"Why do we offer courses on exotics for free?"

Dr Claudia and Manfred Hochleithner explain:

Dr Manfred Hochleithner said: "Claudia and I are lucky to have been working in this field for over 30 years and honestly, we can make a very good living from it. It was a long learning process were we had to do many things by „learning by doing“ which did not always have the best outcome for our clients. Many veterinarians do not see birds, reptiles or small mammals.. However in many parts of the world, there is no second chance for these patients. Owners are not willing to go somewhere else or there is no better choice - therefore anything which can be done for this animals is better than doing nothing - but veterinarians have to start. When we offered these lectures in collaboration with national organisations, we realized that many veterinarians are interested in exotics. Unfortunately, spending money on this discipline is an issue because, at least at the beginning, there may be not any extra income from treating these species. BUT it is a question of Animal Welfare, with some little knowledge everyone can achieve very much for these patients: wounds heal fast and perfect in birds and reptiles, small mammals often just need pain medication to feel much better and can get over the problem. Small things like this can be learned very quickly - so Claudia and I just want to give something back to the group of animals that have made our life so wonderful!

Course curriculum

  • 01


    • Introduction

    • Let's share our experience

    • Notes before you start

  • 02

    Catch them

    • Introduction (1)

    • Introduction: Psittacine Birds

    • Catching a (tame) Palm Cockatoo

    • Restraint

    • Catching wild parrots

    • An example...

    • Restraint: Macawas

    • Exam: Restraint

  • 03

    Chemical Help

    • Introduction

    • Chemical Restraint

    • Premedication / Preanesthetic considerations

    • During restraint - remarks

    • Heatloss

    • Non-contact infrared thermometer measurement

    • Monitoring

    • Anesthetic monitoring of a Peking duck

    • Injectable anesthetic agents

    • Literature

    • Chemical Restraint: anesthesia of an African Grey

    • Inexpensive masks

    • Chemical Restraint (2)

    • Chemical help

    • Chemical help: midazolam intranasal

    • Exam

  • 04

    Restraint: birds of prey

    • Restraint: Birds of prey

    • Restraint: Golden Eagle

    • Literature

    • Catch them: Gyrfalcon

  • 05

    Clinical Examination

    • Introduction

    • Introduction (2)

    • Literature

    • Husbandry

    • Examination

    • Feces

    • Clinical Examination: parrot

    • Clinical Examination

    • Clinical Examination (2)

    • Clinical exmination (3)

    • Diagnostic Test for Malnutrition: normal feather

    • Diagnostic Test for Malnutrition: not normal feather

    • Stress bars / fault bars

    • Exam

  • 06


    • Introduction

    • I.M. Injection

    • S.C. Injection

    • I.O Injection/Infusion

    • Radiographs of I.O injection

    • Oral administration: tube feeding

    • How to make a cheap feeding tupe

    • Tube feeding overview

    • Tube feeding overview (2)

    • Tube feeding - budgerigar

    • Tube feeding - cockatiel

    • Exam

  • 07

    Diagnostic Procedures

    • Introduction

    • Venipuncture

    • Venipuncture (2)

    • Blood collection: Basilic vein

    • Blood collection: Jugular vein (Budgerigar)

    • Blood collection: Medial metatarsal vein

    • Venipuncture (3)

    • Blood Chemistry

    • Blood chemistry (2)

    • Haematology

    • Exam

  • 08


    • Introduction

    • Radiation protection

    • Basic Considerations

    • Positioning

    • How to x-ray a cockatoo

    • Orientating yourself

    • Normal radiographs

    • Magnification or augmented radiology

    • Radiology (1)

    • Radiology (2)

    • Toxicity

    • Heavy metal toxicosis

    • Radiographic contrast studies (1)

    • Radiographic contrast studies (2)

    • Exam

  • 09


    • Introduction

    • Diagnostic endoscopy- surgical sexing

    • Characteristics of endoscopes

    • Instruments

    • Left lateral approach

    • Common problems, solutions and tips (1)

