic insects that should never be fed. Techniques used to improve dietary calcium levels from gut-loading to dusting are also described.

Client Education Handout 

Water Bottles in Birds

Proper pet bird care requires constant access to fresh water. Some bird owners prefer water bottles because open water bowls are vulnerable to contamination from droppings, food, and other debris. This educational handout will help your client understand the pros and cons of this husbandry option. Selection of appropriate equipment, mounting, and proper bottle sanitation and maintenance are discussed. Training is essential for proper bottle use and the basics of introduction are also reviewed.

Client Education Handout 

Lories and Lorikeets, Care of

Lories and lorikeets are some of the most colorful members of the parrot family. Native to Australia, Tasmania, and the South Pacific islands, many species are threatened or endangered in the wild due to habitat loss or trapping. This educational handout will help your client understand how to care for and maintain these beautiful birds in captivity. Recommendations for diet, housing, and bathing are described as well as common problems seen in the pet lory and lorikeet.

Client Education Handout 

Do’s and Don’ts of Avian First Aid

First aid is the initial treatment given to an injured or ill bird during an emergency. The goal of first aid is to stabilize the bird until veterinary medical care can be provided. Donated by Dr. Greg Burkett, this client educational handout helps owners prepare for emergencies. Topics covered include the creation of a home hospital cage, stocking a first aid kit, the basics of owner supportive care as well as specific advice for emergencies like bite wounds, bleeding, and head trauma.

Client Education Handout 

Why Does My Rabbit? House Rabbit Behavior

Why Does My Rabbit? Common house rabbit behavior questions answered.

In many instances, rabbits kept in hutches, pet stores, or laboratories do not receive enough stimulation or physical space to demonstrate their full behavioral repertoire. Owners of house rabbits know these are intelligent creatures with distinct personalities and a range of behaviors. In this educational handout, clients can review normal husbandry, age, and sex-related behavior as well as normal sounds and actions like chewing and digging. The challenges of multi-rabbit households are also discussed.

Client Education Handout 

Vitamin A

Vitamin A plays an important role in maintaining a healthy….

Client Education Handout 

Unsafe Foods For Birds

Better safe than sorry. Avian veterinarians rely on such a wide range of information because it is generally considered best to err on the side of caution. The following list divides potential danger foods into three categories…

Client Education Handout 

Training Basic Skills

Many parrots instinctively strive for a position of dominance within their flock (your household). Many of the behavioral problems that can arise from such a situation, may be prevented when…

Client Education Handout 

Toxic Plants

Toxic plants reported in small animals include aloe vera, Amanita mushrooms, Amaryllis sp…

Client Education Handout 

Teaching Bathing Skills

Many companion parrot species originate from tropical environments with high humidity in which they bathe often. Even parrots from arid environments enjoy and benefit from bathing. Bathing stimulates preening and is essential for normal feather health. In fact, inadequate bathing and low humidity have often been linked to feather picking. Use this client education handout to explore bird bathing methods as well as Do’s and Don’t’s to encourage the pet bird to bathe or shower.

Client Education Handout 

Sugar Glider, Care of the

Sugar gliders are small, nocturnal marsupials native to Australia and New Guinea.

Client Education Handout 

Signs of Illness in Your Bird

It is a natural instinct for parrots to hide signs of illness. In the wild, this skill serves them well, and in fact, may save their lives…

Client Education Handout 

Rat, Care of the Pet

Rats are clean, friendly, playful, and quiet, and of all the “pocket pets” they are considered uniquely responsive to their owners.

Client Education Handout 

Rabbit Care

A good rabbit diet should be made up of good quality pellets, fresh hay, water, and fresh vegetables. Anything beyond this is a “treat” and should be given in limited quantities.

Client Education Handout 

Psittacosis in Birds & Humans

Psittacosis is an infectious disease of birds and people caused by Chlamydophila psittaci…

Client Education Handout 

Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease

Donated by Dr. Eric Klaphake, this client education handout describes psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD), an important disease of parrots. This handout discusses the cause of PBFD, bird species at greatest risk, transmission, as well as diagnosis or testing. Recommendations for removal of PBFD from a collection or aviary are also described.

Client Education Handout 

Prepare Your Home For Your New Baby Bird

The more prepared you are as a new owner, the easier your baby bird’s adjustment will be to his new home. Use this checklist to smooth the transition.

Client Education Handout 

Prairie Dogs

The free-ranging black-tailed prairie dog is a social rodent that lives in “towns”.

Client Education Handout 

Plants and Branches for your Bird

Few studies have been conducted to determine which houseplants are toxic to birds, so all plants that contain known toxic chemicals have been excluded from the Safe Plant List

Client Education Handout 

Parrot Toys & Toy Safety

Parrots are extremely intelligent creatures; and toys are one of the most important items we can purchase for our birds. Many avian behaviorists recommend four types of toys…

Client Education Handout 

Orphaned Wildlife: Mammals

Cottontail rabbits hide their nests in plain view in the middle of a lawn, in brush piles, or long grass…

Client Education Handout 

Normal Parrot Behavior

Pet bird behavior is complex, and it is crucial that bird owners have a realistic understanding of what to expect from their pets…

Client Education Handout 

Mouse, Care of the Pet

Mice are good-natured, inquisitive creatures that make great, inexpensive, low-maintenance pets.

Client Education Handout 

Medicating Your Bird

Keeping your pet healthy is everyone’s goal. However if your bird becomes ill, effective treatment will require that medications are given at the right dose and frequency for the…

Client Education Handout 

Litter Training the House Rabbit

Rabbits naturally choose one a few places (usually corners) to deposit their urine and most of their fecal balls.

Client Education Handout 

Lead Poisoning in Birds

Lead poisonings in birds most commonly occurs from ingestion of substances containing lead. Lead can be found in many household items.

Client Education Handout 

Insulinoma in the Ferret

Insulinoma, or pancreatic beta cell tumor, is an abnormal growth of the pancreas that secretes excess amounts of insulin. Unfortunately, insulinoma is an extremely common disease of middle-aged to older ferrets.

Client Education Handout 

Household Dangers

There are a host of potential household dangers that may confront our winged companions.