Client Education Handout 

Lead Exposure in Backyard Poultry

Although birds are kept for a variety of reasons, many owners raise backyard chickens for personal consumption of meat and eggs. There is some concerns that poultry can be exposed to heavy metals, such as lead, and then pass lead on to people in their eggs or meat. Poultry are most commonly exposed to lead through soil that has been contaminated by lead-based paint flakes that have come off older buildings or even…

Client Education Handout 

Care of the Backyard Chicken

This client education handout reviews basic care of backyard poultry, specifically the pet chicken. Topics covered in more detail include housing, such as space, substrate, temperature, ventilation, predator proofing, perching, nestboxes, and sanitation, as well as diet and basic principles of biosecurity and quarantine.

Client Education Handout 

Poultry and Public Health

Although keeping backyard poultry can be enjoyable, owners should be aware that healthy birds can sometimes carry harmful germs that make people sick. Public health concerns linked to backyard poultry include infection caused by Salmonella spp., E. coli, Campylobacter spp., and avian influenza. These germs can cause a variety of illnesses in people, ranging from minor skin infections to serious illnesses that can cause death. High-risk individuals include children less than 5 years of age, adults over 65 years of age, pregnant women, and those with compromised immune systems. Whether the owner is building their very first coop or is a seasoned backyard poultry owner, this client handout provide tips on simple things that can be done to stay healthy.

Client Education Handout 

Exotic Companion Mammal Enrichment

Have you heard about environmental enrichment but are wondering what it really means and how to implement it to benefit your pets? This client education handout explores the definition of enrichment, the benefits of enrichment, as well as practical suggestions on implementation. Enrichment can be enjoyable as you get to create an array of fun, interactive enclosures and toys for your pet. This client education handout was awarded first place in the 2021 Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians Veterinary Technology Contest, sponsored by Lafeber Company.

Client Education Handout 

Nutrition: The Key to Your Chinchilla’s Health

Your chinchilla’s diet plays a key role in maintaining optimal condition. A healthy diet prevents two common health problems: dental disease and gastrointestinal problems. Specifically, your chinchilla requires a high-fiber, low-fat diet consisting primarily of grass hay and a small portion of pellets formulated specifically for chinchillas. This client education handout reviews the foods eaten by chinchillas in the wild, recommendations for a healthy pet chinchilla diet, as well as why a high-fiber diet is essential to your chinchilla’s health.

Client Education Handout 

Pigs and Dogs: A Recipe for Disaster

Dogs remain one of the most common household companions, and as miniature pigs grow in popularity as pets, the question invariably comes up: how might dogs and pigs get along in the same household? This client education handout reviews normal predator (pack) versus prey (herd) behavior, as well as the significant risk when pet pigs are left unsupervised with dogs. This client education handout was awarded first place in the 2021 AEMV Veterinary Technology Student Contest, sponsored by Lafeber Company.

Client Education Handout 

Nutritional Requirements for Guinea Pigs

This client education handout reviews the nutritional requirements of guinea pigs. Providing guinea pigs the correct diet is an essential part of keeping these fun, loving creatures happy and healthy. Two extremely important nutrients that play a vital role in maintaining the health of guinea pigs are calcium and vitamin C.

Client Education Handout 

Mask Off! How to Recognize the Masking Phenomenon in Your Exotic Pet

This client education handout reviews the masking phenomenon observed in exotic pets. Why do exotic animals attempt to hide signs of illness or injury and what can the attentive owner do to offset this behavior? This client education handout was awarded second place in the 2021 AEMV Veterinary Technology Contest, sponsored by Lafeber Company.

Article  Client Education Handout 

2021 AEMV Veterinary Technology Contest

Lafeber Company was proud to sponsor the 2021 Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians Veterinary Technician/Technologist and Technician Student Client Education Materials Contest. Credentialed veterinary technicians, veterinary technologists, and veterinary nurses as well as students in this field were encouraged to submit a two (2) page, English-language educational handout (1500 words or less) about a companion exotic mammal health and wellness topic. Submissions closed on April 30. Seventeen client education handouts were received. The AEMV Technician Committee evaluated this educational material and they were blinded to the identify of each veterinary technologists or student.