    • Common problems, solutions and tips (2)

    • Surgical sexing

    • Female birds

    • Male birds

    • Endoscopic-guided biopsies (1)

    • Endoscopic-guided biopsies (2)

    • Taking a biopsy - Peregrine falcon (1)

    • Taking a biopsy - aspergillosis (1)

    • Taking a biopsy - Peregrine falcon (2)

    • Taking a biopsy - aspergillosis (2)

    • Tracheal examination

    • Tracheal Aspergilloma

    • Fill in the arrows and names

    • Exam

  • 10


    • Introduction

    • Basics

    • How an ultrasound works

    • Ultrasound machines

    • Ultrasound language (1)

    • Ultrasound language (2)

    • Familiarize yourself

    • Some considerations - birds are different (1)

    • Some considerations - birds are different (2)

    • Indications for ultrasound

    • Indications for ultrasound - eggbinding

    • Indications for ultrasound - tumors (1)

    • Indications for ultrasound - tumors (2)

    • Indications for ultrasound - tumors (3)

    • Indications for ultrasound - cardiac disease (1)

    • Indications for ultrasound - cardiac disease (2)

    • Indications for ultrasound - liver changes (1)

    • Indications for ultrasound - liver changes (2)

    • Indications for ultrasound - kidneys

    • Indications for ultrasound - ascites (1)

    • Indications for ultrasound - ascites (2)

    • Exam

    • Closing message on ultrasound

  • 11

    Final remarks

    • Thank you!



Claudia and Hochleithner received their degree in veterinary from the University of Vienna, where they met. They have published over 40 scientific papers and contributed to 7 books. They currently run the Tierklinik Strebersdorf in Vienna, Austria, where 50% of their patients are cats and dogs and 50% are “Exotics” (http://www.kleintierklinik.at/). Both have lectured at many occasions, worldwide: international lectures: USA, South Afrika, Japan, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Germany, UK, Bulgaria, Argentina, Sweden, Spain, Brasil, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Thailand, Turkey, Croatia, Serbia, Russia, Montenegro, Hong Kong and Malaysia. Claudia has contributed the Chapter Ultrasound in the 2nd Edition and the 3rd Edition of Current Therapy in Reptile Medicine and Surgery by Mader & Divers. Manfred is a Diplomate European College of Zoological Medicine and he is the President of the Vienna Veterinary Chamber, since 2017. They share some wonderful hobbies: - they founded the conservation organization 'Endangered' - they enjoy diving and underwater documentation and have published the book 'Underwater Universe' as well as other documentaries and photo exhibitions.

Claudia and Manfred Hochleithner

Diplomate European College of Zoological Medicine

Pricing options

We are currently offering this course for free


“It is my honor to offer my international colleagues, my recommendation to watch and learn from two of my longest friends and students who continue to offer PRACTICAL information in their selfless manor. ”

Diplomate Emeritus American Board of Veterinary Practitioners - Avian Practice ¦ Dip European College of Zoological Medicine (Avian) (retired) ¦ Founder President, HBD International Inc and Developer of Harrison’s Bird Foods.

Greg J. Harrison, DVM

“I highly recommend this well-oriented bird starter course for anyone interested in dealing with pet birds. Manfred and Claudia are underwater photographers who have devoted their lives for the wellness of wild and exotic animals. They are both worldwide travelers presenting lectures in exotic pet medicine, especially avian medicine. They understand the needs of veterinarians in countries on the other side of the world and I have had the pleasure to attend one of their lectures in Bangkok (WSAVA 2003). Manfred has been a keynote speaker for several avian medicine lectures and have now provided a comprehensive course on how to follow through with birds in a clinical setting. The course covers basic and advanced skills and techniques in bird medicine as well as professional tips and tricks collected from years of experience. They both truly understand the need for continuing education for veterinarians and has made it easy for every vet practitioner. No matter where you are from, this online course will boost your confidence for best practice in avian medicine.”