Gerry Dorrestein, DVM, PhD, DECZM, Dipl Vet Pathol

Dr. Gerry M. Dorrestein is the director of the Dutch Research Institute for Avian and Exotic Animals (NOIVBD) and the head of its diagnostic pathology laboratory…

Evelyn Ivey, DVM, DABVP (Avian Practice)

Dr. Evelyn Ivey practices at Four Corners Veterinary Hospital in Concord, California. She graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University and received her veterinary degree from the University of California at Davis…

Eric Klaphake, DVM, DACZM, DABVP (Avian Practice), DABVP (Reptile & Amphibian Practice)

After having been in exotics/small animal practice for many years, Dr. Eric Klaphake is the Associate Veterinarian at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Eric is a Past-President of the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians. He serves as the Reptile-Amphibian American Board of Veterinary Practitioners Regent as well as Session Chair for the Reptile Sessions at the North American Veterinary Conference.

Elinor Granzow, DVM

Dr. Elinor Granzow is an associate veterinarian at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in Tinton Falls, New Jersey. Elinor completed an internship in small medicine and surgery at Red Bank…

David Vella, BSc, BVSc (Hons), DABVP (Exotic Companion Mammal Practice)

Dr. David Vella is an Australian small mammal and reptile veterinarian. In 2009, he became the first and only Australian veterinarian to become a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in Exotic Companion Mammal Practice…

David Crossley, BVetMed, MRCVS, Fellow AVD, DEVDC

Dr. David A. Crossley qualified from the Royal Veterinary College in 1978. He spent the next 9 years working as a small animal clinician in general practice…

Craig Harms, DVM, Dipl. ACZM

Dr. Craig Harms is an Associate Professor in Aquatic, Wildlife, and Zoological Medicine at North Carolina State University (NCSU) College of Veterinary Medicine and a Diplomate of the American College of Zoological Medicine (ACZM)…

Connie Kirk, DVM

Dr. Connie Kirk is the Medical Director at VCA Animal Care Center in Norfolk, Viriginia…

Christina Petzinger

Christina Petzinger s a Master of Science student in the Intercollegiate Faculty of Nutrition at Texas A&M University. She is currently studying under Dr. J. Jill Heatley and Dr. John E. Bauer…

Cheryl Greenacre, DVM, DABVP (Avian Practice), DABVP (Exotic Companion Mammal Practice)

Dr. Cheryl Greenacre is a Professor of Avian and Zoological Medicine at the University of Tennessee (UT) College of Veterinary Medicine…

Charly Pignon, DVM, DECZM (Small Mammal)

Charly Pignon is a Diplomate of the European College of Zoological Medicine (Small Mammal) and a board member of Yaboumba, a French association for continuing education in exotic and wild animals. Charly graduated in 2005 from Alfort National Veterinary School in Maisons-Alfort, France. In 2009, Charly completed an exotic animal medicine internship at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and when he returned to France he created the Exotic Medicine Service at Alfort National Veterinary School. Dr. Pignon is also the Immediate Past President (2017-2018) of the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians.

Catherine Brown DVM, MSc, MPH

Dr. Catherine Brown DVM, MSc, MPH received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Minnesota after which she completed a small animal medicine and surgery internship…

Carolyn Cray, PhD

Dr. Carolyn Cray is a Professor of Clinical Pathology and holds a secondary appointment in Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine…

Brenda Wallace-Adams

Brenda Wallace-Adams has worked for Lafeber Company since 2005, where one of her many duties is to answer Ask Lafeber questions on our sister site, Pet Birds. Brenda practiced as a licensed wildlife rehabilitator in Texas for over 10 years…

Beverly Rayman

Beverly Rayman has been a student of biology in one form or another throughout her entire life. She has a degree in biology with an ecology concentration from Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland and has worked as an environmental biologist for the state of Maryland Water Quality Monitoring Division…

Barbara Oglesbee, DVM, DABVP (Avian Practice)

Dr. Barbara Oglesbee has over 20 years of experience in the clinical care of companion birds and exotic pets…

