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At the Veterinary Center, we provide not only preventative medical care for healthy birds and exotic pets (including ferrets, rabbits, rodents, reptiles, sugar gliders, hedgehogs, and others), but also comprehensive diagnostic testing services for illness to screen for and treat disease, including blood testing, fecal analysis, digital x-rays, endoscopy, echocardiography, electrocardiography, and ultrasonography.
We have a full-service laboratory right in the hospital containing blood testing machines designed to test samples from even our smallest exotic patients and to provide results in a matter of minutes. We also have a microscope for fecal, urine, and body tissue analysis, as well as a machine that measures blood lead levels. For tests not performed at the Veterinary Center, we have access to several outside laboratories that offer specialized testing for diseases unique to our exotic patients, such as hormone level determination for ferrets with adrenal disease and insulinoma tumors, proventricular dilatation disease or PDD testing for birds, Encephilitizoon cuniculi parasite testing for rabbits, and internal parasite testing for reptiles and amphibians (frogs and toads). Samples for outside laboratories are picked up by carriers twice a day from the Center, so results even from these laboratories come back promptly.
For birds and exotic pets that require surgery, the Veterinary Center provides comprehensive surgical care with state-of-the-art surgical monitoring (including electrocardiography and blood pressure monitoring) and the safest isoflurane anesthesia. Surgeries range from commonly performed spays and neuters to complicated procedures involving endoscopy, radiosurgery, and orthopedics.
The Veterinary Center also offers several exotic pet species-specific procedures including deslorelin implants for ferrets with adrenal disease, jaw abscess debridement for rabbits, bladder stone removal for guinea pigs, and egg removal and spaying for egg bound birds and reptiles. For all recommendations our veterinarians make for both testing and surgery, they generate a detailed financial estimate which they review with all pet owners before performing any procedures. Their job is not to pressure exotic pet owners but work within their financial means to provide the best medical and surgical care possible.
Unlike at many other animal hospitals where a mask is simply placed over exotic pets’ faces to deliver anesthesia, at the Veterinary Center, nearly every exotic pet undergoing surgery has a breathing tube placed in its airway with the help of a fiber optic endoscope. Having this tube in place during surgery makes anesthesia much safer, as it enables our vets and technicians to breathe for pets if they are having trouble breathing on their own. Best of all, since we are a small hospital, we generally perform only one surgical procedure each day, enabling our staff to give their full attention to that single pet under anesthesia that day.
Whether your bird or exotic pet is admitted to the hospital for illness or for a surgical procedure, the Veterinary Center offers full hospitalization, housing all sick patients comfortably in the hospital in specialized cages designed for exotic species that provide oxygen, heat, intravenous fluids, and nebulized (vaporized) medication, if necessary. These cages are specially designed for exotic species to be escape proof and fully visible to the vets and staff throughout the day. All patients with contagious disease are hospitalized in a separate isolation area, with its own separate air duct system, to minimize spread of infection. The ventilation system also has been fitted with a special ultraviolet filter to eliminate airborne pathogens.
At night, after the hospital closes, Dr. Hess is able to see all pets in the hospital from her home via closed circuit Internet cameras; critically ill patients who must be monitored more closely after hours are transported less than half a mile away to the local 24-hour emergency center where the Veterinary Center’s staff is still able to dictate their care. They are then returned to the Veterinary Center the next day. At the Veterinary Center, we aim to make your exotic pet’s hospital stay with us as comfortable, safe, and as short as possible, so that we can send your pet back home to you as soon as possible.