Goats and Sheep
Goats and sheep are fast becoming very popular both as pets and as dairy and meat animals. Caring for these species has many challenges. Florida is known for it's heat and wetness. Parasites thrive in this environment and can be a serious problem, especially in larger herds. Diet is a key factor in the health of these species and husbandry practices can be confusing. Dr. Sonday is very knowledgeable in sheep/goat husbandry, medicine and surgery. We can help you decide on what breed to get, how to care for them and treat any problems that they may develop. Routine vaccination and de-worming (using FAMACHA) with fecal tests is important. Humane (using anesthesia/sedation and pain medicine) surgical procedures such as castration are performed. Emergency services including cesarean section, IV fluids, blood transfusions and more are routinely employed.
Pigs are also becoming more popular both as pets (pot belly and so called 'mini' pigs) and for back yard production. Dr. Sonday treats sick pigs, does humane castrations, and trims feet and tusks either under sedation or without. Pigs have unique personalities and require significant environmental enrichment to remain healthy. We can discuss husbandry practices and suggest ways for you to enjoy your pig as a pet for many years. Serious problems needing major surgery and hospitalization are referred to the University of Florida for treatment. Production pigs are also treated with appropriate restraint systems in place. Routine vaccinations and de-worming are also important for these animals.
Llamas and Alpacas
Camelids are interesting and exotic animals needing special husbandry practices. They are uniquely suited for cold weather and high altitudes. Florida has neither but these animals can be kept if the right conditions are provided. An appropriate environment, routine vaccinations and annual/bi-annual shearing are required. Dr. Sonday has experience with these animals and can educate clients in husbandry practices, treat sick animals, provide humane surgical procedures, do fecal examinations and recommend appropriate de-worming.
Dr. Sonday also works with cattle when provided with appropriate restraint. Cattle require a head catch at minimum for safety of all involved. Many tame animals can become very fractious with strangers touching them. Painful procedures, vaccines and administering medications can cause a gentle animal to become dangerous.
Other species...Although Dr. Sonday does not treat small animals that are sick, she will provide an occasional guardian dog or barn cat with a rabies vaccine and flea control. House cats/dogs, pocket pets, exotic animals, fowl and other birds are not treated but we can recommend a veterinarian near you for those species.