Anthony Pilny, DVM, DABVP (Avian Practice)

Dr. Anthony Pilny practices at The Center for Avian & Exotic Medicine in New York City, New York. Dr. Pilny completed an internship at Florida Veterinary Specialists in Tampa, Florida…

Anna Meredith, MA VetMB CertLAS DZooMed MRCVS. RCVS Recognised Specialist in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine

Dr. Anna Meredith leads the Exotic Animal and Wildlife Service in the University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies…

Anna McRee, DVM

Dr. Anna McRee is currently the Zoological Medicine Intern at Louisiana State University (LSU) School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. McRee graduated with her DVM from the University of Tennessee in 2014, with honors in promoting the field of nondomestic animal medicine…

Adolf Maas, DVM, DABVP (Reptile & Amphibian Practice)

Dr. Adolf Maas is the founder and director of The Center for Bird and Exotic Animal Medicine in Bothell, Washington…

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Sean Perry, DVM

Sean Perry is a PhD candidate at Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine. His dissertation topic focuses on the development of artificial reproductive technologies in captive reptiles as a translational model for endangered species….

Erik Hofmeister, DVM, MA, DACVAA, DECVAA

Erik Hofmeister is Chair of the Department of Surgery and Professor of Anesthesia and Pain Management at Midwestern University. Erik earned his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Washington State University in 2000. He then completed a small animal medicine and surgery internship at Veterinary Medical & Surgical Group in Ventura, California, before completing a […]

Article  Information sheet 

Basic Information Sheet: Virginia Opossum

The Virginia opossum is the only marsupial native to North America. This New World species is correctly called an “opossum” as opposed to the Old World “possum”. This information sheet reviews natural history, conservation status, and taxonomy, as well as a number of clinically relevant information including (but not limited to) diet, housing, behavior, normal physiologic data and anatomy, restraint, preventive medicine, zoonoses, and important medical conditions seen in the opossum.

Client Education Handout 

Care of the Virginia Opossum

The Virginia opossum is the only marsupial native to North America. Although veterinarians are allowed to provide humane care to any injured or orphaned wild animal, it is important to know your state laws as it is illegal to keep a pet opossum in many states. This client education handout reviews the basics of a pet opossum diet, caging, behavior, as well as health concerns.


AEMV Student Case Report Contest

Lafeber Company was proud to serve as the sponsor of an Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians Student Case Report Contest…

Article  Case Study 

AEMV-Lafeber Case Report: Pituitary-Dependent Hyperadrenocorticism and Cholangiohepatitis in a Guinea Pig

A 3-year old intact male guinea pig was presented on emergency for suspected bloat and with a history of chronic hair loss. Clinical examination revealed non-pruritic symmetric truncal alopecia, thin skin, severe cachexia, and an abdominal fluid wave. Alkaline phosphatase, alanine transaminase, aspartate aminotransferase, gamma-glutamyl transferase, leukocytes (neutrophils), bilirubin, and serum cortisol were markedly elevated. Abdominal ultrasonography revealed peritoneal effusion, cholestasis, and cholelithiasis. Hyperadrenocorticism was diagnosed based on…

Article  Case Study 

AEMV-Lafeber Case Report: Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus in a Guinea Pig

An adult intact female guinea pig was presented with dysorexia, exhaustion and weight loss. Radiographic and ultrasound findings demonstrated a severe gas dilatation of the stomach, severe gallbladder distension, and abnormalities on the organ topography. On laparotomy, a 180-degree gastric dilatation and volvulus was noticed with a gallbladder obstruction, hepatic lipidosis, and adhesions between the bowels…

Article  Case Study 

AEMV-Lafeber Case Report: Budd-Chiari-Like Syndrome in a Domestic Rabbit

An eleven year old male neutered rex rabbit presented with lethargy and inappetence of two days duration, and an acute episode of vestibular ataxia. Anemia and elevations in plasma alkaline phosphatase and alanine aminotransferase were evident. Abdominal ultrasound revealed questionable, diffuse hepatomegaly. Computed tomography revealed hepatic venous congestion, severe dilation of the pre-hepatic caudal vena cava, and bicavitary effusion, consistent with Budd-Chiari-like syndrome. Turbulent blood flow within the dilated segment of the caudal vena cava was present on spectral Doppler evaluation. Fine needle aspirate and cytology of the liver revealed necrosis with no evidence of infectious organisms…

