exotic animal services in elkin

Exotic Animal Services

We offer veterinary services for the birds, pocket pets, and reptiles of Elkin, NC, and beyond!

Our Exotic Animal Services

If you are looking for exceptional animal care for your dog, cat, bird, or other small pet, look no further than the compassionate team here at Animal Ark of Elkin. While dogs and cats remain the most common pets, many people are finding birds, small mammals, and reptiles can make wonderful pets and better fit their lifestyle.

It is our mission to provide the best animal care to all your pet family members. Our veterinarian, Dr. Richard Brinegar, has over 15 years of experience caring for avian, exotic, and wildlife species. Different pets have very different medical and nutritional needs, and failure to address these can have grim long-term consequences, so talk to us as early as possible to map out a strategy for your special pet family members.


Although parrots and other feathered friends do not receive regular vaccinations like dogs or cats, they still need regular checkups to keep them in top health. Dr. Brinegar recommends annual physicals, as well as fecal and bloodwork tests. Birds require a special diet and can become malnourished on pet store bird food. We encourage you to talk with us about diet, training, cage considerations, and any health questions you may have. Birds are experts at keeping many health problems hidden until it is too late to fix the problem. Regular veterinary checkups and diagnostic testing can help prevent this tragedy. Parrots are also rather well known for getting into trouble and injuring themselves. Having a veterinarian who is familiar with your bird when he or she is in good health is a wonderful resource when there is an illness or emergency.


We welcome your reptile to our practice for any veterinary care they may require, as long as they are a non-venomous species. If your reptile has a change in feeding habits or activity level, it is vitally important that he or she is seen by our experienced reptile veterinarian, Dr. Richard Brinegar.

Small Mammals and Pocket Pets

If your family pet is a rabbit, guinea pig, hamster, gerbil, chinchilla, ferret or rodent, our team here in Elkin, North Carolina, can help you take the best possible care of them. Most small mammals do not need vaccinations, but they still need regular check-ups to ensure their nutritional needs are met and remain healthy. Obesity and dental problems are very common in small mammals and can be avoided with regular check-ups.

Avian Surgery

Birds are marvelous, interesting creatures, and for many people, they make fantastic pets. As a bird owner, you know how quickly your bird became a loved member of your family, and at Animal Ark Veterinary Hospital, we want to protect that relationship with our avian medicine solutions, which include the ability to perform many types of routine and advanced avian surgeries.

Our animal hospital is one of the most knowledgeable about caring for feathered friends in the Elkin, North Carolina area. Not only is our leading veterinarian – Dr. Richard Brinegar – a well-versed, talented doctor, but as a member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians, he has years of experience in working with a variety of avian species.

We take every precaution to ensure your bird receives the highest level of care possible. Before each avian surgery, we perform a thorough physical exam and pre-anesthetic testing. We exclusively monitor your bird during the operation, and after, we provide appropriate pain medication to help your pet stay comfortable as they recover.

We are able to provide comprehensive surgical care to birds because our animal hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art surgical monitoring equipment, including the latest options for respiratory, temperature, blood pressure, and electrocardiography monitoring. Our capabilities range from standard soft-tissue surgical procedures to more complicated operations involving radiosurgery and orthopedics.

Your bird is in capable, experienced hands when it has an avian surgery procedure performed at Animal Ark Veterinary Hospital. Schedule an appointment at our animal hospital today to discuss your bird’s healthcare needs.

Veterinary Radiology

To better visualize your pet’s bones and internal organs, we offer digital x-rays. With the advances in digital x-ray technology, we can now manipulate the digital images that we take off a pet’s systems. This has allowed us to detect hairline fractures and orthopedic conditions that were previously not visible. We use x-rays to diagnose and examine broken bones, obstructions, arthritis, masses, and tumors.

Exotic Animal Surgery

We offer soft tissue surgery services for all the pets we see. We have specialized monitoring equipment and highly trained technicians to ensure the safest possible anesthesia for your pet. We also perform microsurgery, as some of our patients are very small. Our specialized radiosurgical equipment ensures that blood loss during surgical procedures is kept to a minimum. Common surgeries we provide include spaying and neutering for small mammals and lizards, mass removals, wound and shell repair, and abscess removal.

Our advanced analgesia protocols include local anesthesia, multimodal therapy, constant rate infusions, nerve blocks, and more. We work hard to make sure your pet’s experience with us is free of pain and anxiety.

Exotic Animal Grooming

We offer grooming for mammals, birds, and reptiles. Our offerings include nail trims, wing trims, beak trims, hoof trims, baths, and general grooming.

Exotic Animal Diagnostics
We have cutting-edge in-house equipment for obtaining serum chemistries and complete blood counts. We also do Gram stains, fecal exams, urinalyses, and cytology exams in-house. We work with multiple laboratories around the country that offer specialized tests for exotic pets, including bacterial and fungal cultures, PCR tests for viral and parasitic diseases, serology for E. cuniculi, assays for lead and zinc, serology for hormone levels, and more.