All SASH hospitals are open 24/7 all holiday season

Avian & Exotics

At SASH, we cater to all kinds of animal companions, including pocket-sized furry friends and pets with feathers, shells and scales


At SASH North Ryde, we cater to all kinds of animal companions, including pocket-sized furry friends and pets with feathers, shells and scales.

Please note, only SASH North Ryde has an Avian & Exotics department.

SASH Avian & Exotics highlights:

  • Expert vets in treating pets that are not cats and dogs, including the only clinical specialist in NSW with qualifications specifically in avian species
  • Providing general practice care, as well as specialist and advanced services, ultilising specialist skills from other departments (e.g. Ophthalmology, Surgery, Dermatology, and more)
  • Located in a completely separate wing, with dedicated waiting area of the SASH hospital to separate your pet from cats and dogs

When choosing a treasured animal companion, families are increasingly considering alternatives to dogs and cats. Some of these more unusual types of animals, such as birds and fish, can live for many years, with strong bonds developing between people and their pets.

As the number of these pets increases, so too does the need for veterinary services that specialise in caring for them. The Avian & Exotics department at SASH is one of a small number of veterinary teams in Australia dedicated to providing these pets with the same advanced level of care that families expect for more traditional furry friends.

At SASH, the Avian & Exotics team also works closely with other teams in the same hospital, including Emergency, Surgery, Dermatology, Internal Medicine and Ophthalmology. Not only does this collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach result in the best possible patient care, it also fosters a high level of hospital-wide skill in handling avian and exotic species, which is crucial for reducing patient stress. It is very important to us that families feel comfortable and confident in bringing their pets to SASH, knowing that we understand and provide for every aspect of their needs.

Vets caring for an Albatross

About the Avian & Exotics team

The Avian & Exotics team at SASH includes veterinarians with extensive knowledge and expertise in the medical and surgical care of avian and exotic pet species. One or our veterinarians, Dr Melinda Cowan, is currently the only clinical veterinarian in NSW who holds a specialist qualification specifically in avian species. Dedicated avian and exotics nurses are essential members of our team, providing assistance during consultations, as well as skilled and compassionate care for patients staying with us in hospital.

The Avian & Exotics team provides state-of-the-art care for:

Emergency Avian & Exotics Vet

The Avian and Exotics department does not operate 24/7, but will do their best to accommodate emergencies in addition to pre-booked appointments. Where it is not possible to see emergency cases in a timely fashion, the SASH Emergency team is always available for initial assessment and care of avian and exotic pets.

If you have an avian or exotic pet emergency, SASH Emergency is open 24/7. Our team of Emergency Veterinarians are experienced in providing urgent care to a range of species. After an assessment from one of our Emergency Vets, they can call on the help of one of our Avian & Exotics Vets for advice, further assessment, and treatment.

Frequently asked questions

The SASH Avian & Exotics department is located at SASH North Ryde and is open Monday to Friday from 8 AM to 6 PM. At other times, patients can be seen by the SASH 24/7 Emergency service.

No referral is required, although if your pet is currently in the care of another veterinarian, we encourage you to discuss the option for referral with them prior to consultation at SASH.

We understand that minimising stress is crucial for the care and well-being of avian and exotic pets, whether they are visiting us or a consultation or staying with us in hospital. At SASH, we ensure that our patients are as comfortable as possible by:

  • having a separate waiting room on a different floor to the waiting area for dogs and cats
  • preventing dogs and cats from entering the Avian & Exotics department, as even their scents are different and can cause distress to birds and exotic pets
  • encouraging families to ensure that birds and exotic pets are accommodated in appropriate carriers when they are brought to the hospital
  • ensuring a high level of hospital-wide awareness of the special needs of avian and exotic species, and skill in handling these pets
  • having a separate, purpose-built wing for patients admitted to hospital

More information

Pet History

New Client Forms

Please click on the link below to download the form. Completed forms must be sent to prior to your appointment

Our Avian & Exotics Team

Dr Orr Cohen

Resident in Avian Surgery and Medicine
Specialist in Avian Medicine & Exotics Veterinarian