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Exotic Animal Care Comes to Mariemont

Local vet takes over established practice

Cincinnati native Dr. Jeremy Zola, DVM, brings his expertise in exotic animal care as the new owner of the Mariemont Veterinary Clinic. Prior to his position at Mariemont Veterinary Clinic, Dr. Zola served as the associate veterinarian at PetCare Animal Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he contributed to the practice’s growing client base across its Loveland and Blue Ash locations—and the community in which he grew up—for four years. Dr. Zola also served as a part-time veterinarian for the Cincinnati SPCA during his time with PetCare and is an active board member of the Cincinnati Veterinary Medical Association.

Dr. Westerfield, prior owner of the Mariemont Veterinary Clinic will continue with the practice as an associate veterinarian, where he has, for more than thirty years, specialized in small-animal medicine.

Most veterinarians learn all about treating dogs and cats as those are the majority of their patients, so finding a practice that has an exotic animal specialist is somewhat more difficult as not as many veterinarians focus on that type of animal care.

What is an exotic animal you ask? No, not lions or tigers or bears, but pets such as bearded dragons, hedgehogs, and “pocket pets” like guinea pigs, hamsters, ferrets, and other small mammals

CincyPet Magazine wanted to learn a little more about Dr. Zola, what brought him to the field of veterinary medicine, and why he chose to specialize in exotic animals. Find out more from our Q&A with Dr. Zola:

Q: What was your inspiration for choosing veterinary medicine?

A: Like many others who choose this field, I have always had an interest in animals. As a kid and into my teens, I began working at kennels and volunteering at the Cincinnati SPCA to be around animals whenever possible. I truly began to take note of the incredible connection that one can make with a different species, where the bond is built on non-verbal communication and love. It was amazing to me to be able to connect with an animal that couldn’t necessarily understand what exactly I was saying but could read my social cues and feel comfortable enough to build a relationship. I knew that there was nothing in the world like this bond, and for as long as I can remember I have wanted to do everything I could to be around it and a part of it every single day.

Q: Why exotic animals?

A:  In addition to enjoying being around companion animals, I have always had a strong interest in the natural world around me, including all other types of animals that live amongst it. To this day, I still love going outside to the woods or a creek and discovering all of the types of animals that live around there, such as reptiles, amphibians, birds, and small mammals. As a result of this passion, I ultimately knew that if I became a veterinarian, I wanted to be able to help not only traditional companion animals but all animals.

Q: What is the difference between treating cats and dogs vs. treating exotic animals?

A: One of the main differences between treating cats and dogs versus exotics is the size of the patient. A lot of the time with regard to exotic animal care, we are dealing with much smaller patients, and as a result, treatment plans and medication dosages must be carefully tailored to the size and species.

Q: Is Mariemont Veterinary Clinic taking new patients?

A: Yes, Mariemont Veterinary Clinic is always taking new patients! You can find us at mariemontvetclinic.com and on Instagram at @mariemontveterinaryclinic. We also welcome you and your furry, feathery, or scaly loved one to stop in for a visit.

Q: What can someone expect as a client of your clinic?

A: Here at Mariemont Veterinary Clinic, we pride ourselves on both the relationships we build with your furry/scaly/feathered family members and with you as the valued client. We are a small yet mighty hospital, and all of our staff truly go out of their way to get to know each person and patient that walks in and ensures they feel comfortable and confident that their needs are met.

Q: Do you have any pets of your own?

A: I currently have one dog, named Irie. She is a 5-year-old rescue dog from the island of St. Kitts, where I went to veterinary school. As she is from an island, her breed is often referred to as a coconut retriever!

Q: What are your favorite pet-friendly activities?

A: My favorite pet-friendly activity is definitely hiking through the woods or creek. Irie loves being outside and checking out everything she can while we are on adventures.

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?

A: As I mentioned, I do enjoy hiking, especially through a creek. I love taking my kids and wife to a creek and exploring the area to find as much wildlife as we can. Enjoying nature has always been an important part of our time together as a family.

The Mariemont Veterinary Hospital is located at 6892 Murray Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45227.

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