Exotic Pet care

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Exotic Animal Vet Care in Virginia Beach, VA

At Veterinary Hospital of Virginia Beach, we understand just how important your exotic animal is, and that they deserve a very special kind of care to suit their unique needs. Our veterinarian, Dr. Silverstone, has impressive experience providing care for all sorts of exotic animals. In fact, he was once the exotic animal vet at Busch Gardens, and he even served as a consultant for the development of the computer game Zoo Vet II, Endangered Animals. Dr. Silverstone is incredibly comfortable treating a wide variety of exotics including birds, reptiles, small mammals, fish, and even bees!

Keep your exotic animal in top shape. Schedule a visit with our exotic animal vet!

Or call us at (757) 340-6996

Why Does My Exotic Pet Need to See the Vet?

Cats and dogs aren’t the only ones who need regular vet visits! Exotic animals benefit substantially from regular vet visits. Many of these creatures are considered prey animals, which means that in the wild, any sign of illness or injury meant they were significantly more vulnerable to attack by a predator. Therefore, many birds, reptiles, and small mammals hide signs of illness until the disease is much further progressed (and more difficult to treat). With regular visits to your exotic animal vet, your can help your special companion live a longer, healthier life.

An Overview of our Exotic Pet Care

We’re able to offer wellness care, sick care, as well as perform some surgeries like growth removals, foreign body removals, wound repair, etc. Plus, we’ll take an in-depth look at the following topics to find ways to reduce the risk of illness at home:


The key to developing the right habitat for your pet is to recreate their natural environment in your home as closely as possible. For example, reptiles often need a UV lamp to warm themselves, like they would in the sun; amphibians require a certain level of moisture or humidity in the air that matches their rainforest or swampland home; and small mammals like chinchillas and other desert species require a dry, warm environment. Plus, there should be plenty of stimulating aspects to the habitat that help your pet practice natural behaviors (like burrowing for some small mammals, foraging for birds, etc.). Be sure to do your research to learn exactly what an exotic pet would need before deciding to make them your companion.


Nutrition, too, should match your pet’s diet in the wild. However, there are some pelleted diets for birds and small mammals that have the nutrients your pet needs to stay healthy. For reptiles, you’ll have to feed them based on their natural diet, whether they are a herbivore (iguanas), omnivore (bearded dragons), or a carnivore (snakes).


Not all pets enjoy being handled. While birds and many small mammals can enjoy human company, many reptiles and amphibians are a bit more delicate. When handling reptiles, always be sure to support their full body weight, and don’t allow too many people in the room while they’re out of the cage. Also, always be sure to wash your hands after handling any exotic animal.


Some animals lead solitary lives, while others love being in a crowd. Birds, for instance, are flock animals and are happier with a companion or two. Rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, and many other small mammals also enjoy the company of a same-species companion. On the other hand, reptiles can be notoriously territorial and will not welcome a companion.

Our Fish Care Services

If you have a fish, or school of fish who seem a little green around the gills, we may be able to help. Dr. Silverstone can provide some basic fish care as well as water quality management. He also routinely connects with fish veterinary experts to determine the best course of action for his fish patients.

How We Can Help with Your Beehive

Dr. Silverstone is able to provide phone consultations as well as see appointments for beehives brought into the hospital. Whether you’ve already been diagnosed by a state agent, or you need help determining what could be ailing your hive, we can help. Dr. Silverstone can prescribe the latest medications for bee aliments to help your hive thrive.