Finding a veterinarian for your exotic pet may not be simple and is best done before adoption, so you don’t discover too late that you can’t provide your pet with adequate health care. Veterinarian schools focus on common domesticated animals so many vets aren’t trained to care for some of the more exotic pets.
Your first choice should be a vet who has specialized in exotic pets and done a residency in exotic animal medicine, or one who is board certified in an exotics specialty. Failing that, choose a vet who has a lot of experience treating exotic pets (especially the species you plan to adopt). If you are unable to find this type of vet either, you should at least hire a vet who has a genuine interest in exotic pets and will consult a specialist if necessary. Make sure that your vet has the facilities and equipment needed to treat your pet.
Specialty organizations such as the Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV) or the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians (ARAV) have directories which list veterinarians who specialize in exotic species. Ask pet stores, breeders, other veterinarians and pet owners for a recommendations.
Schedule an initial visit with a potential vet to see whether everything checks out. Don’t wait until there is an emergency to visit the vet, since even an experienced and knowledgeable vet will be at a disadvantage with a pet he has never seen before.