VCA East Mill Plain Animal Hospital


Finding the Right Herp for You!

Just because most reptiles can be housed in small to medium size enclosures, does not mean that they are easier to care for than a dog or a cat.  Purchasing a reptile for companionship is a big responsibility, and should not be taken lightly.  It is recommended that you and your family research the species of reptile you are looking to add to your household BEFORE you bring him or her home.  Our veterinarians are knowledgeable in the husbandry needs of a wide variety of reptiles.  Please call if you have prepurchase questions or need help choosing the right pet to fit your lifestyle! 


Reptiles have VERY specific needs when it comes to their diet, enclosure, and environment.  Approximately 90% of all medical issues arising in reptiles could have been prevented by proper husbandry.  It is crucial, as a reptile owner, to have the appropriate caging, lights (heat and FULL SPECTRUM UVA/UVB lamp), temperature, and humidity.  It is also important to feed the appropriate diet depending on the species, for example most tortoises are strictly herbivores and eat only leafy greens, while red-eared sliders are omnivores and will eat both worms and veggies. 

Wellness Exams

We recommend yearly wellness exams for all reptiles.  During the exam, your veterinarian will assess your pets health and will discuss with you proper diet, enclosure, nutritional supplements (if needed), and optimal temperature/humidity ranges.  You will also receive tailored information from your veterinarian making further recommendations for your pet's health and husbandry.  Many times turtles and tortoises need beak and nail trims (as they do not wear their beaks as much as they would in the wild in captivity).  These trims can also be performed if needed at the time of your exam.  If your reptile has special needs, a trimming schedule will also be provided to you. 

Sick Pet Exams

Often times reptiles are very ill by the time they are taken to see a veterinarian. Any sign of decreased appetite, lethargy, or weight loss in these species is an indication that your reptile should be examined by a veterinarian. Waiting too long may be detrimental to the recovery of your pet.  Our hospital offers diagnostics (blood work, x-rays, and infectious agent testing), and medical treatment for all reptilian species feeling under the weather. 

Herp Informational Websites:

Melissa Kaplan's Herp Care Collection: Fantastic website for new and seasoned reptile owners with how-to instructions on enclosure design, diet, and general husbandry.

Tortoise Trust: Great website with care sheets explaining husbandry and diet needs for a wide variety of chelonians.


Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

Find a VCA Specialty Care Animal Hospital near you:


See all VCA Animal Hospitals >


Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately.

If it is after hours please call:

1. VCA Southeast Portland Animal Hospital at 503-255-8139

2. VCA Northwest Veterinary Specialists at 503-656-3999

3. Columbia River Veterinary Specialists at 360-694-3007