"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

    Let's share our experience

    • We want to share our clinical experience!

    • What will you learn in this course?

    • Availability of sedation and anesthesia

    • Sedation vs. General Anesthesia

    • Be Prepared!

    • What about fasting?

    • What about heat support?

    • What about recovery?

    • Restraint and Examination!

    • Quiz: true or false?

  • 02

    Anesthesia and intubation

    • Intubation vs. Mask anesthesia

    • Catch a chipmunk

    • Alfaxalone

    • Good basic information (1)

    • Comparative study - anaesthetic combinations

    • Good basic information (2)

    • Endotracheal intubation of rabbits

    • Airway management in rabbits

    • Comparison study: airway devide and intubation

    • Intubation risks

    • Guidelines on Anesthesia and Analgesia in Rabbits

    • Summary of dosages

    • Personal communication with Prof Dr Joerg Mayer

    • Rabbit with 1 mg midazolam - radiograph

    • Our experience with masks

    • Quiz: true or false (part 2)

  • 03

    Restraint & Examination of small mammals

    • Hedgehog

    • Rabbit

    • Guinea Pig

    • Mice

    • Degus

    • Ferrets

    • Ferrets: Additional information

    • Let's hold them - rabbits! (1)

    • Let's hold them - rabbits! (2)

    • Let's hold them

    • Clinical examination of four-toed hedgehog

    • Quiz: true or false (part 3)

  • 04

    Basic diagnostic procedures

    • Collecting blood

    • Blood collection guidelines

    • Blood collection - Vena saphena

    • Needle sizes

    • Blood collection from guinea pig's hind foot

    • Blood collection from a hairless rabbit

    • Blood collection from Vena Jugularis

    • Blood collection options in guinea pigs

    • Guinea Pig anatomy

    • Blood collection from guinea pig: vena jugularis

    • Blood collection from a hedgehog

    • Blood collection: considerations

    • Preparing blood samples

    • Species-specific idiosyncracies: Rabbit

    • Species-specific idiosyncracies: Rabbit (2)

    • Blood sample: guinea pig

    • Recommendation from the TVT

    • Vertebrate Animal Research: Guidelines for blood collection

    • Quiz: blood collection

  • 05


    • General radiology principles

    • Radiology without anesthesia: rabbit

    • Radiology and dental disease

    • Dental disease: rabbits and guinea pigs

    • Dental diseases

    • Radiology of dental diseases

    • Radiology of dental disease: anatomical reference lines

    • Dentistry: books

    • Radiology: tips

    • Example case: rabbit radiology (line 1)

    • Example case: rabbit radiology (line 2)

    • Example case: rabbit radiology (conclusion)

    • Diagnose this rabbit!

  • 06


    • Oral examination (1)

    • Without vs. with anesthesia

    • Oral examination (2)

    • Oral examination (3)

    • Oral examination: rabbit

    • Summary

    • Trimming teeth: rabbit

    • Elongated incissors: guinea pig

    • Elongated incissors: rabbit

    • Elongated incissors: guinea pig (part 2)

    • Elongated incissors: guinea pig (part 3)

    • More guinea pigs with oral problems

    • 2 different cases

    • Case 1: guinea pig

    • Case 2: rabbit

  • 07


    • Preparation

    • Ventral abdominal approach

    • Ventral abdominal approach: rabbit

    • Preparation (2)

    • Urinary bladder with sludge

    • Most important indications

    • Most important indications (2)

    • Most important indications (3)

    • Surgery of ovary cyst in guinea pigs

    • Most important indications (4)

    • Adenocarcinoma rabbit: ultrasound

    • Adenocarcinoma rabbit: surgery

    • Adenocarcinoma rabbit

    • Adenocarcinoma rabbit: case

    • Adenocarcinoma rabbit: case explanation

    • Question: Spaying rabbits

  • 08

    Final mentions

    • What is next?

    • Case: rat does not eat

    • Case: Mongolian gerbil with fracture

Course creators


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


“I am honored to have been asked to provide a recommendation for these presentations on small exotic mammal and avian veterinary medicine. Drs. Manfred and Claudia Hochleithner have been committed to exotic veterinary medicine for decades. In these presentations they combine their extensive knowledge of advanced procedures with their ability to address basics techniques. Veterinarians reviewing these presentations will receive simple tips and tricks for examination and treatment of exotic pets, as well as detailed information regarding anatomy, physiology and idiosyncrasies of individual exotic species. The videos provide excellent visual learning opportunities. The extensive references that are contained allow the practitioner to dive more deeply into their areas of interest. The bottom line for Drs. Hochleithner is to minimize exotic patient stress, morbidity and mortality, and provide optimal veterinary outcomes. This should be the bottom line for all of us.”


Teresa L Lightfoot, DVM

“The course that Drs. Hochleithner put together to further the education of small mammal veterinarians all over the world is exceptional in many ways. The course is an amazing collecting of their years and years of experience handling all kind of feathered patients combined with top notch peer reviewed literature, making it a great evidence based model of continued eduction.”

Associate Professor of Zoological Medicine at the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia

Dr Jörg Mayer


We are currently offering this course for free


Read what other students thought of the course

Wendy Cheng

5 star rating

“Love this course! Excellent and appreciates all the great information, videos, and articles. Good guidelines.”

“Love this course! Excellent and appreciates all the great information, videos, and articles. Good guidelines.”

Read Less

stav kasher

5 star rating

“Very helpful information!! Thank you”

“Very helpful information!! Thank you”

Read Less

Berend Westera

4 star rating

“Excellent introduction for those new to the field”

“Excellent introduction for those new to the field”

Read Less

Don't forget!

You can use your certificate to claim CE points. For example; the Austrian Veterinary Chamber will award 2,0 E-Learning CE points for this course

  • Start the course

  • Complete the course

  • Use your certificate to claim CE points in your country