Meet the Staff
There is always something new and interesting in the world of vet science. Quite often "standard treatments" or "diagnostic techniques" are found to be outdated. New drugs come along and older ones disappear. That's why I listen to post graduate talks and attend conferences whenever possible. These days, I can sit down with a toastie and a glass of wine at home, and log onto a live online seminar beaming in from the USA- incredible! I can even applaud and ask questions to the speaker.
I have a passion for keeping up to date so I can offer all of my patients the latest care, and look after them as best as humanly possible.
In 1981, I graduated from the University of Sydney with approx. 80% males in my year (currently it is 95% females). I started my career doing an Internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at Sydney Uni. There was no Canine Parvovirus or Feline AIDS, and prescription diets did not exist. Heartworm had just started to appear in Sydney with almost 45% of un-protected dogs contracting the disease. Daily preventative tablets were the first products on the market, but had a 25% overall failure rate.
Pain relief was basic, and hardly any pets were placed on IV fluids during surgery. Blood pressure monitoring involved an invasive procedure only performed at specialist centres, and we could not measure blood oxygen levels during surgery. I did numerous "sex change" operations on male cats (female cats have wider plumbing so to speak) who were repeatedly getting blocked bladders from crystals forming in their urine. Ultrasound was science fiction. I used to regularly see Distemper affected dogs who looked like they had Rabies.
I spent 9 years in the UK where I received a Certificate in Small Animal Cardiology from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (London). At that time, it was just me and one other vet in practice in the UK with this degree. That was a very exciting period in my life, as referrals would come from far and away. I would visit local hospitals to see the brand new and hugely expensive cardiac ultrasound machines in action, and have a chat to the human cardiologists.
In 1991, I established Balgownie Veterinary Hospital in Wollongong, with my then partner, Stephanie. I worked there for 16 years building up a base of over 12,000 pets during that time. Following a partnership split, I became the first Partner in Practice at the University of Sydney Veterinary School where I gave final year students an insight into life as a vet surgeon.
Before purchasing BHVG from Steve Henry in 2011, I did locum work close to Wollongong where my much loved children Hugh (18) and Margot (15) were based.
I have now been practising for 33 years - boy did that go fast! I play too much squash at Bomaderry Squash and Fitness, and enjoy organising teams to play in our local and Illawarra competitions. I love the latest mod cons of vet practice and look back at the early 80's and marvel at how things have changed so much. It's been a great journey.
Rebecca recently moved to Shoalhaven Heads with her family. She worked the last 12 years at Rooty Hill Veterinary Hospital. Rebecca has a keen interest in wildlife and has a zoo keeping degree. She has pet snakes and a dog, Billy who keeps an eye on them. Rebecca is working part time while she raises a young family.