Small Animal Zoological Medicine Service at Texas A&M Offers Comprehensive Care for Exotic Pets

COLLEGE STATION – August 9, 2005- A new and improved Small Animal Zoological Medicine Service, under the direction of Dr. David Phalen and Dr. Jean Paré, is now available at the Small Animal Hospital, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University.

The service offers comprehensive care to a wide range of exotic animal species that are kept as pets. Pet owners who are seeking primary care for their exotic animal, and clients referred by their veterinarians are both welcome. “Animals treated will include pet and aviary birds, raptors kept by falconers, racing pigeons, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, and small exotic mammals such as ferrets, rodents, rabbits, hedgehogs, prairie dogs and sugar gliders,” according to Phalen. “We will also treat less traditional species that may be privately owned or in zoo collections including fish, large cats, bears, coatimundis, lemurs and macropods (wallabies, wallaroos, and kangaroos). At this time, the service cannot accommodate venomous reptiles or privately owned monkeys.”

The service is also seeking veterinary referrals related to avian behavioral problems, avian and exotic pet surgeries, reptiles, neoplastic diseases and ornamental fish, said Phalen. “We are also providing an ambulatory service to accommodate the needs of aviaries, reptile collections, and other small exotic pet production facilities.”

Phalen has an international reputation as an avian veterinarian and for his research of infectious diseases of birds. A Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners – Avian Specialty, Phalen holds a PhD in avian infectious diseases from Texas A&M. He has been a member of the College’s Zoological Medicine Section for more than 12 years, and has also been in private practice.

Paré is a Diplomate of the American College of Zoo Medicine and has expertise in the medicine and surgery of a wide range of exotic animals including birds, reptiles and fish. He was in private practice before completing a 2-year Clinical Residency in Wildlife and Exotic Animal Medicine and Surgery at the Ontario Veterinary College of the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, and a 3-year DVSc in Zoo Animal Medicine and Pathology at the Toronto Zoo. He served as a clinician at the Calgary Zoo prior to being a clinician and professor of zoological medicine at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Wisconsin for the last seven years.

A full-time registered veterinary technician experienced in handling avian and exotic species completes the staff.

The Small Animal Zoological Medicine Service will be working closely with other members of the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, including behaviorists, radiologists, oncologists and surgeons to provide a comprehensive referral service. The service will have access to state-of-the-art imaging facilities at the college, including a new digital fluoroscopy unit and CT helical scanner.

Appointments may be scheduled Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., and a 24-hour, 365-day a year emergency service is also provided by the Section’s faculty members. “Our goal is to offer the finest care and quality service to our patients, clients and referring veterinarians,” said Phalen. “The service has its own exam room, surgery suite and separate treatment areas designed to provide optimum environmental quality and bio-security for the various species that may require hospitalization.”

For more information on the Small Animal Zoological Medicine Service or to schedule an appointment, call 979-845-4300.