Joel D. Wallach
Josephine D. Wallach

This book is the progressive realization of a dream and goal, an evolutionary product generated from the needs felt by a handful of veterinarians engaged in exotic animal practice in the sixties. There were a few professional journals that carried the occasional article on exotic animal medicine written by one of our number; however, a great vacuum was felt when we sought diagnostic skills, knowledge of pathology, normal physiological values, and effective and safe anesthetics and vaccines.

My initial project in the field of disease research with exotic species was for the Center for the Biology of Natural Systems, a newly formed department at Washington University that combined the resources of the departments of botany and basic medical sciences, the Shaw’s Botanical Gardens and the St. Louis Zoological Gardens – we were to seek out species in zoological parks that could act as “Canaries In the Mine” for biological early warning systems in cities faced with environmental crises.

We began our project with extensive literature searches far a field from additional veterinary sources; we collected our own data, performed thousands of autopsies, and encouraged each other to publish and to maintain an intellectual curiosity when considering the health care of our exotic charges – thus this book is not to be considered an end point, but rather a staging for all veterinarians and professionals who work with exotic species to “come up to speed” with state of the art without the need to re-invent the wheel. It is our wish that this book provide a widespread understanding of the anatomy, physiology, diagnosis, and treatment of the rainbow of species with which We share this planet.

Joel D. Wallach

This book has been cataloged in The Smithsonian’s Library