Exotic Animal Care Center News
 January/February 2010

Dear Friends,

I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays. The staff at Exotic Animal Care Center celebrated at the Pirate's Dinner Adventure in Buena Park. It was a swashbuckling experience! We had a great time and it was nice to get out of the hospital and do something non-animal related. And we had a brief period of time with no exotic pet emergencies! 

Thank you for your sweet Holiday cards - we love seeing all the happy people and pets! But it's time to put away the Christmas tree, pack up the Menorah, and look forward to a happy and hopefully healthy and prosperous year for all.

Can you believe we've been open almost a year?! Time sure does fly. This has been a huge undertaking, starting my own practice, but it's been extremely rewarding. I love being able to practice medicine the way it should be practiced, high quality with lots of love. And we are already growing! Dr. Tiffany Margolin is a wonderful addition to our team. Numerous owners have taken advantage of the opportunity to supplement their pet's care with acupuncture and herbs. Several rabbits, a few guinea pigs, and a couple of opossums are feeling significantly better after their recent treatments. We have also been seeing more birds, including some beautiful macaws, cute little rosellas, and an injured wild barn owl. 

But the bunnies keep coming up with new and unusual illnesses, like the bunny whose bladder was sticking out that needed emergency surgery, another one with osteoporosis-like signs, and a possible case of tetanus! We have been starting to see more head tilt cases lately, as well as urinary tract infections, and more resistant bacterial infections. Keeping me on my toes!

This March marks our one year anniversary. We will be planning an Open House/Exotic Pet Fair to celebrate. The tentative date is Saturday,  March 12, so save the date! Some of our ideas for the event include: numerous species of exotic pets to meet and learn about, booths with rescue groups like Zooh Corner Rabbit Rescue, Bunny Bunch, Ferrets Anonymous, etc., that will have toys and supplies for sale, and perhaps a raffle to raise money for the homeless and sick exotic pets we take in and treat. We will probably have a talk or presentation, snacks, plus the chance to socialize with other exotic pet lovers. If anyone is interested in helping out, donating food or items for the raffle, or wants to be part of the event, let us know by calling Lori Ann at the office.

Thank you as always for your continued support,

Dr. Sari Kanfer

What is it and What Does it Do?

by Dr. Tiffany Margolin, ABVP-Avian, NAET and VOM Certified


The AlphaSonic machine is a unique product that is like no other.  In the simplest terms, it produces low-frequency sound waves, simulating that of whales.  These vibrations stimulate alpha waves in the brain and nervous system, causing deep relaxation. 


Alpha waves are the brain waves produced in REM sleep, the sleep of rest and recovery....and healing.  These amazing waves cause the release of many helpful neurochemicals in the body, sending them to areas of inflammation. These natural, body-produced chemicals decrease pain, increase blood flow and help to reepithelialize (form new skin) over the injured skin of wounds.


In addition to wound healing, the AlphaSonic machine appears to speed fracture healing by up to three weeks, reducing healing time by about half.  Although these statements are not a result of FDA approved studies, they are observed with clinical use. 


For more information about the AlphaSonic machine and to determine whether your pet might be helped by this, call the Exotic Animal Care Center at 626-405-1777.

Come See Dr. Kanfer...



Annual Bunny Bunch Picnic

Sunday, May 22, Noon to 4pm @ the Irvine Animal Care Center.  

Dr. Kanfer will be giving a talk about the latest in rabbit health.

  Animal Adoption Update at EACC and Other Animals for Adoption!

The guinea pig girls, Pixel & Ethel got a home. The boys, Scooter & Max, just got neutered and then will be available for adoption.

Cal Tech the turtle got a new home. Olyphant the tortoise went to the California Tortoise & Turtle Society for specialized care.

Strawberry the geriatric opossum is enjoying her new home at the Whittier-Narrows Nature Center.

Luke the iguana with half a tail is trying out his potential new home.

So, who's still up for adoption? 

      2 SINGLE guinea pigs for adoption.  Scooter and Max, males both about 1.5 years old, shy. 

     Chlorine: A red eared slider water turtle, found at Cal Tech. She had head trauma and is now blind. But, she still swims and suns herself, and appears happy. She needs to be hand fed a few days a week, but it's fun to feed her and she loves to eat her little shrimps! 

          Loki:  A male neutered rabbit, reddish tan in color, he was abandoned at Dr. Domotor's Animal House as a baby, with both rear legs fractured. He is very healthy and sweet, and is eager to get a girlfriend. He flirts with and grooms whatever rabbits are penned nearby.

        Isis:  Also abandoned at Domotor's, Isis is a healthy spayed female rabbit, reddish tan, about 2 years old. She is outgoing and friendly. She is a medium sized rabbit with big feet.       
         Peanut:  If you want a cute older bunny that thinks the litter box is just there to hold the hay, then Peanut is for you. He is a 7 year old, neutered brown dwarf with those cute little ears. He was a classroom bunny until his left eye was injured. It healed with a scar, but he doesn't notice.
         Rosebud: She survived Santee Alley and bottle feeding, then was attacked by a cat. Her back was broken, she was in shock and had a bad wound on her head but she survived! Because she was so young and the back injury was so far down her back, she has completely recovered. She races back and forth at high speed, and loves to perch on top of a box. She is about 7-8 months old, and is an adorable petite little white bunny with red eyes.
         Petie: Is he really up for adoption? If the right person came along, that could give him the care he needs. Petie is an 8 year old neutered black and white rex rabbit who is an ex-classroom pet.  He has a spinal injury and can't use his hind legs. He needs his bladder expressed twice a day, and needs his butt bathed and shaved regularly. What he really needs is someone to spend time cuddling him and perhaps even get him into a bunny wheelchair.         

