Exotic Pet Care


Cleveland, TN pet owners – Appalachian Animal Clinic accepts exotic pets, including small mammals and reptiles as patients.

Any animal other than a companion animal dog or cat or horse or farm animal is considered an exotic pet.

Which exotic pets do we accept as patients at Appalachian Animal Clinic? 

  • Small mammals (ferrets, hedgehogs, gerbils, hamsters, sugar gliders, rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, mice, rats, other rodents)
  • Reptiles (bearded dragons, snakes, lizards, iguanas, geckos, turtles, tortoises)

Which animals and exotic pets do we not see at Appalachian Animal Clinic? 

Chickens, fish, foxes, goats, monkeys, pigs (pot-belly or any other), scorpions, snapping turtles, spiders, tarantulas, wildlife and any venomous specis. 

We recommend newly acquired exotic pets be housed separate from other pets for a minimum of 30 days. They should also receive an initial health evaluation by an experience exotic pet veterinarian prior to introduction to your other pets. During this veterinary visit, we will discuss how to care for your new exotic pet and answer any questions. Many pet stores offer a warranty on newly purchased animals that lasts for 2-3 weeks, and it is ideal to schedule a veterinary visit within this time frame. These measures are vital to ensuring that you have obtained a healthy pet free of diseases or infection that may be introduced into your collection.

We provide a safe and caring environment for your pet small mammal or reptile. We ask that you arrive with your pet in a carrier; this will help keep them safe from other animals that may be in the lobby, and will help reduce stress. We also ask that you bring a sample of your pet’s diet to your appointment. Upon check-in, you and your pet will be escorted into an exam room where someone will talk with you about your animal’s lifestyle, diet, and current and previous medical concerns.

Regular wellness visits are an integral part of maintaining the health of your exotic pet. The development of health issues in exotic pets can be gradual and difficult to detect by even the most diligent pet owner, underscoring the importance of regular veterinary examinations. During these visits, your pet receives a full physical exam, thorough evaluation of husbandry practices, and recommendations for improvement where necessary. We offer a wide array of wellness services for exotic patients at Appalachian Animal Clinic including:

  • Vaccinations
  • Parasite Screening / Fecal Exam
  • Oral / Dental Exam
  • Weight Checks
  • Blood Screening
  • Sex Determination
  • Spay/Neuter Procedures
  • Behavioral Counseling
  • Nail Trims

Meet Your Cleveland, TN Exotic Pet Veterinarian - Dr. Jennifer Thomas

Dr. Jennifer Thomas graduated from York College of Pennsylvania and earned her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Tennessee in 2017. 

Dr. Thomas enjoys working with companion animal exotics as well as general preventive care of all domestic pets.  She has completed the "Fear Free' certification to make vet appointments less stressful on the patient and owner.  Dr. Thomas loves in the Cleveland area with her guinea pig, bird and fish. 

Outside the vet hospital, she enjoys hiking, kayaking and baking.