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Articles  |   Vets  |   What is an Exotic Animal Veterinarian?

What is an Exotic Animal Veterinarian?

What is an Exotic Animal Veterinarian?
An exotic animal veterinarian specialises in treating animals that are not considered to be a common companion animal, such as a dog or cat.

Examples of exotic pets include:
  • Snakes

  • Lizards

  • Rabbits

  • Ferrets

  • Guinea pigs

  • Rats

  • Mice

  • Spiders

  • Turtles

  • Frogs

  • Fish

  • Birds

  • Native Australian mammals
Dr David Vella is an exotics veterinarian in Sydney who sees a vast range of animal species, from mammals, reptiles and amphibians to invertebrates like insects, spiders and crustaceans.

“Every day is different and sets out a new challenge to deal with,” he says.

Exotic Animal Training


Exotic animal veterinarians have specialised training, qualification and/or certification in exotic animal medicine (avian veterinarians specialise in birds only.)

“Exotics pet practice has reached a very high level of speciality that focuses on the specific needs of medicine and surgery of these animals,” says Dr Vella.

“When you see an exotics vet, you know that the vet you’re seeing is at least familiar with and has some expertise with your pet.”

Dr Vella enjoys mostly working with exotic species. “I have found many of the species we deal with to be quite cryptic in their nature and as many of them 'mask' disease, they can be challenging to figure out. It is the variety, the challenge and the results we get from out treatments that can make exotic pet practice so special,” he says.

Topic: Vets

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