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Increasing Efficiency and Profitability of the Exotic Pet Practice

      Historically, exotic pet practice has not been considered profitable because of the lack of vaccination protocols for the majority of species kept as pets and the perception that owners of these pets are not interested in high levels of veterinary care. In addition, these unique animals often require more time in the examination room because complex husbandry needs must be addressed, especially to owners presenting their pet for the first time. The veterinarian and support staff require ongoing continuing education and specialized training in the handling, medicine, and surgery of these animals. Special (often expensive) drugs and supplies are needed to provide basic services. Recent surveys indicate the percentage of households owning exotic pets has increased dramatically. Practitioners interested in the development of an exotic animal practice can take advantage of the increased popularity of these pets and apply proven methods that have benefited traditional companion practices. This article examines exotic animal practice in light of these changes and tries to determine ways to increase efficiency and profitability as they relate to this unique practice situation.
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