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Advanced Veterinary Care

snake, bird, hamster, iguana, lizard and other exotic animals

Exotic Pets


At Advanced Veterinary Care, Rabbits represent the third largest species we care for, next to dogs and cats of course.

Rabbits are susceptible to a variety of diseases and conditions, including overgrown teeth, hairballs, parasites, and cancer. They also tend to hide signs of illness or pain.

Contact us if your rabbit:

  • Has discharge from the eyes or nose, runny stool, or a gurgling stomach

  • Has an elevated or low temperature

  • Begins drooling, scratching at the ears, or sneezing

  • Starts tilting his or her head

  • Develops bald patches in his or her fur

  • Stops eating, appears overly quiet, or shows other abnormal behavior

In addition, your rabbit can benefit from regular dental checkups. We can help make sure problems with your rabbit’s teeth don’t turn into serious, potentially life-threatening conditions.

We also strongly suggest that you have your rabbit spayed or neutered. Not only can rabbits potentially give birth once a month, but they can also have up to 14 babies at a time! Even in households with a single rabbit, spaying or neutering has plenty of benefits: It can protect your rabbit from several types of cancer and reduce or eliminate aggression, as well as other undesirable behavior, such as spraying, mounting, destructive chewing, and biting. Spaying or neutering will not change your rabbit’s personality.

If you have any questions about how to best care for your rabbit, we’d be happy to discuss proper diet, housing, grooming, and even litterbox training.

Guinea Pigs, Gerbils, and Hamsters

Companion Mammals include Gerbils, Guinea Pigs, Hamsters, Mice, Rats, Hedgehogs, Chinchillas and Sugar Gliders in addition to Rabbits and Ferrets. Dr. Marko recommends that all companion mammals have an annual examination, to ensure medical problems are discovered early and treated for before the long term health of your pet has been compromised. Annual appointments also provide an opportunity to discuss new strategies in nutrition, environment and medicine for your pet. Common issues among these pets include parasite infestation from lice, mites and fleas. Also teeth, which grow continuously in gerbils, guinea pigs and hamsters, often require trimming.

Examinations for illness or injured companion animals requires prompt attention: Due to their high metabolic rate and low stamina, companion mammal pets can develop serious consequences in a short time (minutes to hours). Do not hesitate to call Dr. Marko to have your pet examined immediately.

Dr. Marko has experience in companion mammal surgery from elective neutering and spaying to complicated general and orthopedic surgery. Our experienced Technicians will monitor your pet before, during and after the procedure providing the essential nursing care to ensure your pet’s procedure is successful.


Dr. Marko recommends that all ferrets have an annual examination, to ensure that medical problems are discovered early and treated for before the long term health of your pet has been compromised.

Common problems associated with ferrets include gastrointestinal disease, parasites, and cancer. In addition, ferrets are inquisitive creatures by nature and frequently ingest objects they shouldn’t. Regular blood tests can help determine whether your ferret has any problems with the kidneys, liver, or pancreas.

Ferrets can also benefit from receiving certain vaccinations and monthly preventives, which we’d be happy to discuss with you during your visit. Please bring a stool sample to your ferret’s annual exam so we can test for internal parasites. As ferrets age, they may need additional testing and dental care.

Unless you are planning to breed your ferret, we recommend that he or she be spayed or neutered. Female ferrets, or jills, do not need to give birth once to stay healthy. In fact, spaying can save a ferret’s life. Jills that haven’t been spayed will stay in heat until they’re bred. This condition can cause anemia (a decrease in red blood cells), which can be fatal. In male ferrets, neutering can reduce their strong body odor, prevent marking, and reduce aggressive behavior.

Please contact us here at Advanced Veterinary Care right away if your ferret develops any unusual symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, hair loss, lack of appetite, trouble breathing, black ear wax, discharge from the eyes or nose, lumps, swelling, or an increase in aggression or sexual behavior (especially in neutered males).


Snakes can suffer from a variety of diseases, some of which can cause serious respiratory, gastrointestinal, and liver problems. They also commonly harbor internal and external parasites, including hookworms, roundworms, mites, and ticks.

