Exotics Rotation at Texas A&M

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7+ Year Member
Feb 6, 2015
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Hey guys, I am investigating some externship opportunities and was wondering if any TAMU students could let me know what the exotics and zoo rotation is like in terms of case load, how time is spent, etc. Any info is appreciated. Thanks!

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Evening! Maybe I can help a bit. I did 4 weeks of zoo and enjoyed every minute. We have 2 awesome clinicians, both boarded (one is even triple-boarded!), and highly knowledgeable and excellent teachers. There's a lot of variability in what comes in, but when I was on, I saw mostly parrots and wildlife (passerines, raptors, squirrels, turtles, cottontails, etc.) with the occasional pocket pet, reptile, and zoo animal. We'll see almost anything aside from certain primates, hoofstock, venomous reptiles, and the big 5 rabies species (bats, foxes, skunks, raccoons, coyotes). You get to be primary on wildlife cases and call the shots, so that's a lot of fun. I probably had 2-3 client-owned cases a day and 1-2 wildlife cases, sometimes way more. You handle all patient care, so days start around 7 or so if you have in-house patients, closer to 8 if you don't. We were often at the hospital until 6. You have primary on-call shifts for non-pocket pet emergencies (those are supposed to be handled by the ER Department) after 6pm and on the weekends. These are divided among you and your rotation mates. On Wednesdays, if time permits, you go on field trips, either to a nearby zoo or to the Wildlife Center in Houston.

Overall, I really enjoyed my 4 weeks and wish I could have more time in Zoo Med. I'd say it's a worthwhile experience, but your mileage may vary since it's difficult to predict what will and won't come in when you're on. If there's anything else I can help with, let me know!