Name: Tracey K. Ritzman, DVM, Dipl. ABVP-Avian & Exotic Companion Mammal

Position: Associate Veterinarian

Education: North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine Internship: Kaytee Products, Inc. Avian Educational and Nutritional Research Center, 1995-96

Hometown: Akron, OH

More about Dr. Ritzman

Dr. Ritzman is a veterinary specialist for birds and exotic companion mammals which include rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, rodents, chinchillas, and hedgehogs.

Dr. Ritzman was born in Northern Ohio. Her love for animals and the veterinary profession developed at a very young age. She had many wonderful pets growing up including her horse, Duke, standard poodle, Peppermint Patty (named after the Charlie Brown character), many rescued/injured box turtles and other reptiles, and countless wonderful pet birds and fish.

Dr. Ritzman chose to attend veterinary school at North Carolina State University due to her interest in avian, reptile and exotic mammal medicine and surgery. There are very few veterinary colleges in the United States which offer a clinical program and training in the area of non-traditional pets.

Dr. Ritzman is board-certified specialist by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in Avian and Exotic Companion Mammal medicine and surgery. She is the only specialist for exotic mammals in Michigan and one of two specialists for birds in this state. Becoming a board-certified specialist in these two areas took many years of additional training, countless hours of studying, a rigorous application process and the passing of several difficult examinations. Dr. Ritzman considers all of the extra effort and studying was well worth the time! Dr. Ritzman enjoys caring for non-traditional pets such as birds, ferrets, rabbits, rodents, reptiles and fish, as well as dogs and cats. Her other interests in veterinary medicine include nutrition and endoscopy. Because of her specialties, she sees a wide variety of species of animals during her day. This variety in patient care is very enjoyable to Dr. Ritzman and provides diversity to her work.

Teaching and sharing her specialist knowledge with others in the profession is important to Dr. Ritzman. She enjoys teaching and giving presentations in regards to her specialties. Because there are few opportunities for veterinarians, veterinary students, and technicians to learn about birds, reptiles and exotic mammals, she feels it is an important part of who she is as a veterinarian to help share and foster this area of the profession. When time permits, she enjoys having veterinary students come and spend time with her at Cascade Hospital for Animals as part of their studies and clinical rotations.

Dr. Ritzman’s husband Anjan is an internal medicine and pediatric physician here in Grand Rapids. He treats patients of all ages from birth through adulthood. They are blessed to have a young son named Rohan and when asked what he would like to be when he grows up he will tell you he wants to be just like mom and dad and be both an animal doctor and a people doctor!