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IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATE More Info

Northside Veterinary Specialists are here for you and your pets during COVID. As of Monday 28th February we will return to socially distanced consultations, in line with NSW Health Guidelines. We welcome a maximum of two adults, and we request for masks to be worn at all times when in the building. Please call on 9452 2933 with any questions.

We thank you all for your support and patience.

Northside Veterinary Specialists Consulting
Hours 6am - 6pm, Monday - Friday
For emergency services we partner Northside Emergency
available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week

Dr Dave Collins BVSc FANZCVS Small Animal Medicine

Small Animal Medicine Specialist

A Northern Beaches native, Dave graduated from the University of Sydney in 1995. He has 20+ years veterinary experience, the last eight of them in referral medicine, and he earned his specialist qualification in 2013. Dave’s been an examiner for the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists on several occasions, and a speaker and convener of veterinary conferences in New Zealand, Japan and Italy for more 10 years. Dave is committed to ensuring the Northern Beaches has its very own quality veterinary care provider, and gets to know the local pets with his dog, Kirby, a frequent visitor at local clinics and dog parks.

Dr Elizabeth Thrift BVSc (Hons) FANZCVS

Small Animal Medicine Specialist

Elizabeth graduated from the University of Sydney with honours in 2007 and then worked in small animal private practice in Sydney for three years. In 2011, she completed a multi-discipline internship in medicine, surgery, ophthalmology and emergency/critical care which confirmed her interest in small animal internal medicine. She then went on to complete an internal medicine internship and subsequently an internal medicine residency. Elizabeth is a member and fellow of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in small animal internal medicine.

Elizabeth has been involved with continuing education for veterinarians as a tutor with the CVE feline medicine distance education program. She has collaborated with pathologists at Westmead Hospital to develop a diagnostic test for Pneumocystis infection to try and improve our ability to diagnose this disease in our canine patients. Elizabeth has undertaken further training to be one of the NVS mental health first aid officers, to support the mental wellbeing of our employees. She has implemented an infection control committee and policies to ensure we meet our responsibilities for antibiotic stewardship and reduce the development of antibiotic resistance. She has also contributed to implementing policies to reduce stress for our canine and feline patients when attending the clinic.

Dr Eugene Buffa BVSc MMedVet Surgery

Small Animal Surgical Specialist

After qualifying as a veterinarian from the University of Pretoria in 1985, Eugene spent 5 years practicing in England and South Africa before completing a surgical residency and qualifying as a specialist surgeon. He has published veterinary papers, presented at international congresses, researched wound healing and pioneered canine hip replacement surgery. Eugene also worked with VetMed, a satellite TV channel providing continuing education to vets throughout Africa. Since moving to Australia, Eugene has spent 2 years at Sydney University, Camden campus as head of small animal surgery, and subsequently 3 years at the Small Animal Specialist Hospital. Over the last 5 years Eugene has been performing surgery in local veterinary practices to improve the availability of specialist procedures in general practice. As an experienced and passionate surgeon, Eugene is committed to providing your pet with the best possible care.

Dr Ross McGregor BVSc MANZCVS Small Animal Surgery

Small Animal Surgery

Ross graduated from veterinary science in South Africa in 1989, and ran a successful equine practice. Since moving to Australia in 2002, he’s spent several years as a small animal general practitioner at both
Sydney University and his own local clinic. Ross is scheduled to complete his formal specialist surgical training in late 2016, and will most likely sit his exams in 2018. He loves working with animals in his adopted home of the Northern Beaches, and has his own two dogs and cat who thankfully don’t have to spend much time at the clinic.

Dr Alen Lai BVSc(hons), GradCertVetStud, FANZCVS (Surgery)

Small Animal Surgical Specialist

Alen is a Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists and a specialist in Small Animal Surgery. After graduating from the University of Queensland with first class honours, he completed a multi-disciplinary internship at the University of Sydney Veterinary Teaching Hospital, followed by a surgical specialty residency at North Shore Veterinary Specialist Hospital.

His clinical research has focused on fracture biomechanics, canine cruciate ligament disease and hip dysplasia. He is active in providing continual education for general practitioners and referral clinicians, to ensure that optimal care is always provided to our patients. In addition, Alen has served on the membership examiner panel for the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists.

