Exotic Animal Care Center News
Spring/Summer 2012

Dear Friends,

Our Exotic Pet Fair in April was a huge success! We had numerous rescue groups present that were able to educate people on proper care for pet rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, tortoises, ferrets, and pot-bellied pigs. The rescue groups had plenty of toys and treats for the animals, and there were cute gifts for people too. Whittier Narrows Nature Center was there to discuss wildlife issues, and brought an owl, a hawk, a snake and a squirrel. There was also a chicken and other birds there as well. Our own nurse Cindy educated people about reptile care, using her snake and iguana as examples. We had three talks: Dr. Tiffany discussed bird behavior, I talked about new diseases, and we had a panel of rescuers discussing bonding rabbits, guinea pigs, and chinchillas.  Our Exotic Pet Fair is important, since it helps educate people about the proper care of unusual pets, and lets them know that there are many of these animals available for adoption.


Our hospital sold t-shirts and held a raffle and silent auction to raise money to cover some of the medical expenses for the many animals we have rescued over the past two years. We want to thank everyone that came to visit and all of the rescue groups and vendors that attended. This will be an annual event - hope to see you all next year!


On Sunday, July 15, Orange County Cavy Haven will be having an adoption event and "pignic" that I will be speaking at. Stay tuned for more details.


As always, we are looking to learn more and more. Dr. Tiffany and I attended a weekend seminar in April in Texas, where we expanded our avian and exotic knowledge. We are sending a few of our staff members to attend a veterinary conference in San Francisco at the end of June. And the big exotics conference this year will be in October.


For those of you that have checked out our old website - our new one is under construction and is almost ready! 




Dr. Kanfer


2nd Annual Exotic Animal Care Center Pet Fair-What a Blast!


On Saturday, April 28 we held our 2nd Annual Exotic Pet Fair.  Thanks to those of you who came and for those who could not come...we missed you!

Dr. Kanfer, Dr. Margolin and Caroline Charland of Bunny Bunch all gave informative talks to the crowd.  We held a raffle and silent auction (proceeds benefitted the rescues and wildlife we frequently take in) and had some great vendors join us - Zooh Corner, Bunny Bunch, Danger Dogs of Nepal Hand Painted Custom Folk Art, California Turtle and Tortoise Society, Bunny Luv, Flat Bonnie/Bunny Whipped, and Ferrets Anonymous. We also had some super cute rabbits and guinea pigs for adoption.  We hope you can join us next year!

EACC Animals for Adoption! 


Bueller: Found wandering the streets of LA, he was picked up by a good samaritan that could not keep him. He is a sweet 1 year old male bunny with beautiful speckled blue and brown eyes.
Liam: He is a beautiful amazon parrot that had to have his wing amputated. He's nervous with new people at first, but warms up quickly and is a bit snuggly! Liam is about a year old. 

Peppers came in because he had no appetite and had respiratory issues. His owners were not able to afford the diagnostic testing nor the treatment needed to bring him back to health. After being hospitalized while being on oxygen, Peppers slowly became healthy again and his personality came right out. Peppers has since been neutered and is now ready to go to his forever home.
Rob Zombie:
He's a male neutered guinea pig who survived being attacked    by a raccoon. We nursed him though a nasty infected wound, he lost his left ear, but he doesn't seem to notice! He's very playful and sweet, about a year old. 

Whiskey:  This adorable guy is a three year old brown and white neutered     rabbit.  After several years of a junk food diet (including french fries!) he now has irregular teeth.  He has had a few dental procedures and needs tooth trims every few months for the rest of his life.  His dental costs will be covered by EACC. He is very cute - he loves to be petted and is very playful. He likes to pick up items and carry them around, and often runs around with a long piece of paper in his mouth, streaming out behind him.

ADOPTED! Swiss Cheese: Poor Swiss Cheese.  This California Desert Tortoise    was attacked by a dog and now has 28 holes in his shell.  He is healing well, but slowly.  He still is on meds for his injuries. 

Wicked: A healthy year old male neutered guinea pig. He likes to burrow in his hay and popcorn with happiness at meal time.  

R2 She's an adorable, dainty, blue-eyed black and white Dutch rabbit born in 2007, and she's very sweet and loves to be petted and held. She is a snuggler! Her previous owner could not afford to spay her when she started to bleed from her uterus. We spayed her and trimmed the spikes off of her teeth. She will continue to need periodic tooth trims - her dental costs will be covered by EACC for life.


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

Photos of Animals for Adoption

pig3 pig1
                                        Rob Zombie            Wicked

Whisky                 Peppers


               R2                  Liam


The Human-Animal Bond - Who Does it Benefit Most?
By Tiffany Margolin, DVM, ABVP, NAET Cert


The role of our beloved pets has become more and more central in our lives since the advent of the internet, cell phones and less and less direct, warm human to human contact. Studies have shown that in the United States, people are becoming less intimate, more afraid of each other, and less trusting. Physical contact is something one must actively seek out, as it is easy to remain in touch "at a distance" through e-mail, cell phones and text messaging.


