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Veterinary Health Center

Exotic Pets and Zoological Medicine

Welcome to the Exotic Pets and Zoological Medicine Service at the KSU Veterinary Health Center where we provide wellness care, specialized diagnostic testing, medical and surgical care and emergency medicine to our exotic companion and zoological animals.  Our goal is to provide excellent, professional care to exotic pets and zoo animals. We have a dedicated staff of board-certified veterinarians specializing in exotic animals, veterinary nurses, specialty interns, and fourth-year veterinary students.

Companion Exotic Animal Services
  • Hedgehogs
  • Ferrets
  • Rabbits
  • Guinea pigs
  • Chinchillas and degus
  • Rats, mice, hamsters, gerbils and other rodent species
  • Sugar gliders
  • Captive birds (psittacines, passerines, poultry)
  • Reptiles (turtles, tortoises, lizards and snakes)
  • Fish
  • Frogs and other amphibious animals
Zoological Medicine Services

We provide routine, specialty, and emergency care to the 200+ animals at the Sunset Zoo in Manhattan, Kansas.


Meet Dr. Sara Gardhouse


The mission of the Exotics and Zoological Medicine Service is multi-faceted, including service, education, research, and training.  The zoological medicine internship at KSU provides veterinarians looking to specialize further or gain more experience in exotic animal medicine an outstanding opportunity to learn from board-certified specialists while practicing high quality medicine and surgery on exotic animal patients.  Veterinary students gain experience in a zoological setting with opportunities to work with many animals classified as rare or endangered.

The VHC exotic medicine rotation also provides fourth year students a broader range of opportunities in non-domestic animal healthcare, teaching them high quality medicine and surgery in different species.

Clinical Care

The service's primary emphasis is clinical care provided to exotic pets (birds, small mammals, reptiles, etc.), wildlife, and zoo animals. This focus is well grounded in on-site clinical work in both hospital and zoo settings.

Specialized Medical and Surgical Services

Our clinicians work closely in conjunction with other speciality services in the hospital (radiology, cardiology, dentistry, dermatology, oncology, ophthalmology, medicine, and surgery) to provide a collaborative approach to specialized medical and surgical options for your exotic pet.

Specialized Imaging Services

The Exotics and Zoological Medicine Service provides special imaging services including digital radiography, ultrasound, fluoroscopy, computed tomography (CT), MRI, and endoscopy.

Wildlife Care

Another important area of clinical care undertaken by the service is that given to sick, orphaned or injured Kansas wildlife. Some 450 times a year such an animal is found and brought to the VHC by members of a network of "Good Samaritans" that include, state conservation officers, county sheriff officers, individuals and licensed rehabilitation volunteers. Expenses are underwritten by the Hospital with some contributions coming through the Wild Animal Medical Care Fund.


The exotic animal specialists on the service perform individual research with the aim to expand the ever growing and needed knowledge base of exotic animal medicine. They are also involved in writing projects including clinical reports, book chapters and proceedings articles.

Exotic Pets and Zoological Medicine Services Healthcare Team


David Eshar, DVM, DABVP (ECM), DECZM (SM & ZHM)
Sara Gardhouse, DVM, DACZM, DABVP (ECM)
James Carpenter, MS, DVM, DACZM

Theresa Rooney, DVM, MPH

Veterinary Nurse
Amber Melton, RVT

Our clinic is fully equipped to treat all kinds of exotic animals and their needs