Dr. Jay Johnson, DVM

Dr. Jay Johnson is the founder and owner of Arizona Exotic Animal Hospital, the Valley’s first animal hospital devoted exclusively to the care of exotic pets.

As a boy growing up on the outskirts of Tucson, he was fascinated with exotic pets, especially reptiles. He kept a variety of these unique pets throughout his childhood including snakes, lizards, turtles, tortoises, tarantulas, rabbits, a cockatoo, pigmy goats, as well as more traditional pets like dogs and horses.

He received a Bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Sciences from the University of Arizona in 1992 and went on to veterinary school at Colorado State University graduating with a DVM degree in 1996. During veterinary school he was involved in a variety of research projects with exotics pets and wildlife.  He did a lot of work with Siberian polecats that were being studied as models for the care of the endangered North American black-footed ferret.  As these are closely related to the domestic ferret, he was able to learn quite a lot that applies to care for pet ferrets.  He also did a lot of research with desert tortoises developing new medical and surgical techniques.   One of the projects he worked on developed the dose for an antibiotic clarithromycin that is commonly used to treat desert tortoises with upper respiratory disease caused by Mycoplasmosis.

After returning to Arizona, Dr. Johnson worked with the Arizona Game and Fish Department for many years monitoring the health of some wild populations of tortoises and continues to be an active advisor for the Turtle and Tortoise Projects program. He also is a consultant for desert tortoise projects for the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the US Geological Survey, and the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center.  His consulting work includes veterinary oversight of research projects, monitoring health of wild populations, and teaching classes to biologists on health monitoring and other aspects of working with desert tortoises.

Dr. Johnson became active with the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians after school.  He served on their board for many years and became President of the organization from 2005-2006. He continues to serve as a peer review editor for the association’s scientific publication, the Journal of Herpetological Medicine and Surgery.

He has lectured at many continuing education conferences for veterinarians and veterinary technicians.  He really enjoy helping other professionals learn how to provide quality medicine and care to reptiles, wildlife, and other exotic pets. He also enjoys sharing his experience and knowledge by writing and has published in many journals and books on exotic pet and reptile medicine and surgery.

He currently resides in the foothills of the Superstition Mountains on the far east side of the Phoenix Metro area. Dr. Johnson and his daughter share their home with about 40 pets.

BOOK CHAPTERS

Johnson, J.D. (In progress). Urogenital System, In Girling, S.J. and Raiti, P (eds): BSAVA Manual of Reptiles, Third edition. British Small Animal Veterinary Association.

Johnson, J.D. 2012. Reptilian and Amphibian Pediatric Medicine and Surgery, in Rupley, A.E. and Broome, K.K. (Eds): Veterinary Clinics of North America: Exotic Animal Practice- Pediatrics of Common and Uncommon Species. Elsevier. Philadelphia, Pa. 15(2)251-264

Johnson, J.D. 2004. Urogenital System, In Girling, S.J. and Raiti, P (eds): BSAVA Manual of Reptiles, Second edition. British Small Animal Veterinary Association, Quedgeley, Glouchester: 261-272

PEER-REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS

Berry, K.H., D.R. Brown, M. Brown, E. Jacobson, J. Jarchow, J. Johnson, L. Richey, and L. Wendland. 2002. Reptilian Mycoplasmal Infections. Journal of Herpetological Medicine and Surgery, 12(3):8-20.

Johnson, J.D., R.C. Averill-Murray, and J.L. Jarchow. 2001. Captive Care of the Desert Tortoise, Gopherus agassizii. Journal of Herpetological Medicine and Surgery, 11(3):8-16.

Tothill, A., J.D. Johnson, H. Branvold, C. Paul, and J. Wimsatt. 2000. Effect of Cisapride, Erythromycin, and Metoclopramide on Gastrointestinal Transit Time in the Desert Tortoise, Gopherus agassizii. Journal of Herpetological Medicine and Surgery, 10(1):16-20.

