Please note: The Avian and Exotics Service will be discontinued as of August 6, 2022. Please speak to your veterinarian about how to arrange care for your pet after August 6, 2022.

The Avian and Exotics Service is available to provide veterinary care to a variety of species. All patients under the care of another veterinarian, patients from outside the region of Guelph, and all small mammals require a formal referral to the Service. However, clients with bird, reptile, amphibian, fish, or invertebrate patients from within the region of Guelph, who do not have an existing family veterinarian, may call the Companion Animal Hospital directly, at 519-823-8830, to determine if the Service is able to see their pet without a referral.

Note, as of September 7, 2021, the Avian and Exotics Service will no longer provide after-hours emergency care. Instead, we ask you to contact your local Veterinary Emergency Hospital, such as Campus Estates Animal Hospital, 1460 Gordon Street South, Guelph, Ontario, N1L 1C8, 519-837-1214,

Certain animals cannot be admitted, examined, or treated by the Avian and Exotics Service without specific approval from the Service Chief due to liability and safety issues. These include, among others, privately owned non-domestic felids, large crocodilians, primates, bats, raccoons, skunks, and opossums. We do not see venomous snakes or venomous invertebrates. Clients presenting wildlife species as owned animals must have the appropriate Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Canadian Wildlife permits in order to be seen. Please contact the Companion Animal Hospital and arrange to speak with an Avian and Exotics Service clinician if you are interested in having us see an animal that falls under these guidelines.

Below is a list of species the OVC Avian and Exotics Service will examine:

Small Mammals

  • Ferrets
  • Rabbits
  • Guinea pigs
  • Other rodents: chinchillas, rats, mice, hamsters, gerbils
  • Sugar gliders and African pigmy hedgehogs
  • Pet pigs, goats, and small ungulates are seen by the Large Animal Clinic


  • Parrots, cockatoos, lories
  • Birds of prey (falcons, hawks, eagles, vultures, owls)
  • Waterfowls (ducks, swans, geese)
  • Racing pigeons and other columbids
  • Pet chickens, turkeys, and quails
  • Passerine birds (fringillidae, estrildidae, exotic passerines)
  • Toucans and other pet ramphastids
  • Ratites (ostriches, emus)
  • Zoological avian species (cranes, hornbills, pelicans, water birds…)


  • Lizards
  • Chelonians: turtles and tortoises
  • Snakes (excluding venomous snakes)
  • Other squamates


  • Amphibians
  • Pet fish
  • Invertebrates (excluding venomous invertebrates)