Exotic Pet Care

We are honored to serve pets of all types in Charlotte, NC and the surrounding areas. Our team is passionate about treatment and care for various exotics including ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs, mini pigs, and reptiles to name a few. In August 2022, we welcomed a board-certified specialist Dr. Tracey Ritzman, DVM DABVP to the team which has allowed us to offer the best in Avian and Exotic Companion Small Mammal Care to both our clients and referring Veterinarians in the area.

Our Exotic Small Mammal Vet Care Services Include:

Species Seen:

  • Rabbits
  • Ferrets
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Chinchillas
  • Hedgehogs
  • Sugar Gliders
  • Small Rodents (Rats, Mice, Gerbils, Hamsters)
  • Prairie Dogs
  • Degus
  • Fennec Foxes
  • Other

Please note: Mammals from the wild (wildlife) such as raccoons, wild foxes, squirrels, opossums, etc. are not seen. Care for these animals needs to be provided by a licensed wildlife rehabilitation center.

Exotics have very specific nutritional and environmental requirements. Many people discover that having an exotic pet is quite a commitment as food requirements, light cycles, temperatures, and humidity requirements are all very specific.

If your exotic pet is ever acting abnormal, not eating, drinking, or lethargic we recommend bringing them in right away for an exam. Oftentimes, when they start displaying mild signs of illness they are much worse than they appear. To have the best chance of successfully treating your pet it is very important to catch their illnesses early.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns you have!

Specialty Care for Exotic Pet Mammals:

  • Referral Care
  • Urgent/Acute/Emergency Care
  • Wellness Care
  • Preventative /Vaccination Care: Ferrets (rabies and distemper vaccines) and Rabbits (RHDV2 vaccine)
  • Behavioral Consultation
  • Nutritional Consultation

Testing and Procedures Available:

  • Hematology
  • Bacterial Culture and Sensitivity Testing
  • Radiography
  • Ultrasonography
  • Infectious disease testing
  • Fecal testing
  • Cytology
  • Biopsy
  • Soft tissue surgery
  • Orthopedic Medical Care: Splints, Bandages, Physical Therapy, Laser Therapy
  • Orthopedic Surgery for fracture repair and stabilization
  • Abscess Care
  • Dental Care (Specialized dental care for exotic pet mammals): This care is different from dog and cat dental care. Dental care for exotic pet mammals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, and chinchillas is focused on dental trimming for tooth overgrowth, filing, and occasion extractions

Client Information About Services Offered for Exotic Mammals:

Dental exam: Dental disease (overgrowth and/or malocclusion, and dental infection/abscesses) are a common problem in small mammals, and it may contribute to other illnesses. A thorough dental exam can help us make recommendations for your pet’s oral health.

Nutrition counseling: Our small furry patients have lots of special needs, including very particular diets! Dr. Ritzman can help you determine the best diet to feed your pet that will help them stay healthy and happy.

Fecal analysis: Testing your pet’s stool gives us a lot of information! We look for the types of bacteria that are in the gastrointestinal tract, as well as for various parasites.

Bloodwork: Screening bloodwork usually consists of a complete blood count (CBC) and a biochemistry panel. These tests give valuable information about the internal health of your pets The CBC allows us to look for signs of infection and inflammation, as well as for anemia. The biochemistry panel allows us to evaluate kidney and liver function, protein levels, muscle damage, and pancreas function.

Radiographs: We often recommend taking radiographs (x-rays). This testing allows visualization of the respiratory system, the heart, the liver, the GI tract, the spleen, the kidneys, the skeletal system, and the reproductive tract.

Ultrasound: This is a valuable diagnostic test for imaging the internal organs, evaluation for possible masses or internal disease, and for reproductive evaluation (pregnancy check, fetal evaluation).

Vaccines: We recommend vaccinating pet ferrets for both distemper and rabies viruses. Dr. Ritzman can talk with you about these vaccinations and help you make the best choices to keep your ferret protected.

For pet rabbits, there is now a provisional vaccine available to help protect against Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus 2. This vaccine is now available at Carolinas Veterinary Care Center. Dr. Ritzman can discuss the indications for the vaccine and its potential benefits.

Soft Tissue Surgery and Orthopedic Surgery: Dr. Ritzman has vast experience performing surgery on these special pets and offers the most current techniques for elective surgery (spay and neuter) and non-elective surgery, pain management, and anesthesia.


Whether your pet has two legs or four, the Carolinas Veterinary Care Clinic team is here to help throughout every stage of their life.