Article  Case Study 

AEMV-Lafeber Case Report: Multiple Drug Resistant Staphylococcus Infection, Post Spay in a Domestic Rabbit

A female, spayed miniature lop rabbit presented 1-week post spay with marked subcutaneous swelling along the entire length of the surgical incision. Subsequent debridement of the abscess and closure of the incision site was somewhat unsuccessful, with the patient returning for another debridement procedure, after which the wound was left open for continued flushing and debridement. Culture and sensitivity of the purulent material grew a multi-drug resistant Coagulase-positive Staphylococcus.

Article  Case Study 

AEMV-Lafeber Case Report: Hyperthyroidism Treated with Radiation Therapy (I-131) in Two Guinea Pigs

Two guinea pigs suspected of having hyperthyroidism based on weight loss, presence of a cervical mass, and elevated total thyroxine (TT4) levels were confirmed to have active thyroid masses via scintigraphy with Technetium-99 and treated with radioactive iodine therapy (I¹³¹). Both patients responded initially with weight gain and a decrease in the TT4. The purpose of this case series is to describe the use of scintigraphy to aid in confirming a diagnosis of hyperthyroidism, as well as to show the benefits and effectiveness of using radioactive iodine therapy (I¹³¹) to treat hyperthyroidism in guinea pigs in order to provide the best treatment protocol.

Article  Case Study 

AEMV-Lafeber Case Report: Endometrial Venous Aneurysm in a Lionhead Rabbit

A 1-year-old female intact lionhead rabbit was referred for a history of hematuria, bloody vaginal discharge, anorexia, and lethargy unresponsive to antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications. Based upon physical examination, radiographs and abdominal ultrasonography a uterine mass was suspected. Severe regenerative anemia secondary to blood loss was diagnosed and the rabbit was administered a whole blood transfusion prior to surgical intervention. Abdominal exploratory with ovariohysterectomy revealed…


Capnometry in Exotic Animal Species

Capnometry measures the maximum value of carbon dioxide (CO2) obtained at the end of expiration or end-tidal carbon dioxide (ETCO2). There is good correlation between ETCO2 and arterial CO2 in birds and mammals and capnography can be used as a reliable tool to evaluate the adequacy of ventilation in these species. Capnography can only be used to identify trends in reptiles because of cardiac shunting of blood past the reptilian lungs.


Monitoring Vital Signs in Exotic Animal Species

Even the most steadfast and seasoned veterinary anesthetist can find themselves intimidated by exotic animal patients. Standard veterinary anesthesia monitors are not designed to read the extremely high (or extremely low) heart rates and respiratory rates of some exotic animal patients. Despite these challenges, valuable information can be gathered from monitoring tools as well as hands-on techniques. Essential vital signs, such as heart rate and rhythm, respiratory rate and depth, body temperature, and mucous membrane color should all be evaluated.


Blood Pressure Monitoring in Exotic Animal Species

Arterial blood pressure is a function of heart rate, blood volume, stroke volume, and arterial compliance. Indirect arterial blood pressure is most commonly measured by Doppler ultrasound or non-invasive oscillometric monitors. What are the limitations of indirect blood pressure measurements in exotic animal patients? How is this technique unique in exotic companion mammals when compared to dogs and cats? How is this technique performed in birds and can this procedure be used in reptiles?


Electrocardiography in Exotic Animal Species

Electrocardiography can be used to detect and diagnose arrhythmias and conduction abnormalities, particularly during long-term anesthesia. How are leads attached to exotic animal patients? And what is the normal appearance of normal electrocardiogram tracings in birds or reptiles?


Pulse Oximetry in Exotic Animal Species

Heart rate and oxygenation should ideally be monitored during every anesthetic event. Patient size can limit the accuracy of pulse oximetry readings in exotic companion mammals and this technique has not been validated in birds or reptiles, however trends during the course of anesthesia can still provide useful clues to patient clinical status.


