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52A Durham Rd, Birtley, DH3 2QH | 0191 410 9674

 
 
 
 
 

Exotic Animals

Exotic patients can be difficult and complex to examine, diagnose and treat due to a number of factors. While we are not specialists in exotic medicine we do have a team of vets and nurses with a keen interest in theses species, many of whom hold, or are working towards, further qualifications in the field.

Click here for our exotic health care plans.


What are ‘exotic species?’

In veterinary medicine, an ‘exotic species’ is any species primarily kept as a pet that is not a dog, cat or horse. It does not include pet farm animals although does include zoo animals and wildlife. It is a general term that covers a wide range of species each with their own unique anatomy, physiology, husbandry, medicine, surgery and care. These include rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, rodents, hedgehogs, lizards, snakes, chelonians [tortoises, turtles and terrapins], psittacines [parrots], passerines [song birds], raptors [birds of prey], owls, fish, amphibians, arachnids and various other species of mammal, bird, reptile and invertebrate.

The Importance of Husbandry

Many of the problems seen in exotic species can be caused or exasperated by their husbandry [how they are kept]. A husbandry assessment in many non-mammalian species can provide significantly more information than a clinical exam. As part of an initial avian or reptile consult, you will be asked to complete a husbandry form – which can be found below.

 A picture of your pet’s housing can be really useful to add more information to the history. This is true of all species.


It is important that the person bringing your pet to the consultation knows about their husbandry and can answer questions on it. A sample, or picture, of food for small mammals, and especially birds, can be useful to analyse diet.

If your pet is suffering from regurgitation or diarrhoea a faecal sample is often the first step in investigation and bringing one to your consultation is likely to be helpful. This is also true of anorexic (not eating) or generally unwell patients.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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