Please call us at 626-405-1777 or email Kim if you are interested in any of the animals above. 

photosPhotos of Animals for Adoption

RosebudRosebud Scooter


Contributions to EACC
We are always getting in local wildlife that needs our help and in these cases, EACC pays for the care and medications to make these animals well again.  Additionally, we have a few individuals who are struggling to cover their EACC bills, as well as rescue organizations whose bills mount up quickly helping rescued and homeless animals.


If you have a few dollars or more to spare, EACC welcomes donations to help cover the costs of care for these animals.  We appreciate any help you can give.  Thank you!


By Tiffany Margolin, DVM, Dipl. ABVP, NAET Certified

Max was going to be put to sleep.  After 15 years as a loyal and loving family member, the big, sweet Labrador just couldn't get up any more, and even walking was becoming a daunting task for him.  Dave, his human-father, had been wrestling with the sad choice in front of him-humane euthanasia was the hardest decision he'd ever had to face. 

And then came an option that Dave never knew he had.  "Have you considered acupuncture, chiropractic, massage or Reiki for Max?"   These might help Max move around and enjoy life for a little longer,"  offered Max's veterinarian.  


A "little longer" turned into the gift of over one year for Max and his whole family.

Many of us remember, growing up, the choices we had when a beloved family pet was suffering. Did we want to let Rover die a "natural" death (albeit suffering from a disease state, not natural old age) or to have him put to sleep?  Perhaps the only time he saw the veterinarian was for his yearly vaccinations.

Isn't it ironic that in this day and age,  the age of the new millennium, it is the ancient medicinal practices  that we are turning to when Western medicine fails us. When it comes  to chronic illnesses with generic terms such as "fatigue syndrome" or "degeneration," we are left with the nagging "What is the origin and why did this happen?" We want so much as doctors to be able to answer that question for you, and to truly be the healer.

The medical practices of ancient civilizations are being unearthed, reevaluated, resurrected, and utilized to aid healing.  This is not to say that Western medical practices do not have value.  On the contrary, when it comes to battling disease, Western medicine has always been the warrior of choice.  But when it comes to nurturing, supporting, and activating an animal's own immune system to fight with all of its natural perfection, mainstream veterinary medicine falls down.

Mammals, birds and reptiles have amazing systems in place  to fight disease naturally, much as do human beings.   When we ignore or minimize these intricate systems and discount their ability to heal your pet, we are ignoring a huge component of natural healing.  Integrative methods of treatment can stimulate and enhance these systems.  These include acupuncture, chiropractic, pet massage and Reiki for your pet.  Nutritional supplements and herbs may complement or replace some medications traditionally used for chronic conditions.

So how are these methods applied to your furry or feathered friend?  Acuptuncture is familiar to most of us. Veterinary acupuncture is taught in different forms, some more or less consistent with traditional Chinese medicine. Some veterinary schools of acupuncture teach vets to treat symptoms, a more Western approach, thereby balancing neurotransmitters and resulting in healing using the body's own chemistry.  If your pet has been diagnosed with a chronic painful condition, organ dysfunction or is required to be on medication for life, acupuncture may help balance his/her own body chemistry.  Drug dosages can sometimes be reduced or replaced with Chinese herbs and nutritional supplements. 

Chemotherapy for cancer often seriously suppresses natural immunity.  Acupuncture can be a wonderful adjunct therapy to help the body heal in these cases.  This 34 year-old Amazon parrot has crippling arthritis in its foot and is responding to acupuncture.

A new "old" modality, electroacupuncture, is being used with some good results in people and may soon be available as a needle-free version of acupuncture for pets.

Veterinary chiropractic is offered by some chiropractors.  By law, these practitioners must work on animals under the direct supervision of a veterinarian.  This insures that all of the pet's medical issues are addressed.  If your pet is walking stiffly, unwilling or unable to jump as he used to, or otherwise "slowing down," this may be an excellent option for him.  Initially x-rays and blood work should be done to determine the location of the problem and to rule out more serious organ function problems.  If your veterinarian diagnoses osteoarthritis, spondylosis, hip or elbow dysplasia or other joint-related problems, chiropractic care may be the right choice for your pet.  If you choose an integrative veterinarian, often nutritional supplementation or glucosamine injections can enhance the effectiveness of chiropractic care.

Animal massage is also an excellent therapy, especially in the hands of a certified animal massage therapist who incorporates acupressure into the technique.  Physical therapy in conjunction with massage is often used for both chronic conditions, such as arthritic aches and pains, and acute problems such as an orthopedic surgical recovery.  A few veterinarians now provide the option of a massage therapist on staff.  Water treadmills are very useful for physical therapy; although difficult to find, a few veterinary offices do utilize them.

Reiki therapy, which has its origins in ancient Tibet and Japan, is the use of energy directed from the practitioner's palms and with directed intention to areas of the body in need. The practitioner will typically use their hands at a distance from the animal's body to detect areas of cold or heat, indicating need for therapy.

Whatever the modality, the meaning of "integrative veterinary medicine" is clear.  It tells you that in order to heal, your pet will do better with several complementary treatments than just one.  This is why, as a veterinarian, I have always been committed to integrative medicine and treating each pet as an individual, with a personalized program for healing.  




Thank You for Supporting Exotic Animal Care Center!  We truly appreciate you and your precious pets!

2121 E. Foothill Blvd.
Pasadena, California 91107