Archived News

Hospital Increases Examination Space for Exotic Services

June 27, 2016

New examination space will greatly enhance the capabilities of the Companion Exotic Animal Medicine and Surgery Service.

New examination space will greatly enhance the capabilities of the Companion Exotic Animal Medicine and Surgery Service.

The Companion Exotic Animal Medicine and Surgery Service will soon see a much-needed expansion of their workspace. Three new examination rooms will be constructed in existing space adjacent to their current location in the hospital. The project will greatly enhance the service’s capabilities for treating patients and provide dedicated examination space necessary for the best possible quality of exotics care.

The new space will be configured in ways to create positive workflow environments, allowing for different set-ups consistent with the differences in exotic patients. With the service seeing animals that weigh only a few ounces to animals that weigh a few hundred pounds, it’s important for the team to be able to examine those animals in spaces that allow for a variety of configurations. The location of new space will also make for easier transport of larger patients that may need help from the parking lot to examination rooms.

With new space, comes new equipment, as the service will implement the use of computers on wheels (COW) workstations to enable working in limited or restricted spaces, such as areas across the room that may not be accessible to a clinician if the computer is stationary or when a larger patient (e.g. 200-pound tortoise) is in the room. The COWs will allow clinicians the ability to quickly access vital patient information in an immediate manner.

Currently, the service has only one dedicated examination space and utilizes shared space with other services. This can pose a problem, for example, if the previous patient (a dog) leaves a scent that may cause stress to the next patient (a rabbit that may feel threatened by a dog). Having more dedicated space for exotics will create safer environments for all these patients, many of whom are prey animals in the wild and scare easily.

“Pet owners are expecting the same level of care for their exotics as is available for their dogs and cats,” said Dr. Michelle Hawkins, chief of the Companion Exotic Animal Medicine and Surgery Service. “Our ability to provide care for exotics has grown tremendously over the last 20 years. This addition to our service will significantly contribute to the high quality care all of our patients deserve.”

A portion of this expansion was provided by the Richard M. Schubot Parrot Wellness and Welfare Program, which is dedicated to supporting resources, education and clinical care of companion parrots, providing optimal quality of life and disease prevention and treatment. This type of expansion is an important component of the school's vision for the future of the hospital, looking toward a state-of-the-art Veterinary Medical Center. The new space is anticipated to be completed by November.

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About the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital
The William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at the University of California, Davis—a unit of the #1 world ranked School of Veterinary Medicine—provides state-of-the-art clinical care while serving as the primary clinical teaching experience for DVM students and post graduate veterinarian residents. The VMTH treats more than 51,000 animals a year, ranging from cats and dogs to horses, cows and exotic species. To learn more about the VMTH, please go to Timely news updates can be received on its Facebook ( and Twitter ( pages.

Media Contact:
Rob Warren
VMTH Communications & Marketing Officer