At Exotic Pet Clinic of Santa Cruz, you can trust that your pets are in great hands. Our compassionate, skillful staff is here to help when you need us most. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Animals Seen By Us
Welcome to the Exotic Pet Clinic of Santa Cruz, a primary care and referral veterinary practice for unusual pets. Our veterinarian Dr. Stern has extensive expertise and experience in exotic animal medicine and is board–certified in exotic companion mammal practice. Here are some of the animals that we work on.
Guinea Pigs & Chinchillas
Chickens, Ducks, & Geese
Rats, Hamster, & Mice
Turtles & Tortoises
Hawks, Falcons, and Owls
Frogs & Newts
Services We Offer
Exotic Pet Clinic of Santa Cruz offers a wide range of services for exotic pets, including:
Wellness & Preventative Health Care
Pet owners easily recognize signs of illness for cats and dogs, but these clues can be elusive in exotic animals. Regular wellness exams and basic diagnostic testing are the foundations needed to identifying health concerns before overt illness occurs. Regular check-ups, blood screenings, and parasites testing allow us to catch underlying illness, decrease in organ function, parasites, or infection even before your pet shows signs of being sick.
Many exotic species have specific dietary and housing requirements, and poor health and significant diseases can result when they aren’t met. We will provide you with the specific information you need to keep your pet happy and healthy.
Specialized Diagnostic Testing
We have cutting-edge in-house equipment for obtaining radiographs (x-rays), serum chemistries, and complete blood counts. We also do Gram stains, fecal exams, urinalyses, and cytology exams in-house. We work with multiple laboratories around the country that offer specialized tests for exotic pets, including bacterial and fungal cultures, PCR tests for viral and parasitic diseases, serology for E. cuniculi, assays for lead and zinc, serology for hormone levels, and more.
Advanced Dental Care (Rabbits, Chinchillas, Guinea Pigs, & Rats)
Dental disease is very common in pet rabbits, chinchillas, guinea pigs, and rats and can have a profound effect on your pet’s overall health. We routinely perform comprehensive oral examinations and advanced dental imaging and dental procedures, such as tooth trimming and extractions. We also do dental cleanings and treatments for ferrets and lizards and corrective beak trimming for birds and turtles.
Pets can have a wide variety of behavioral issues, from simple house training problems to severe anxiety and aggression issues. This is where we come in. We are qualified and experienced in diagnosing and addressing behavior problems with an approach that combines skills from veterinary clinical medicine, behavioral medicine, and pet training. As you learn to communicate with your pet, you’ll watch your bond grow over time.
Geriatric Pet Management
Just as our health care needs change as we age, your pet’s health care needs also change. Nutritional needs, exercise habits, and many aspects of your pet’s daily routine can change as your pet ages. But how can you tell the difference between “normal” aging and a medical problem? As in humans, some health issues that affect older pets can begin with very subtle changes that may go unnoticed until the problem has become serious.
Regular wellness visits are important for every stage of your pet’s life, so don’t forget to keep your senior pet’s scheduled wellness appointments. The best way to help protect your pet as he or she ages is to understand the aging process in pets. We understand that process and can help you help your pet. Even if your senior pet is already being treated for a medical condition, treatment recommendations can change as a condition progresses. Sometimes medication dosages need to be adjusted, or medication may need to be changed. Routine wellness blood work and other routine diagnostic testing are important for senior pets because these tests allow us to evaluate how your pet’s health is either responding to current management strategies or changing with age. We are here to help ensure that your pet is safe and happy throughout the “golden years.”
Wildlife Medicine & Surgery
At the Exotic Pet Clinic of Santa Cruz we don’t just help pets, we help wildlife too! We offer emergency services to wildlife such as those hit by cars. If you come across injured wildlife or what seems to be abandoned young, please contact us before touching them or bringing them in.
Some diseases that affect animals are preventable through vaccination. Starting your pet on the right schedule early on contributes to a long and healthy life. We have extensive knowledge regarding which vaccines are needed for each exotic pet species and can tailor vaccine recommendations based on your pet’s specific requirements.
Emergency Services (During Business Hours)
The highly-trained veterinarians and staff at the Exotic Pet Clinic of Santa Cruz are here to help pets who are suffering from life-threatening trauma and disease. Please call us in advance so we can block off time to see your pet and can set up needed equipment in preparation for your arrival.
Our hospital pharmacy is stocked with medications commonly prescribed for exotic pets. If we prescribe a medication that we don’t keep in-house, we will ensure that your prescription is filled by a reliable and accredited compounding pharmacy.
USDA International and Domestic Health Certificates
Health certificates are generally required for pets traveling across state lines, on airplanes, or internationally. We are certified to issue USDA accredited health certificates for all types of pets. Depending on your pet’s species and where you are going, health certificate requirements can include quarantine, vaccination, and specialized testing. Please note that if you are traveling internationally, or if your pet needs to be quarantined or tested prior to travel, you should book your appointment with us well in advance of your intended travel date. For more information on what is needed for domestic and international pet travel, click here.
Just like people, sometimes pets get sick. We are here to help when your pet is showing signs of illness. If your pet is hiding more than usual, lethargic, not eating, has abnormal stool, changes in quantity of urine or stool, or any other changes in behavior or habits, please contact us to schedule an appointment.
We offer soft tissue surgery services for all the pets we see. We have specialized monitoring equipment and highly trained technicians to ensure the safest possible anesthesia for your pet. We also perform microsurgery, as some of our patients are very small. Our specialized radiosurgical equipment ensures that blood loss during surgical procedures is kept to a minimum. Common surgeries we provide include spaying and neutering for small mammals and lizards, mass removals, wound, and shell repair, and abscess removal.
Our advanced analgesia protocols include local anesthesia, multimodal therapy, constant rate infusions, nerve blocks, and more. We work hard to make sure your pet’s experience with us is free of pain and anxiety.
Digital Radiography, Ultrasound, & Computed Tomography (CT) Scans
We provide specialized imaging services for small exotic patients, including digital radiography and ultrasound. We also work with a local specialty practice to offer computed tomography (CT) scans to our patients.
Specialty Animal Diets
Feeding a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight can increase life expectancy, quality of life, decrease risk of many diseases, and help manage chronic medical conditions.
Trauma & Wound Management
Microchip identification is the most reliable way to reunite pet owners with their lost pets. We use the smallest and most reliable brand of microchips in the market, making implantation safe, easy, and nearly painless.
Intensive Care for Critical Patients
We offer grooming for mammals, birds, and reptiles. Our offerings include nail trims, wing trims, beak trims, hoof trims, baths, and general grooming.
We offer behavioral consultations, specialty diets and supplements, and more. If you need something for your exotic pet we have not listed here, please call us and ask!