Client Education Handout 

Care of the Axolotl

This client education handout reviews basic care of the axolotl. Topics covered in detail include housing, such as habitat, water quality, filtration, and lighting, as well as well as diet and common health problems.

Client Education Handout 

Reading Bird Body Language

Careful observation of avian body language can provide clues when a bird is receptive to play or handling. Download this client education handout to share helpful advice on interpreting psittacine bird postures and behaviors.

Article  Client Education Handout  Video  Webinar 

Minimizing Stress to Avian Patients During the Veterinary Visit

This live, interactive webinar was presented by Dr. Alicia McLaughlin, a certified Fear Free™ veterinarian who is spearheading the development of an avian-focused Fear Free™ course. This presentation explores the reasons stress should be minimized during avian veterinary visits and the challenges that must be overcome. Dr. McLaughlin also shares practical tips for clinical implementation as they relate to clinic design, staff training, client education, as well as tips for working with avian patients in an exam room or hospital setting. Alicia has also provided two client education handouts for download that she uses in her daily practice.

Client Education Handout 

Miniature Pig Care

This client education handout reviews basic care of the miniature pig. Topics covered include diet, housing, training and proper handling, as well as common health problems and preventive care measures, like vaccination and surgical sterilization.

Client Education Handout 

Are You the Right Pet For Me? Miniature Pigs

Pot-belled or miniature pigs are interesting, complex animals that are sometimes kept as pets in urban areas. Unfortunately, there are many misleading claims associated with miniature pet pigs that can eventually lead to these animals being surrendered to shelters or rescues by owners that “leapt before they looked”. Although it is always important to educate […]

Client Education Handout 

Care of the Virginia Opossum

The Virginia opossum is the only marsupial native to North America. Although veterinarians are allowed to provide humane care to any injured or orphaned wild animal, it is important to know your state laws as it is illegal to keep a pet opossum in many states. This client education handout reviews the basics of a pet opossum diet, caging, behavior, as well as health concerns.

Client Education Handout 

Ferrets and the Flu

Ferrets are susceptible to several strains of human influenza virus, which is spread through the air from coughing, sneezing, and other respiratory secretions. The virus is not only spread from human to ferret, but ferret to ferret and from ferret to human as well. Share this handout with owners to educate them on measures to keep their furry family member healthy as well as the appearance of influenza virus in the ferret.

Client Education Handout 

Gravid Guinea Pig Care

Proper management of the pregnant sow requires an understanding of the risk factors associated with pregnancy-related disease and an ability to recognize early signs of problems. This client education handout explains proper care of the breeding and pregnant sow and provides tips for careful monitoring. Download the PDF version to distribute to veterinary clients or modify the Word document for your hospital’s needs.

Article  Client Education Handout 

Emergency Preparedness Plan for Exotic Pets

September is National Preparedness Month. Get ready now to care for exotic pets during an accident or natural catastrophe that causes great damage or even loss of life, such as blizzard, earthquake, fire, flood, hurricane, mud slide, or tornado. This disaster relief client education handout was revised and posted with permission from “Ready-Pets-Go!” by the Humane Society of Greater Rochester.

Client Education Handout 

Basic Rabbit Care Handout and Infographic

With the help of a handy infographic, this client education handout reviews the basics of a good rabbit diet as well as housing, including “bunny proofing”, and handling.

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 

Care of the Senior Rabbit

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. Veterinary health professionals rely on a wide range of information because it is generally considered best to err on the side of caution. This client educational handout 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 

Syringe Feeding Small Herbivores: Rabbits, Guinea Pigs and Chinchillas

Why syringe fed? A cornerstone of treatment is delivery of food containing high dietary fiber. Proper syringe-feeding technique is essential..

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 

Savannah Monitor, Care of the Pet

The Savannah monitor is native to the savannahs of eastern and southern Africa.

Client Education Handout 

Responsible Reptile & Amphibian Ownership: Know the Facts On Salmonellosis

“Simply having a reptile in the household increases the risk of Salmonella spp. infection”. Learn who is most at risk and what you can do to minimize your family’s risk of contracting disease.