Specialized Veterinary Care for Small Exotic Mammals

We treat a variety of small exotic pet mammals, including:

Each one of these species has unique veterinary care concerns ranging from dental issues in rabbits to low blood sugar disease (called insulinoma) in ferrets. Additionally, diets, housing, and environmental enrichment are different for each species. We have the experience and hands on knowledge of what works well for each of these groups.

Common problems we encounter include:

  • Rabbits – dental disease ranging from abscesses to overgrown teeth, gastrointestinal stasis, chronic rhinitis
  • Ferrets – adrenal disease, insulinoma, cardiomyopathy, dental disease, lymphoma
  • Guinea pigs – gastrointestinal stasis, skin diseases, bladder stones
  • Hamsters – intestinal inflammations, skin diseases
  • Degus – dental disease
  • Mice and rats – skin diseases, dental diseases
  • Chinchillas – dental diseases, skin diseases.

Well pet preventive care:

Annual physical examination – For exotic companion mammals, we strongly recommend annual physical examinations. These pets have slowly developing diseases many times and annual exams can reveal these diseases before they have progressed too far.

Vaccinations and other routine preventative care – We carry USDA approved Rabies vaccines for ferrets. For ferret distemper vaccinations, we follow the 3 year guidelines most recommended and supported by data. For prevention of ferret adrenal disease, we use the deslorelin GnRH agonist implants. Studies have shown that adrenal disease can be dramatically reduced by consistent use of the implants. Castrate and spay your pet. We routinely perform these surgeries.


Complete blood count and organ function testing – We have invested in lab equipment that handles the small volumes of blood that are available from these pets. Most times we can have results within 30 minutes. Prompt diagnosis can mean the difference between life and death in a heavily compromised pet.

Stool parasite examinations – Many intestinal parasites do not cause issues in a healthy pet. But when there is another disease concern, these parasites can cause issues. We are able to microscopically examine your pet’s droppings to make an accurate determination whether anti-parasite medications should be used and will be effective.

X-rays – We use a digital radiology system that calibrates down to the smaller size of many of our exotic patients. That high resolution allows us to better diagnose bone fractures, masses, and the like.

Disease DNA testing – We partner with outside laboratories that can look for the ‘DNA fingerprint’ of many mammal viruses and fungi. The sample size we need is miniscule and almost all the time can be noninvasively obtained.

Ultrasound – Ultrasound can be used on many of our exotic pets and allows us to see inside organs within your pet’s body. Ultrasound is noninvasive and nonpainful but can yield us enormous diagnostic information.

Laparoscopic exams – When needed, we can use minimally invasive laparoscope to visualize inside your pet’s body, perform some surgeries, and obtain tissue samples for biopsy.


Intensive care – We have the equipment, knowledge, and experience to provide intensive care hospitalization for your exotic companion pet. Many of these ill patients are so compromised, intensive care can be lifesaving.

Surgery – We routinely perform surgery on exotic companion mammals ranging from castrating/spaying to tumor removals.

Dental care – Many of our exotic companion mammals need periodic dental work as they age. Typically, we can perform this routine maintenance on an outpatient basis. More extensive dental work requires the pet to stay with us during the day.

Medicinal preparations – We carry medications that are routinely used in exotic companion mammals such as antibiotics. Because many medications are in pills form and sized for 50 pound dogs, we routinely compound these medications to meet the size of our patients.

Pain management – For many of the exotic companion mammals, pain control is a necessity. Many of these pets deteriorate when their pain in not managed aggressively.

Parasite controlParasites are a fact of life in many of these pets. When indicated, we carry and can recommend a number of effective parasite medications.

Peanut - 26 week old Mini Rex rabbit
Midnight - 1 year old male hedgehog