The Exotic Vet


Rare earless monitor lizard is latest target of wildlife trade - Nation | The Star Online

Earless monitors are amazingly beautiful animals but not much is known about them. Unfortunately the trade in these animals has exploded as more people find out about them. There is not much known about them in the wild and they are quickly losing habitat and being over collected. Sadly because they are so rare they sell for lots of money and collectors are eager to cash in and are even using deceptive means.

Recently someone posted photos of a “hatchling” monitor on a reptile classified ad, claiming it was hatched in captivity and therefore worth thousands of dollars. It was found out later he had placed a juvenile monitor in an iguana egg and staged the photos. These animals have bred in captivity ONCE and the eggs hatched and all the neonates died. This was at a top zoological institution in Japan. If anyone breeds these and has living neonates they would be world famous. I promise you NONE of the animals you see for sale are captive born. Every single one has been collected from the wild and none of them do well. Please refrain from buying this animal until it can be bred in captivity and has protection in the wild. This is a case where we may very well lose something everyone is so interested in having around.

Hi! I just adopted a cat a few months ago, and although the adoption place said he wasn't allowed to be an indoor cat, I don't think anyone who has owned him before has followed that rule cuz he'll sit in front of the door and meow all day long. I couldn't take it anymore, so about a week ago I let him outside. Problem fixed... BUT now he's limping. I've heard him fight with the neighbors cat, so if it doesn't go away I'll take him to the vet for an abscess. Now I don't want to let him outside


anymore because I don’t think the and the neighbor cat will ever like each other. They’re both really big, fluffy males. (Neutered). I’ve tried harness training him which I think will eventually work, but I think he would like it more if he could come and go, and I don’t think I could take him on a walk every day (why I didn’t get a dog). Do you know what I can do?? I don’t want to take him to the vet all the time, but I don’t think he’ll be happy as an indoor cat in my small apartment…”

If your cat is limping he is in pain and needs to be seen by a vet ASAP.  I’m really against outdoor cats for a number of reasons. The first being that they often become injured in fights with other cats, wildlife, get hit by cars, or get injured in other ways. Outdoor male cats are also at a very high risk of contracting feline immunodeficiency virus. The other issue is that they tend to decimate local song bird and small mammal populations.

I don’t think most cats enjoy going on walks anyway. I promise your apartment is plenty big for a single indoor cat. Will you ever be able to stop him from begging to go outside? Maybe not. You should certainly try. I advise taking him to the vet and getting everything checked out and making sure he doesn’t have any underlying issues. Then seek out a behaviorist to see if they can help you. Finally, you can use this website made by the Ohio State University that talks about indoor cats. It’s really a great resource and you may find some helpful information.

You're very popular on this site, and inevitably someone is going to be upset. Try not to let it get to you. I know there's a lot of people on here who really appreciate the knowledge you spread. The hate you get is just the 10% negative feedback that everyone on the internet gets! Don't let it get to you :)

Thank you for the kind message. It does get very easy to get caught up in the negativity and forget that out of a couple thousand followers I only ever hear negative things from a handful. I do wish I could find out the formula some other bloggers use that makes every post golden and no one complains. But I appreciate the message and hope you keep following!

Perhaps one reason people are upset is that it is uncomfortable to think that when we need medical services, our providers are judging not just our appearance (down to our personal grooming and data consumption choices) but also judging how deserving we are of compassion and dignity. Nearly all my extended family works in healthcare, mostly as career RNs, and med techs, so I understand the issues, though I have never heard them describe patients in the globally dismissive terms in the article.

Very well written, I appreciate your input.

As someone who works in a medical related field I feel ya. While compassion is important, it gets frustrating sometimes to see people with new cars/gadgets/expensive shit getting free scripts through Medicaid. Especially when you catch a chunk of people on insurance fraud or doctor shopping. It's not everyone, its not even most people, but the handful of people who abuse the system (and then are rude or demanding to boot) sour your mouth and you have trouble trusting anyone.

I think it is just difficult for those not in the field to understand the frustration. I know the vast majority of people are honest and just because they have a cell phone doesn’t mean they have any money. But you are right, there are just enough bad apples in the bunch that it ruins it for everyone.

The author of the article could have put the point across a little less insensitively, but it really hit the nail on the head. The refusal to pay isn't just the poor, there's several MD/DO clients at my clinic that balk at having to pay $20 for a rabies vaccine. We had a parvo pup come in, and we treated it for free but it sadly died. The owners threatened to sue because we charged for burial. I'd love to do mixed practice when I graduate, but the demonization of practitioners kills it for me.

I agree he wasn’t the most sensitive but the message is still there. As you well know its hard anytime medicine and finances are mixed.

As a nursing student, and an aide at a major hospital... I see this CONSTANTLY. I completely agree with the article, seems as if most of the people complaining don't work in healthcare.

It’s understandable though. Lots of people have trouble paying and the system isn’t really fair, I get the anger. Just really has nothing to do with me as a vet. Glad to find some support though, thanks.

Alright everyone. Clearly the ER piece hit a nerve that wasn’t intended to be hit. What is also clear is that nobody really read the piece for what it was intended for. Nobody is saying poor people don’t deserve medical care or that poor people don’t deserve tattoos, phones, clothes, etc.

The point of the piece is that there are legit people out there who need monetary help and there are other people out there that just don’t feel like paying. Unfortunately the people that just don’t wanna put money to medical bills make it more difficult for those who need help to get it.

I did not link it as a comment on the American healthcare system, doctor pay, etc. Just simply to say that in the vet world people that do have the means to pay often say they don’t meanwhile people that need help have trouble getting it. So yes, if you complain you don’t have money for antibiotics but you and all 4 of your kids are drinking Starbucks, I don’t think its fair. To the people that truly have nothing and need help, I try to give it.

Finally, don’t make assumptions on my own lifestyle. I was very poor growing up, we were lucky enough to have food to eat but that was about it. Medical insurance was a pipe dream. I know what it’s like not being able to afford health insurance even though you work your butt off. I’m nowhere near well off by any means now and any other vet will agree. We are very underpaid and our debt loads are large. So while I am doing ok for myself I am not so far removed that I have lost the ability to understand not having money. I am doing better than many because I have money to pay most of my bills on time but that’s about it. I have medical insurance and still have to be very careful at the doctor because even with insurance its expensive. I get it, I promise. It’s so easy to become outraged and feed off the supposed outrage of others on this site that the original message gets lost.

Personally, I think that the article should have been more clear about its point. The line about neatly trimmed pubic hair? Trimming doesn't cost money... Its completely unnecessary and kind of gross.


Totally a valid point on your part.

I personally think the ER article is completely on point and everyone needs to stop being so fucking butthurt about it. This is about people who are taking advantage of the system and feel entitled to do so. This isn't saying that if you are poor you shouldn't be able to have nice things; it's about those who take advantage of things like welfare and government aid to support their luxury lifestyles. And it's a serious issue imo, and gives those who truly need the extra help a bad rap.


Exactly. Glad you understood it.