Alen recognises the importance of helping pet owners understand the details of their pet’s conditions. His thorough clinical approach aims to provide owners with that understanding, as well as exploring all clinical options, including best standard of care medical and surgical solutions.

Dr Izidora Sladakovic BVSc (Hons I), MVS, Dipl ACZM

Registered Specialist in Zoological Medicine (Avian & Exotics)

Dr Izidora Sladakovic is a Diplomate of the American College of Zoological Medicine with a sub-specialty in zoological companion animals (exotic pets) and is the only registered specialist in this field in NSW. Izi has published journal articles and book chapters, undertaken research projects to improve our knowledge of exotic pet medicine, and regularly presents at conferences and continuing education seminars. We are fortunate to have her based here with us at Northside Veterinary Specialists.

Izi provides a comprehensive service for all exotics (birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, rats, mice, reptiles and amphibians), including health checks, nutrition and behaviour advice, diagnostics, endoscopy, dentistry and medical, emergency and surgical care. Izi is dedicated to providing the best possible care for exotic pets and is available for consultations at Northside Veterinary Specialists or at your regular veterinary hospital by request.

Dr Kathleen Chow BVSc (Hons I) BSc(Vet) MVS FANZCVS

Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging Specialist

Kathleen graduated from the University of Sydney in 2006. After working as a small animal veterinarian she undertook an internship in small animal medicine and surgery. Her interest in veterinary imaging developed during this time and she went on to complete a residency in Veterinary Radiology at the University of Melbourne in Victoria in 2014. Kathleen is a Member and a Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in Veterinary Radiology. She has published in internationally recognised journals and spoken at multiple international and local veterinary conferences. Kathleen has been working solely in the field of Veterinary Radiology for 7 years.

Here she is pictured with her beloved dog, Kirby.

Dr Sarah Davies

Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging Specialist

Sarah is a diagnostic imaging specialist with ACVR (American College of Veterinary
Radiology) training and board certification obtained through a residency program at the
Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary medicine, in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Sarah completed rotating internships at the Adelaide Veterinary Specialist and Referral Centre and The Ohio State Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
Sarah achieved ACVR board certification by examination in 2009. Since then, she has worked primarily in private practice in Sydney. Sarah has co-authored chapters in the BSAVA handbook of Canine and Feline Musculoskeletal Imaging and the most recent edition of Thrall’s Textbook of Veterinary Diagnostic Radiology. She taught undergraduate students and was involved in designing the curriculum at the University of Adelaide from 2010 to 2013.
Sarah has been teaching with VetPrac and the CVE since 2014. Sarah volunteers her
time for Vets Beyond Borders and Taronga Zoo. She serves as a reviewer for the Journal
of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Veterinary Radiology and Ultrasound and
the Australian Veterinary Journal.
Sarah is currently serving as vice president of the Australian Association of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging and has been actively involved in supporting AAVDI for many years. Her passions are surfing and ocean swimming and she has 2 very cute Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and a horse called Murphy.

Dr Mariko Yata BVSc (hons), MANZCVS (Small Animal Medicine), PhD, DACVIM (Cardiology)

Veterinary Cardiologist Specialist

Mariko graduated from the University of Sydney with first class honors and worked as a general practitioner and emergency and critical care veterinarian across various practices in Sydney for several years.

After completing a PhD investigating canine and feline congestive heart failure therapeutics in 2018, Mariko undertook a residency in veterinary cardiology at the North Carolina State University and became a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in the field of cardiology in July, 2022.

She is interested in the pathophysiology and management of congestive heart failure and arrhythmias, as well as collaborative research encompassing human and veterinary medicine.

Dr Jennifer Smith BVSc (Hons)

Clinical Director, Hospital Veterinarian - Medical, Surgical and Emergency & Critical Care

Jennifer is our head hospital Veterinarian and joined the NVS family in 2017.

Jen graduated from Sydney University in 2002 with Honours and has over 17 years practice experience. Jen has worked in various leading Emergency and Specialist Centres in Sydney, as well as ''A'' class Small Animal Hospitals and mixed practice both in Australia and abroad.

Jen brings with her a diverse skill set, she is a proficient surgeon and has always held a keen interest in small animal internal medicine, oncology, dermatology, anaesthesia, imaging, palliation and critical care having undertaken further study in these areas alongside her role as a general practitioner.

