At RVC Beaumont Sainsbury Animal Hospital and vet practice, you can be reassured that you are getting exceptional reptile vet expertise. Your pet will benefit from our team’s specialist reptile vet training and extensive reptile care experience. From the day you get your reptile and throughout its lifetime - we can support and give you reptile care advice every step of the way.

Our exotics pet team has in-depth species knowledge and medical expertise – we are the most experienced reptile vet team in London and the South East. Dr Joanna Hedley heads up our reptile veterinary service and is an RCVS Recognised Specialist in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine and European Boarded Specialist in Reptile Medicine.

In addition to running the Exotics clinical service at the RVC, Dr Hedley runs the European College of Zoological Medicine (ECZM) residency in Herpetological Medicine. The residency program lasts for three years and is specifically designed to provide the resident with the necessary training to credential for and sit the examination for the European College of Zoological Medicine (Herpetology).

In November 2022, Dr Hedley's research paper Antibiotic stewardship for reptiles won the 'Best Scientific Research Paper' 2022 Award from the British Veterinary Zoological Society (BVZS).

Thinking of buying a reptile pet?  

We recognise that buying a reptile as a pet is a big decision – which is why we are on hand to give pre-purchase/ownership guidance when you are choosing your reptile pet.

Specialist reptile pet facilities: We have a specialist temperate controlled reptile ward area which ensures that reptiles are kept in a safe and suitable environment to aid their recovery including: a variety of species-specific vivariums, tortoise tables and tanks for our aquatic species. 

Pre-hibernation health check - book now!

As the weather is turning cooler, your tortoise companion will be starting to slow down in preparation for hibernation. We recommend booking a pre hibernation check up with one of our exotic vets, before the wind down process starts. The vet will conduct a full physical examination to ensure your tortoise is not showing any signs of illness that may prevent a healthy hibernation. They will also discuss the hibernation process with you and will answer any questions you have. Please also see our hibernation guide below. 

In some cases, a faecal parasite screen will be advised, to ensure your tortoise does not have intestinal parasites prior to hibernation. If found in large numbers, these should be treated prior to the hibernation process. Diagnostic imaging may be recommended in some cases, if we suspect your tortoise is showing reproductive activity (if female), or if we suspect any underlying disease, which may put your tortoise at risk during the hibernation period.

A pre hibernation health check costs £35. Please book by calling our reception team on 0207 387 8134 or emails us at

Information and Care Sheets (PDFs)





Terrapins and Turtles

RVC Research and publications about reptile health

Hibernation (brumation) problems in captive UK tortoises (April 2022)

Antibiotic Stewardship in reptiles (2021)

Neurological examination of reptiles (2021)

Complications associated with feeding tubes in chelonians (2021)

Dental disease in bearded dragons (2021)

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