Treating poorly parrots, sickly snakes and indisposed iguanas is all in a day’s work for Wakefield vet Valeria Vastano.
Valeria has just been appointed as new vet at Chantry Vets’ surgery in Ossett, which recently underwent a huge refurbishment to improve the treatment of exotic pets, as well as other small animals.
It isn’t just cats and dogs that are brought through the doors of the surgery in Prospect Road, as reptiles, birds and wildlife are also benefiting from the expertise of the resident vet.
Valeria has a GP Certificate in Exotic Pets, which include rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters, as well as more unusual pets like parrots, snakes and bearded dragons.
The surgery has now undergone a refurbishment following £22,000 of investment. As well as a revamped consult room, Chantry Vets has created separate waiting rooms to segregate cats and exotics species from barking dogs, and an improved reception area.
There has been additional investment in exotics equipment, including an incubator, a vivarium for snakes and reptiles, a terrarium and cages.
Valeria said: “I like all species of exotics and I am particularly interested in reptiles.
“Treating exotics is a challenge as they have their own special needs, so it is particularly interesting and they are very beautiful in my opinion. We have great collaboration with reptile and bird charities, as well as treating all kinds of wildlife, but we are also here for cats and dogs.”
Charities like Reptilia Reptile Rescue in Ossett bring patients into the surgery, while other veterinary practices that don’t have an exotics vets also refer clients to Valeria.
Chantry Vets practice manager, Victoria Lee, said: “The treatment of exotics is a specialist area and it needs specialist equipment.
“There are a lot of exotic species kept as pets in this area so there is a high demand and we take referral cases from other veterinary practices.
“We are delighted to welcome Valeria to Chantry Vets as it is not easy to recruit an exotics vet as it is a niche specialism.”