IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT INJURED OR ORPHANED WILDLIFE: WSU personnel are NOT able to retrieve injured or
orphaned wildlife. Wildlife are the property of the state of their origin and
are also sometimes regulated by the federal government. People with concerns
about ill or injured wildlife are urged to contact the local offices of that
states’ fish and wildlife service. WSU’s veterinary teaching hospital will
gladly assess wildlife brought to us and make a determination as to a course of
care. As a final note, please be aware that some animals may carry diseases that
can infect humans. The most notable is rabies, which can infect all mammals.
The source of rabies in wildlife in Washington has been limited to the big brown
bat but there is no reason to believe other bats could not be infected. In
general, if a bat is healthy, no human should be able to touch it. If you can,
and do touch a bat, you run the risk of being exposed to rabies which requires
an extensive and expensive course of injections to prevent this essentially 100
percent fatal disease from developing. Again, Bats like all wildlife fall under
the control of their state’s game agency and most provide important information
about handling all wild animals, especially bats.
Emmy award-winning actress and comedienne Betty White admires a resident
American Kestrel during a visit to the WSU College of Veterinary
Medicine. White served on the steering committee for Center for the
Study of Animal Well-being (CSAW). Our
exotic specialists see birds of all types for concerns ranging from
feather “plucking” to reproduction problems. We have a special interest
in genetic anomalies.
WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital is trained and equipped to handle
raptors ranging in size from Bald Eagles to the smallest of owls. Dr.
Erik Stauber is licensed through the state of Washington to accept
wildlife from both in, and out of state, as a wildlife rehabilitator. No
raptors may be accepted from out of state without the specific
permission of the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife and
the state from which the animal is coming. The most common reason we see
raptors is due to factures. As a result, our most common surgery in
raptors is done to stabilize those fractures.
Also see our
raptor club and
sponsor-a-raptor web pages.
Turtles, iguanas and non-poisonous snakes are just a few of the
reptiles seen by our exotics service. Iguana spays and removals of
“trapped” eggs are two of the most common surgical procedures we do on
this group of animals
Hamsters, hedgehogs, guinea pigs, mice and rats, ferrets, rabbits,
chinchillas and potbellied pigs all fall under the heading of Small
Mammals. Dental procedures for overlong molars or incisors in rabbits or
hamsters and adrenalectomies in ferrets are examples of the most common
surgical procedures for these animals. Our full service laboratory
allows us to perform blood testing and toxicology screening specific to
these small breeds.
We see a wide variety of non-avian wildlife in the WSU Exotics
department. Some of our regular visitors include bobcats, raccoons,
squirrels and rabbits. The goal with these animals is to heal their
wounds, or in the case of abandoned babies to raise them, then
reintroduce them into their native habitat. We have a number of
specially trained volunteers that assist us in the rearing process. In
addition to animals in the wild, we also address health problems or
concerns in the black, brown and grizzly bears housed at the WSU Bear