A veterinary practice in the island can now treat exotic pets.

Arg Beiyn, which has branches in Onchan and Ramsey, has taken on two new vets, who are able to treat exotic animals.

Jakub Wittkowski and Anna Modlinska, who studied at university together, have moved to the Isle of Man from Poland to take up the roles as the practice tries to ‘work more broadly’.

Anna said: ‘Both of us are exotic wildlife vets so each of us have a slightly different background but we work with many different animals.

‘Here in Arg Beiyn we can now take care of everything from fish, like axolotl or small frogs, every type of reptile, like tortoises, terrapins and snakes, and then birds, like parrots or chickens, as well as some more exotic mammals.

‘The term exotic animals also encompasses guinea pigs, rabbits, long tails, or any other rodent.

‘There aren’t a lot on the island but if someone has a skunk or monkey, we can take care of them too.

‘We are also taking care of the Curraghs Wildlife Park, we are working with every animal that is based there.

‘We’re trying to provide as golden standard as possible for everyone.

‘We are also helping Manx Bird Aid with wildlife, so we took in a puffin that was found on Douglas beach a couple of months ago.

‘If anyone has any problem with a strange animal or creature, we are here.’

She stressed that being able to treat exotic animals may save clients on the unnecessary costs of having to go to the UK to get their pet treatment.

‘For some more complicated cases exotic animals were often sent to the UK for treatment, but now if someone has a problem we can deal with it here,’ Anna added.

Practice manager Ryan Hagedorn explained that Arg Beiyn is open to new clients again.

‘Around Covid time we had to close our books to new clients,’ he said. ‘We didn’t have a lot of vets, we were struggling with staff but we seem to be going from strength to strength now.

‘It’s amazing having the likes of Anna and Jakub with us to give us that other option of exotic pets and give the island that other option as well.’

He added that the practice was still ‘very much’ on a recruitment drive with eight vets currently working there.

Arg Beiyn’s other practice director Louise Bawden pointed out that there is still staffing issues.

She said: ‘There’s a huge national veterinary crisis at the moment so we’re still struggling with clinical staff.

‘This is throughout the whole UK and the Isle of Man, so it’s amazing we’ve got Anna and Jakub here.

‘We were so excited to have them on board, especially because of the area they specialise in, which is really new to the island.

‘It’s really important for our customers to be aware there is still a huge clinical shortage in the veterinary world.

‘We’re doing everything we can and things are improving but it is a very slow process, especially with visas now.

‘The process is really difficult now to get somebody here who wants to work because we don’t fall under the same help as human medicine, so we don’t have the freedoms they have.

‘We have to jump through quite a lot of hoops to get people here.’