Johnson, J.D., D.E. Biggins, R.H. Wrigley, B.A. Mangone, and J. Wimsatt. 1999. Pyometra in a Siberian Polecat (Mustela eversmanni). Contemporary Topics in Laboratory Animal Science, 38(6):39-41.

Wimsat, J., J.D. Johnson, and B.A. Mangone. 1999. Clarithromycin Pharmacokinetics in the Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii). Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, 30:36-43.

Winsatt, J., J.D. Johnson, et al. 1998. Dietary Vitamin D Toxicosis in a Household of Pot-bellied Pigs (Sus scrofa). Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 12:42-44.

Wimsatt, J., J.D. Johnson, R.H. Wrigley, D.E. Biggins, and J.L. Godbey. 1998. Noninvasive Monitoring of Fetal Growth and Development in the Siberian Polecat (Mustela eversmanni). Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, 29(4):423-431.

CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS

Johnson, J.D. 2012. Chlamydiosis in a Research population of Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians

Johnson, J.D. 2012. Reptile Pediatric Medicine and Surgery. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians

Johnson, J.D. 2004. Aspergillus Dermatitis in a Burmese Python (Python molurus) Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians, p.117

Wright, K.M., J.G. Trupkiewicz, and J.D. Johnson. 2004. Learning from Roadkills: Implications for Conservation of Native Snakes. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians, pp.109-115

Johnson, J.D. 2003. Laser Removal of a Palpebral Melanoma in a Green Iguana. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians, pp.41-42

Johnson, J.D. and R.C. Averill-Murray. 2002. 2002 Health Surveys of Sonoran Desert Tortoises. The 27th Annual meeting and Symposium of the Desert Tortoise Council, Pp. 20-21.

Johnson, J.D. 2002. Respiratory Diseases of Chelonians. Proceedings of the 2002 Western Veterinary Conference, pp.

Johnson, J.D. 2002. Chelonian Parasitology. Proceedings of the 2002 Western Veterinary Conference, pp.

Johnson, J.D. 2002. Medical Management of Ill Chelonians. Proceedings of the 2002 Western Veterinary Conference, pp.

Johnson, J.D. 2002. How to Repair Chelonian Shell Disruptions. Proceedings of the 2002 Western Veterinary Conference, pp.

Johnson, J.D. 2001. Enteritis in a Pair of Juvenile Aldabra Tortoises, Geochelone gigantea. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians, pp.147-152

Johnson, J.D. 2000. Ovariectomy, Cystotomy, Liver Biopsy, and Esophagostomy Tube Placement in a Red-eared Slider, Trachemys scripta. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians, pp.145-146.

Johnson, J.D. and R.C. Averill-Murray. 2001. 2000 Health Surveys of Sonoran Desert Tortoises. The 26th Annual meeting and Symposium of the Desert Tortoise Council, p. 23

Tothill, A., J.D. Johnson, J. Wimsatt, and B.A. Mangone. 1999. Effects of Cisapride, Metoclopramide, and Erythromycin on the Prokinetic Passage of Ingested Markers in the Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii). Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians, pp. 143-144.

Mangone, B.A. and J.D. Johnson. 1998. Surgical Removal of Cystic Calculi via the Inguinal Fossa and other Techniques Applicable to the Approach in the Desert Tortoise, Gopherus agassizii. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians, pp.87-88.

Mangone, B.A. and J.D. Johnson. 1998. Current Research Trends in the Desert Tortoise, Gopherus agassizii. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians, pp.105-107.

Johnson, J.D., B.A. Mangone, and J. Wimsatt. 1998. Placement of Cardiac Access Ports for Repeated Blood Sampling in Tortoises. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians, pp.83-94

Johnson, J.D., J.L. Jarchow, and B.A. Mangone. 1998. A Review of Mycoplasmosis Infections in Tortoises and Options for Treatment. Proceedings of the annual conference of the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians, pp.89-92.