Small Furries and Exotic Pets

The service is headed up by Colin Blakey, a veterinary surgeon with 12 years experience working with exotic pets. 

The practice has dedicated facilities for the care of these special pets away from the noise and smells of cats and dogs, and both practices are fish-friendly. 

If you wish to bring you pet to see us, either to investigate an illness or for a health check please contact the small animal practice on 01934 852422.

Reptile Questionnaire Bird Questionnaire


What is an exotic pet?

In Veterinary Medicine animals tend to be divided into generalised categories of farm animals and companion animals (cats, dogs and horses).

Everything else are grouped together as exotics. This includes all the 'children's pets', birds, reptiles and fish.

Rabbits and rodents are seen so commonly that they really should not be regarded as exotic but they are usually classified as such for convenience.






What facilities do you have?

We have a wide range of facilities and equipment making it easier to provide the best level of care for the exotic pet. Specialist anaesthetic equipment includes:

Isoflurane and sevoflurane, a vetronics small animal ventilator and monitoring equipment including ECG, pulse oximetry, capnography.

For exotic surgery we have avian/exotic fine-tipped instruments for precision surgery and access to electrocautery, ridged and flexible endoscopy.

VivariaRabbit ward

Reptiles and birds

We are equipped with four Vivaria for reptiles, which are individually heated to provide optimal environment conditions. We also have ventilated tanks for avian patients.


Rabbits and small furries

We have a dedicated non predator room for the hospitalisation of rabbits and small rodents. This ensures they do not encounter the smells and sounds of cats and dogs, which can be very stressful for them.





What animals do you see?


We are happy to see most exotic pets, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and even invertebrates. We also often care for a range of mammals including children's pets (rabbits and rodents), ferrets, chinchillas, and the more exotic mammals such as sugar gliders and African hedgehogs.

We do not work with large mammal species (deer, pot bellied pigs etc), primates, venomous animals and animals licensed under the dangerous wild animal's legislation.



What should I bring with me to my appointment?

Hawk under anaesthesia

Exotic Pets are seen by appointment only and availability of appointments may vary with the availability of the vet responsible.

Many of the problems seen with exotic pets can relate to the way that they are kept, diet housing etc. Because of this the more information we have on the care of your pet the easier it is to determine what may be going wrong. Please bring diagrams or photos of the animals housing, details of the food fed and any supplements or medications given (if possible bring the packet).

Any records kept about your pet (see preventative health care).

Please print out and complete our reptile or bird questionnaire before you bring either of these species for their appointment.



I'm not sure how to transport my pet to you

Transporting your pet to the surgery

All small animals should be transported in a suitable container. It is not possible to be sure what species will be present in the waiting room so it is vital that you pet is secure.


It is important you bird is transported in a safe secure manner. For parrots cardboard boxes are not ideal as they can often eat their way out of the box. A small travel cage or top opening cat basket is ideal.

Front loading cat baskets make it difficult to get the bird out. Birds should not be brought into the practice out of cages. (Except for Birds of Prey on the hand).


The most important thing for transporting reptiles is that they are kept warm. Travel boxes that plug into the cars cigarette lighter are available but in most cases a hot water bottle, covered by some towels on the bottom of the box are adequate. Snakes travel well in a cloth bag or pillow case (Duvet cases for larger species).


With sick fish the decision needs to be made whether to bring the fish into the surgery or whether to arrange a home visit. Because of the time involved home visits are expensive so it may be best to bring a couple of representative fish into the surgery. Fish should be transported in their own water in to bags and then within a box or tub. When examining fish we briefly anaesthetise them in the water that they are in, they are then recovered in fresh water. This means that ideally we need two bags of the water that the fish are kept in.


Useful Links for exotic pets


Melissa Kaplan's Herp Care Collection
Produced by a very experienced herpetologist this site has useful care-sheets and husbandry information on many species of reptile, amphibian and invertebrates. Particularly good information on Green Iguanas.

The British Chelonia Society
Charity committed to the care and conservation of tortoises, terrapins and turtles.

The Tortoise Trust
Care sheets and advice sheets on tortoise health and husbandry.

The UV Guide
Information and research on UV light for reptiles.

The Rabbit Welfare Association
A Charity promoting the welfare of rabbits.

The American House Rabbit Society

Vet Ark Professional
Veterinary produced products for the care and treatment of exotic pets.

British Veterinary Zoological Society

Greg Glendall
Is an avian behaviourist local to the small animal practice. His booklet ‘pet parrots advice direct’ is an excellent beginner’s guide to keeping parrots.

Prickles Hedgehog Rescue
The Langford Small Animal Practice is pleased to support this great organisation.