Sydney Exotics and Rabbit Vets

Sydney Exotics and Rabbit Vets (Dr David Vella & associates) are Sydney-based small mammal and reptile vets, who exclusively see rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, rats, mice, lizards, snakes, turtles, frogs and axolotls.

In 2009, Dr Vella became a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in Exotic Companion Mammals, the first and only Australian vet to achieve these credentials. This Diplomate accreditation focuses on the veterinary care of mammals such as rabbits, ferrets and rodents.

SERV offers:

  • General health consultations
  • Preventative health (desexing, vaccinations)
  • Full diagnostics
  • Medical and surgical care.

Consultations are by appointment and cover all aspects of the pet’s preventative health, husbandry and diet. Whether you have a pet in need or are a veterinarian wishing to refer a case to us, please don’t hesitate to contact us 24 hours, seven days a week.


Dr. David Vella BSc BVSc(Hons) DABVP (Exotic Companion Mammal Practice)

Exotics Vet

Dr David Vella graduated with a Bachelor of Science (1992) and a Bachelor of Veterinary Science (1996) – both from the University of Sydney.

David has gained extensive clinical experience in treating exotic pets having focussed on this field whilst working in the United Kingdom and Sydney.

In 2009, David became a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (DABVP) in Exotic Companion Mammals, the first and only Australian vet to achieve these credentials.

At present, David concentrates on small mammals (rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, rats, and mice), reptiles (snakes, lizards, and turtles) and amphibians (frogs and axolotls).

David is the Director of Sydney Exotic and Rabbits Vets (SERV), www.exoticsvet.com.au.


Dr. Michelle Dalli BSc BVSc (Hons)

Exotics Vet

Michelle graduated from the University of Sydney in 2005. Michelle has always had a special interest in exotic pets and wildlife, particularly reptiles. Michelle has worked in various small animal practices in and around Sydney and in North America, and also ran her own mobile veterinary service for reptiles for about two years.

Michelle has worked with Sydney Exotics and Rabbit Vets for over four years now and is “loving it”. Michelle particularly enjoys surgery and the challenges that performing even routine procedures in exotics provides.

Michelle has developed a strong interest in exotic companion mammal medicine alongside her ongoing love for reptile work. Michelle also treats all types of native wildlife.

In Michelle’s ‘spare’ time, she looks after her two children that share her love for animals. Their pets include a dog, rabbit, guinea pig, two snakes, and a lace monitor.



Dr. Joanne Sheen BVM&S CertZooMed

Exotics Vet

Jo graduated from University of Edinburgh in 2004, and gained her post-graduate qualification in zoological and exotic medicine in 2008. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Pain Management, and hopes that this will offer advanced insight in pain mechanisms pain management for exotic animals.

Jo had a very international upbringing, growing up between Australia, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom. As such, her first pet was a red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans), followed by two chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus) that she kept on the roof garden. She was most distraught, when several years later, she came home to find these chickens had been turned in soup!

Outside our busy Sydney hospital, you’ll often find Jo walking her dog, a talkative English Staffie. He was rescued five years ago whilst Jo was living in the UK from an uncertain fate in an RSPCA animal abuse case.

You will also catch Jo spending her time away from work mostly off solid ground, preferring to either hang around in mid-air (trapeze), or in the depths of the ocean (scuba diving).