Anesthetic Record 1

Created by veterinary technician specialist, Katrina Lafferty, this anesthesia monitoring record is available for download as as both a Word document and PDF.


Anesthetic Record 2

Download this anesthetic record, available as a PDF, and recommended by veterinary technician specialist, Katrina Lafferty.


Anesthetic Record 3

Download this anesthesia & recovery record, suggested by veterinary technician specialist, Katrina Lafferty. This anesthetic record was created by the Association of Veterinary Anaesthetists and is from a collection of online resources recommended by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Practice Standards Scheme.


Anesthetic Record 4

Download this anesthesia monitoring sheet, available as a PDF, and recommended by veterinary technician specialist, Katrina Lafferty.


T.J. Lafeber Avian Practitioner of the Year Award

The T.J. Lafeber Avian Practitioner of the Year Award is given annually, or at the Selection Committee’s discretion, to an outstanding practitioner that has advanced the quality of health care for companion birds.


Understanding Reptile Dental Anatomy: Clinical Applications

Reptile dentition tends to be relatively uniform with a simple, conical shape. Most reptile teeth are loosely attached with the dental attachment most superficial in acrodontic species. Tooth loss and replacement is a normal occurrence in reptile species with pleurodont dentition, which includes snakes, and many lizards. Take special care when handling reptiles with acrodont dentition as teeth will not be replaced when infected or fractured. Additionally, periodontal disease is common in captive lizards with acrodont dentition such as bearded dragons and chameleons. Periodontal disease is an insidious condition. As plaque formation builds and gingivitis worsens, many reptiles will continue to eat. The owner may not observe problems until disease is quite advanced. Feeding lizards an unnatural, soft diet is believed to promote plaque development and the development of periodontal disease.

Leigh Ann Clayton, DVM, DABVP (Avian), DABVP (Reptilian/Amphibian)

Leigh Ann Clayton is Vice President of Animal Care and Welfare at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland. Leigh earned an undergraduate degree in political science from Bryn Mawr College, then obtained a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Tufts University in 1997…

Eva Strüve, DVM

Eva Strüve (née Schuster) is a veterinarian for exotic animals and is specialized on reptiles and amphibians. After her graduation from the University of veterinary medicine (foundation) she worked at the department for small mammals, reptiles and amphibians for 3,5 years…

Teresa Bousquet, DVM

Teresa Bousquet is an associate veterinarian at Park Veterinary Centre in Alberta, Canada. Originally from Saskatoon, Dr. Bousquet is a 2007 graduate of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. Teresa is a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians…

Sara Ruane, PhD

Sara Ruane is an Assistant Professor at Rutgers University-Newark in the Department of Biological Sciences. Her research is primarily based in reptile systematics and evolution. . The Ruane Lab seeks to simultaneously inform reptile and amphibian systematics while also answering broad, contemporary questions in evolutionary biology. Some of Dr. Ruane’s current research focuses on the phylogenetics of the Malagasy pseudoxyrhophiines, as well as examining undescribed diversity in the poorly known New Guinea snakes. While her interests in herpetology are broad, she primarily focuses on snakes, especially with respect to systematics, phylogenetics, and phylogeography.

Sylvia Parmentier, DVM, Certified Specialist in Poultry & Avian Medicine

Sylvia Parmentier is a veterinarian from Frankfurt, Germany. After completing her studies, Sylvia worked for 5 years at the Clinic for Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians and Fish in Gießen and completed her veterinary specialty residency for economic, game and ornamental fowl.

What Did You Miss in 2017?

LafeberVet is an ever-growing online exotic animal medicine library. Although some NEW content is featured in email campaigns, follow us on Twitter to keep up on all the latest posts…

Julie DeCubellis, DVM, MS

Julie DeCubellis completed a bachelor’s degree in biology at Rhode Island College and a master’s degree in animal nutrition at North Carolina State University. Julie graduated from St. George’s University of Veterinary Medicine in 2007…