Expert exotic care


We have a busy caseload of all types of birds ranging from ostriches to tiny zebra finches. We are pleased to provide veterinary care to well established falconry centres and as such have gained experience in the treatment of both medical and surgical conditions of all raptors such as owls, falcons and hawks etc.

Companion birds we treat include pet poultry and waterfowl as well as the household pet parrots, budgies and finches.

Our nurses are trained in the handling and medicating of the avian patient as well as monitoring and administering anaesthesia enabling us to undertake a full range of surgical techniques such as orthopaedics and diagnostic procedures including blood testing, scanning and X-rays etc.

In-house nebulization of pneumonic patients is routine giving good results when combined with supportive therapies.

African Greys are an intelligent bird are probably the commonest avian patient that we see. They are most often hand-reared and then sold at weaning at about 14 weeks. They are then known as imprinted and will rapidly come to regard one or two members of the family as their potential mate! It is important at this time to make sure that they do not become totally reliant on one person as even a short holiday away may result in you returning to a severely stressed feather plucking bird. They need plenty of rest (a 12-hour day) and will not thrive on a diet based on sunflower. We advocate and use compound foods such as Harrisons or Nutriberries supplemented with fruit, vegetables and pulses!

For techniques to avoid stress and the commonest manifestation of feather plucking please contact your local surgery.

Fish & Amphibians

Fish require very specialist care and it is important that any budding aquarist researches their potential new pets before investing in their first tank.

A common misconception is that a small tank is the easiest place to start. In practice the larger the tank the easier it is to maintain a stable, controlled environment - less susceptible to changes in water quality or temperature.

When first setting up an aquarium don't be in a rush to introduce your first fish; instead let the water quality stabilise and plants become established for a while. Seek advice on appropriate filtration, oxygenation and lighting.

Our staff are experienced in handling and treating a number of amphibian species be they anurids (frogs and toads) or salamanders and axolotls. One very genuine concern in the management of captive amphibians is the fungus chytridiomycosis and the threat it poses to wild populations. Huge numbers of wild amphibians are at risk from this deadly fungus and one such risk is the inappropriate disposal of contaminated water from pet amphibian tanks into the environment or sewerage system. Please treat all water with bleach before disposal.



The variety of species of tortoise, turtle and terrapin being kept as pets is increasing all the time. The husbandry requirements vary widely from species to species. It is very important that you seek advice on heating, lighting, humidity, feeding and substrates before you acquire your pet. Specialist pet shops can help in this regard or, alternatively, our staff will be very willing to help.

For some of the more commonly kept species of testudo tortoise an annual period of hibernation has significant health benefits. A vet check and advice consult in the autumn is advisable. 

The Tortoise Table is a very good site, dedicated to the diet and husbandry of tortoises.

Lizards and Snakes

There are a multitude of species all with different requirements of diet and habitat etc. Again, know the species and seek informed advice with regard to feeding, heating and lighting.

Do not guess at the temperature of your pet’s environment! A major heat source controlled by a thermostat means you can be confident your pet will neither be chilled or cooked if the room becomes too cold or too hot.

When considering a choice between ceramic heaters or infrared bulbs remember you can see at a glance if an infrared bulb is working whereas a ceramic bulb may fail without you knowing!

Snakes wrap themselves around a heat source and suffer severe burns – even prolonged lying on a heat mat can cause burning. Make sure all heat sources are guarded to prevent direct contact.

Zoo & Wildlife

At Robson and Prescott we treat a wide range of wildlife and work with a number of zoological collections including; Down at the Farm, Eshottheugh Animal Park, Pets' Corner at Jesmond Dene, Kielder Water Birds of Prey Centre, Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens. As such we have worked with species as varied as whales, seals, camels, porcupines, primates, bats and bush dogs.

We do on occasion see some surprising pets in private ownership be it a meerkat, a monkey or a civet, but typically these creatures require very specialist care and are often better served in the zoo environment.

With injured wildlife cases veterinary management and treatment is only a small part of the story and as such we work in conjunction with organisations such as the RSPCA and BDMLR (British Divers Marine Life Rescue) to try and ensure appropriate recuperation, rehabilitation and release wherever possible.

Our most frustrating presentations are those of fledgling birds in the spring that well-meaning members of the public have assumed are abandoned. The parent birds are often close by but once a human has taken the fledgling away reintroduction becomes very difficult.

For any further information or advice, please contact your local practice and speak to one of our friendly staff. Alternatively, you can book an appointment online.

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