Dr David Boersma: Veterinary SurgeonBSc, BVMS, VetMFHom
I am fully qualified in conventional veterinary medicine, and have also studied herbal medicine, homeopathy and acupuncture. Conventional veterinary treatments have some limitations, so I combine traditional and holistic methods for better overall results.
I went to school in Western Australia (Armadale), then directly to Murdoch University Veterinary School in 1983, graduating in 1987.
I was offered work in a vet practice 200km south of Perth for three years. In 1990 the rural recession made me reassess my priorities and I set up a locum business involving travelling around WA doing four- to six-week stints in practices while the owners were on holiday. I also did six weeks in Tasmania.
In 1991 I did the Aussie thing and went on a world trip, ending in the UK where I took a position in a small animal practice in East London. I worked there for 15 years. During this time I developed an interest in alternative medicine. I saw recurring skin cases, and discussions with colleagues left me dissatisfied about the treatment protocols which consisted of corticosteroids, antibiotics and flea treatments (in those days mainly sprays and shampoos). London had far worse flea issues than Tasmania and every third or fourth animal was sensitive to their bites. Desentisation via injection was just being used, so I started to use it too; then investigated the principle of hormesis – that same can be used to desensitise same, in very small quantities. This led me to homeopathy where like treats like.
I completed a degree in homeopathy in 2003 and then looked further at acupuncture, Western herbs and then Chinese herbal medicine, and developed a paradigm shift in looking at animal disease, essentially outside the veterinary ‘drug box’. Diagnosis is the same but now I have more tools to work with in the treatment of our animal companions. I have yet to apply this the plant kingdom but apparently homeopathy can also be used there.
In 2006 I moved to Tasmania with my family and established the SBHVC practice. I’ve treated large animals and wildlife here, but specialise at the moment in domestic pets: dogs, cats, and pocket pets like guinea pigs and rabbits.
Mic Bewsher, Veterinary Nurse
Being born on a hobby farm I probably spent as much time while growing up, learning to be a sheep, a dog, and a chook as a human being. My ‘pet’ Hereford steer, Norman, taught me trust and to act calmly and gently.
Working at SBHVC over the last seven years, I’ve been amazed at what we can do with medicine, surgery and complementary therapies to help animals. It is very rewarding, and I appreciate the holistic options we offer at SBHVC.
My ‘soul mate’ dog, Timmy (1992–2012) and I learned many lessons about life and loving together and I will forever have compassion and understanding for those who are losing or grieving for their animal companion. I am a huge advocate for animals as part of families.
Philippa McKlein: Vet Nurse and Pet Groomer RANA (UK)
I qualified as a Registered Animal Nursing Auxilliary in the UK. I love all animals and have had horses most of my life. I’m also a horticulturalist! So I divide my working life between the plant and animal kingdoms.
Besides working as a vet nurse at SBHVC I do pet grooming of dogs and cats. Any free time I have I spend with my Cavalier King Charles spaniels, including breeding and showing them.
Annaline Cronjé: Veterinary Nurse Cert II in Animal Studies Veterinary Nursing, B.Com (FIM)
After years of working in the financial industry, I finally decided to follow my childhood dream of becoming a veterinary nurse and working with animals in February 2013.
As a child I couldn’t resist bringing all kind of animals back home (i.e. baby pigeons, puppies, kittens, even a bat, chameleon and chickens). Not really ideal, because we were living in a suburban area in South Africa, where you were only allowed to have certain animals for pets.
My love of animals only grew over the years and it was finally fulfilled when I joined the team at Sandy Bay Holistic Vet Centre, while completing my Certificate II in Animal Studies.
It still amazes me how much joy animals can bring to our lives (seeing first-hand from owners), and I feel that we can only try to give in return by caring, loving and nursing them back to be the happiest pets they can be.
Karen Cosier: Veterinary Nurse Cert II in Animal Studies Veterinary Nursing
Prior to completing a Certificate II in Animal Studies Veterinary Nursing in 2015 I have been a pet owner for many years. My husband and I have a special affection for Beagle dogs, sharing our home with our 11th and 12th beagles Cooper and Abby. Both dogs came to us in need of a new home. Our involvement with Beagles has extended to breeding, showing and Beagle rescue and rehoming. Currently I am a volunteer dog walker and member of the Huon Valley Dog Walking Association.
Visits to the Vet can be a daunting experience for both patients and their owners. As one of the nursing team I aim to make our clients feel welcome and comfortable whilst providing excellent nursing care. When its time for our patients to go home again we can assist our clients with advice and information about caring for their pet at home.
Annette Macgown: Technician and Educator BFA (Hons)
I acquired my first guinea pig by accident three years ago and since then I’ve become fascinated by these adorable, intelligent creatures, and also painfully aware of the plight of guinea pigs and rabbits, particularly those sold through pet shops with minimal information provided on their care. I now have a herd of seven rescued guinea pigs, who roam freely between their large and safe indoor and outdoor spaces.
It is now my goal to get information out to the general public however I can. My work for SBHVC includes preparing educational materials and going into schools to tell children how to properly care for these misunderstood and quite complex animals.