VCA Arboretum View Animal Hospital

Exotic Animal Medicine

What is Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine?

A growing number of people are caring for small animals that would be considered by many to be non-traditional pets. These pets include:

• Companion birds
• Turtles
• Snakes and lizards
• Rabbits
• Ferrets
• Guinea pigs and chinchillas
• Hedgehogs
• Rats and mice
• Hamsters and gerbils

Exotic animals has specific housing, dietary and socializing requirements. Each is prone to specific diseases requiring diagnostic tests and treatments that can vary, sometimes significantly, from those needed to treat dogs and cats. Veterinarians who treat these patients have to obtain special training beyond that given in veterinary school, and specialized equipment to meet those needs.

 Why should my avian/exotic pet see an avian veterinarian specialist? 

Yearly wellness examinations are strongly recommended for all avian and exotic pets. Unlike dogs and cats, avian and exotic pets instinctively hide their symptoms of illness as long as possible. This means that just because they look healthy doesn't mean that they actually are. The yearly wellness examination is an opportunity to review husbandry requirements and to detect possible problems early in an effort to treat health conditions before they become advanced.

Wellness blood screening is another part of the yearly wellness exam that is important and encouraged for all avian and exotic patients, particularly as they age. Blood screening may detect liver and kidney problems much faster than with a physical exam alone, and may also detect specific diseases (such as insulinoma in ferrets) before they start showing symptoms, when these diseases is easiest to treat.

If you find a wild animal in need of care, please contact:

Willowbrook Wildlife Haven
2S525 Park Blvd.
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

Dupage Co. Animal Care & Control
120 N. County Farm Rd.
Wheaton, IL 60187

If you would like to make an appointment to see one of our Exotic Pet Specialists, please call us to make an appointment  at 630-963-0424. 


General Practice

We have over 600 animal hospitals in 41 states and 4 Canadian provinces that are staffed by more than 3,000 fully-qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 400 being board-certified specialists.

The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments such as wellness, spay/neuter, advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), internal medicine, oncology, ophthalmology, dermatology, cardiology, neurology, boarding, and grooming. Services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

Find a VCA General Care Animal Hospital near you:


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Emergency Care

The Emergency & Critical Care Services Department is open 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. No appointment or referral is necessary.