Zoological companion animals (also known as “exotic pets”) are wonderful and unique. They have and anatomy and physiology that are vastly different from dogs and cats. Some of these differences are what makes them such fascinating companions, and we understand the importance of providing high-quality veterinary care for these pets and their families. Our Zoological Companion Animal Medicine and Surgery department have the specialized equipment and expertise to diagnose and treat the unique conditions of these animals.

Our service is equipped to work with the following groups of animals:

  • Companion birds such as finches, canaries, parrots, pigeons, and pet poultry (ducks, chickens, etc.)
  • Raptors such as hawks and falcons
  • Reptiles such as turtles, snakes, and lizards
  • Amphibians such as frogs, toads, salamanders, and axolotls
  • Rabbits
  • Ferrets
  • Guinea pigs and chinchillas
  • Hedgehogs
  • Rats and mice
  • Hamsters and gerbils
  • Sugar gliders
  • Tarantulas and scorpions
  • Fish including aquarium and pond species

Please note that we do not treat venomous species, large cats, production animals, or primates. We also cannot currently see local wildlife unless under the care of a licensed rehabilitator. If you find any sick or injured wild animals, please contact a wildlife rehabilitator. See Ontario.ca and Ontario Wildlife Rescue to learn more.

For Clients

Beak and nail trims

We use small trimmers and special rotary tools to best fit your bird’s needs. We also provide sedation, if needed, during the procedure.

Chronic pain management

Our understanding of pain perception and analgesia in zoological companion animals is continuously improving. We can provide up-to-date recommendations for the management of your pet’s chronic conditions

Emergency care

We are able to provide emergency assessments and care for zoological companion animal species during our service hours. Select emergency cases may be seen after-hours by the emergency department if deemed appropriate.


We offer advanced imaging modalities, including ultrasound, CT, and digital radiography. We provide sedation or anaesthesia to minimize the patient’s stress level during these procedures.

Management of reproductive problems

Hormonal treatments are necessary and indicated for some pets, including birds. Spays or neuters can also be performed to prevent breeding or treat problems associated with high hormone levels. Please contact us to learn more.

Oral exams and dental trimming for rodents and rabbits

Some rodents and rabbits are prone to dental problems, but visualizing and treating these conditions can be challenging. We use endoscopic equipment (a small camera with magnification) to identify and correct dental problems in your pet.

Wellness and new pet exams

If a new pet has joined your family and you'd like to know if he/she is healthy, we can provide wellness examinations and test for common diseases. DNA sexing of birds can also be provided.

Referral care

We are excited to work with our dedicated and passionate veterinary colleagues in the community, in order to provide the best possible care for our exotic patients. We are able to assist with advanced diagnostic testing and management of complicated cases. Speak to your primary veterinarian about referral options.

Surgery and anaesthesia

Our hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art surgical equipment and surgery suites. We also use the most up-to-date and safest possible anaesthesia protocols. Your pet will be closely monitored during their entire procedure.

Behaviour consultations

Behavioural problems (ex. screaming in birds, biting, aggression, etc.) are a common reason why pets are rehomed or surrendered. We are committed to helping you find a way to manage your pet’s behavioural concerns. Book an appointment to further discuss your pet’s specific concerns.

Nutritional consultations

We want your pet to live a long and happy life as part of your family! Nutrition is an important part of maintaining your pet’s long-term health. We would be happy to discuss ways to improve your pet’s diet and willingness to try healthier foods

In-hospital care

Our specialty service works as a team with the other specialty departments within our hospital to provide the best possible care for your pet, including Surgery, anaesthesia and pain management, internal medicine, dentistry, and physical rehabilitation. This cooperative approach to medicine provides the best specialized care for your pet while allowing primary management by a zoological companion animal veterinarian. The facility is well equipped for advanced diagnostics and treatment of all your unique and special pets. We utilize many advanced diagnostic technologies and procedures as needed for our patients. We also provide dedicated temperature-controlled cages and specialized lighting for those that need it, separate from the canine and feline patients. This minimizes the stress of hospitalization and allows us to monitor your pet's condition during the stay.

Feel free to give us a call or visit us if you have any questions. We are committed to providing state-of-the-art care for “exotic” pets using a compassionate patient- and client-centered approach. We look forward to meeting you and your special companion!

Please note the Zoological Companion Animal Service operates out of both 404 Emerg locations. In order to find out which facility you should be visiting at the time of your arrival, please contact our Client Care Team.

Our Zoological Medicine Team

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