We recommend that you bring your new snake in for an initial exam so we can make sure it’s healthy. If your snake needs future veterinary attention, we’ll also have a baseline to compare against. Although snakes don’t need vaccinations, they can benefit from routine exams. Annual veterinary visits can even help your snake live longer.

We are happy to share our specialized knowledge of appropriate enclosures, temperature and humidity, lighting, substrates (ground covering), cleaning, and skin shedding. Besides having feeding requirements that are species specific, snakes can become stressed and may not eat. If this happens, please contact us so we can help. We can also determine the sex of your snake.

A healthy snake should flick its tongue and be alert and active, showing interest in its environment; its scales should be smooth and dry. Call us immediately if you notice any of the following signs of illness: vomiting or regurgitation, diarrhea, loss of appetite or weight, weakness or loss of energy, wheezing, mucus or bubbling around the nostrils, changes around the mouth (inflammation, purplish-red spots, dry and diseased tissue), and changes in the skin (reddening, slow-healing sores, swelling, discharge).

Reptiles and Amphibians

Including Iguanas, Bearded Dragons, Chameleons, Turtles, Tortoises, Frogs, Skinks and other Lizards. Dr. Marko recommends that all reptile and amphibian pets have an annual physical examination, to ensure medical problems are discovered early and treated for before the long-term health of your pet has been compromised. Annual appointments also provide an opportunity to discuss new strategies in nutrition, environment and medicine for your pet. Reptiles and to some extent amphibians hide their illnesses and injuries very well. Their slow metabolism and their ability to go without food for long periods of time can seriously compromise their health before they demonstrate their symptoms. In addition, captive environments rarely mimic the environments of these species in the wild. Factors such as cage vegetation, humidity, temperature, ultraviolet exposure and diet can be adequate for healthy pets but may be inadequate for the sick or injured. If your pet appears to be ill or injured, please call Dr. Marko as soon as possible.

Reptile and amphibian surgery can be challenging procedures without the benefit of an experienced professional team. At Advanced Veterinary Care, Dr. Marko and our Technicians, can perform surgeries for your reptile and amphibian pets. Our team will monitor and provide the nursing care before, during and after your pets procedure to ensure a successful outcome.

Avian Medicine and Surgery

Budgies, cockatiels, parrots, and songbirds tend to live longer, healthier lives when they receive annual veterinary care. We can provide nutritional counseling, health assessments, grooming assistance, sexing, fecal parasite testing, medical and surgical services, and annual physicals. In addition, we’d be happy to discuss general care, disease prevention, safety, appropriate housing and toys, and breeding. We recommend that you bring your bird in for an initial checkup, then stop by once a year to ensure that he or she remains healthy and isn’t hiding signs of illness. Some birds require more frequent visits. During the exam, we will check your bird’s beak, nails, and feathers to determine if they require any specialized attention. Regular exams can help catch diseases and problems early, when they tend to be easier and less expensive to treat. A bird that doesn’t groom itself correctly, appears ruffled, or has unkempt or missing feathers is probably sick. Other signs that your bird might not be well include changes in eating or sleeping habits, difficulty breathing, and abnormal droppings. Birds are good at hiding signs of illness, so if you notice that your bird is acting unusual or if something just doesn’t seem right, call us as soon as possible. Dr. Marko can perform minor surgical procedures for your pet birds; more complicated surgery maybe referred to a specialist depending on your pet’s needs.

  • Wing Clipping

  • Toenail Trims

  • Sexing

  • Beak Trims

Other Exotic Animals

Although a lot of information regarding exotic animals is widely available on the Internet, it is often difficult to determine what sources to trust. You can depend on Advanced Veterinary Care’s experience and knowledge of mice, rats, pot-bellied pigs, hedgehogs, chickens and other exotic pets.

Not only can Dr. Marko provide medical assessments and perform surgical procedures, but he can also help you prevent many diseases related to improper nutrition, which are extremely common in these animals. Please schedule an appointment so we can discuss your exotic pet’s medical and nutritional needs.