As human bonding dwindles, there is one bond that has grown, and in fact become stronger - the bond to our furry and feathery friends. As I sit and write this article at one of the many still-open Starbuck's, a paint-covered gentleman (contractor, I presume?) passes outside the window smiling fondly downward at the sidewalk. His silly, happy go lucky companion -a Laborador retriever- strains at the end of a leash. The love between them is obvious. Whether good or bad, it is clear that animals have assumed the role of children in many households. Just last week I met a wonderful new client with her miniscule Chihuahua, Tawny. Lisa, Tawny's owner, gushed at me, "Oh doctor, I just canceled my dentist appointment so I could bring her in-I think she has a headache!" Now, forgetting the obvious question that did indeed pop into my head -how could she tell???-it was still clear that Lisa had put her own health concerns beneath those of her pet. In the past, this was reserved with children, but certainly not for the family pet. Now, even the kids wait for their braces while Mom takes Fido to the vet.

Another clear and growing area of animal importance is the area of animal-assisted therapy.There is a growing body of evidence that animals play a critical role in HUMAN healing. It is not just the traditional hospital visits to the dying; animals are actually facilitating cures in the mentally ill, and aiding return to physical function in some previously paralyzed patients.

From afar, it looks like a child enjoying a few precious moments on horseback. At most, this boy might be getting to realize a dream before settling back into his wheelchair. But dig a little deeper... you find out that horses are now used regularly to return function to victims of paralysis. It has been found that the movement of the horse, combined with the rider's spine, facilitates healing of this area. This amazing discovery can help both those born with impaired leg function, and those who have suffered a debilitating accident. The motion of the horse improves the riders gait, reflexes, and emotional well-being. The heat and motion of the horse can increase circulation and function of the rider's spine.

While horses are helping those who can get to them, dogs are being brought to the bedsides of the critically ill, bringing healing touch with them. These gentle canine helpers spend time with both young and old patients, improving their emotional and physical well-being as well.

As popularity of pet hospital visits has grown, so have concerns about the passage of diseases between animals and humans. There is some evidence that the human MSRA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus) infections are now carried by some animals. It is true that both animals and people can carry this bacteria to others. However, a pet or person may carry this bacteria and never develop the disease. Dogs, cats and birds allowed to visit hospitalized patients receive a thorough evaluation and must have a health clearance before visiting patients. There are so many benefits animals bring to the table, both emotionally and physically, that the risks are far outweighed. Control of MRSA in humans is simply through excellent hand hygiene (i.e.-wash your hands!!).

When birds are used as therapy pets, there is some concern about Chlamydophylis ("Parrot Fever"). This is a respiratory disease that looks like pneumonia in people, but will persist and worsen if left untreated. Again, the highest risk is posed to people who have poor immune function. Psittacosis, another name for parrot fever, is easy to diagnose through blood testing, and is treated with doxycycline or other related antibiotics. Birds used for therapy should be prescreened with simple blood and stool testing prior to having patient contact.


Probably the most important and preventative bond between animals and their humans is the simple love of an owner for his/her pet. A home is transformed by the presence of a well-loved pet; families are actually brought together by their affection for an animal. Studies have shown that children are better adjusted, more responsible and more emotionally balanced when delegated as a pet's primary caregiver.


Along with the balance that furry friends bring to a family, they can also serve as red flags for serious, life-threatening imbalances. In almost 100% of cases in which a criminal commits a violent crime against humanity, he has perpetrated horrendous acts on animals first. If the parents or friends of this person can address the violent behavior when it first appears and is directed towards an innocent animal, then perhaps human lives can also be saved. It is my personal belief that this area of our society cannot continue to be ignored. Serious attention needs to be paid to someone who commits animal cruelty. However, simply throwing this person in jail often aggravates and escalates their violent tendencies. Either penalties must be severely stiffened, or intensive psychotherapy and drug intervention may need to be considered.


One problem frequently overlooked in the integration of people and pets in a household is the transfer of neuroses. Eckhart Tolle once said if you want to see neurosis in animals, look at the domesticated ones. This is most especially true of dogs and horses. Goodness knows cats refuse to take on anyone's neurosis but their own! Truly, so many behavioral problems I see are the direct result of unexpressed anxiety or resentment on the part of the owner. In their pet, it will look like fear biting, separation anxiety, submissive urination, and other undesirable qualities. Clients beseeching me to "fix the problem" must first look at their own contribution. Animals are simply mirrors of the humans that surround them on a day to day basis.

And although your pet may be surrounded by all family members, often they bond to one specific person in the household. This can frustrate other members and even be a source of arguments. I am sometimes asked, "how can I get Fluffy to like me?" "He used to be MY dog, now he only comes to my wife...how do I reconnect with him?"

There are several ways to rebond a dog or bird to you. Becoming the caregiver is bonding, however it is also submissive. If you are feeding and cleaning for that animal, it sees you as subservient! You must also work at the behavioral level, as a trainer, to provide structure and challenge. For example, you may feed Polly and clean her cage. You must also find a separate time to spend on training and talking to Polly, asking her to perch and to perform some desired "tricks." This will keep him/her from becoming dominance aggressive. There are too many dogs and birds challenging the very hand that feeds them, because this same person is too passive and undemanding of them.

So be careful about trying to be a "Disneyland mom or dad" to your pet. If you want a balanced bond, it requires both affection and discipline, giving and asking in return. Achieving a balanced, non neurotic bond with your pet is important for both of you. You will reap the rewards of a healthier life together.

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!
We Will Be Unveiling Our Updated Website Soon!

Our website is getting a brand new look!  We hope to include photos of clients pets, a broad selection of articles and care info, the latest news at EACC and more! 


EACC Facebook Page


Dont forget to "like" us on Facebook! And visit our page for updates on what's happening at EACC!

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

2121 E. Foothill Blvd.
Pasadena, California 91107