Jennifer has a real passion in caring for our most critical and recovering patients in the hospital. She helps us bridge the gap between the various specialties from medicine, cardiology, exotics, dermatology, recovering surgeries as well as triaging emergencies throughout the day. Jen is currently undertaking a graduate certificate in emergency and critical care to further complement her role and enhance the already exceptional care we offer our patients.

Jennifer has always thrived in an environment that practices at the highest level which is what attracted her to us here at NVS. Jens fundamental goal is to enhance the experience and outcome of our patients, clients and referring Vets. When she is not in the hospital, she uses her skills as Mum to her two young children and all the various activities they undertake around the Northern Beaches.

Dr. Keely Wilson BVSc MVetClinStud MVA MANZCVS DipACVAA RCVS

Board Certified Specialist in Anaesthesia and Analgesia

Keely graduated from Sydney University in 2008 and went on to work in mixed and
emergency practice both in Sydney and overseas, she then went into equine referral
practice where she developed her love of anaesthesia. After completing her memberships,
she started a residency in anaesthesia and analgesia at Murdoch University. After working in
the UK for 18 months at the University of Cambridge and Willows Referral Centre she has
returned to Sydney. Keely enjoys all aspects of anaesthesia but particularly anaesthesia for
cardiac interventions, anaesthesia of critically ill patients and the use of ultrasound guided
locoregional anaesthesia. She brings with her a very plump Burmese cat called Aggy who
loves sleeping. In her spare time Keely loves to be outdoors in the sun, paint and bake up a
storm in the kitchen.

Dr Helen Paris BVSc MANZCVS Small Animal Medicine

Hospital Veterinarian - Medical, Surgical and Emergency & Critical Care

Helen is an integral part of our hospital vet team. Helen has extensive experience as an emergency vet, and is rapidly becoming our expert in ventilation to improve management of tick paralysis (a huge problem for Northern Beaches pets). When not caring for the hospitalized pets, Helen is at home with a very naughty Border Terrier (or Border “Terrorist” as he is affectionately called) “Brambles”, and her 3 kids, Ruby, Ava and Charlie.

Dr Ingrid Au

Hospital Veterinarian - Emergency & Critical Care Veterinarian

Bio & Photo Coming Soon =)

Dr. Lizzy Gan

Hospital Veterinarian - Medical, Surgical and Emergency & Critical Care

Bio & Photo Coming Soon =)

Dr Claire Bowland

Hospital Veterinarian - Emergency & Critical Care Veterinarian

Bio & Photo Coming Soon =)

Dr. Barbara Capellini

Hospital Veterinarian - Medicine

Barbara graduated from the
University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree in 2010. She initially worked in small animal private practice for about three years. Keen to advance her veterinary skills, she then completed a one-year rotating internship at a multi-specialist hospital, and later a one-year emergency and critical care internship.
Following this, she continued to work as emergency vet and also locum at different small animal practices around Sydney.

In 2021 she joined the NVS Medicine Team and NEVS Team on a casual basis. Barbara is proud to be part of a Team who strives to provide highest quality veterinary care for your pets.

Fun facts: Barbara speaks fluent Italian and is a keen swimmer.

Dr. Lucy Kirton BVetMed MANZCVS (VetECC) MRCVS

Hospital Veterinarian - Emergency & Critical Care Veterinarian

Lucy graduated from The Royal Veterinary College, London in 2004. She initially worked in mixed practice in the South West of England before moving into small animal practice around London and the South East of England.
In 2011 she moved to Australia, initially travelling around before settling in Sydney’s northern beaches. She has worked full time as an Emergency and Critical Care Veterinarian for 7 years, passing her ANZCVS Emergency and Critical Care Membership Exams in 2014 and was an examiner for them in 2017 and 2018.
She is also a RECOVER CPR trainer and runs CPR courses for vets and vet nurses.
Her particular interests are critical care, tick paralysis and CPR.
She has one furbaby- a cat called Rocket.

Dr Kieran MacKenzie

Hospital Veterinarian - Emergency & Critical Care Veterinarian

Bio & Photo Coming Soon =)

Dr Adrian Simon

Hospital Veterinarian - Emergency & Critical Care Veterinarian

Bio & Photo Coming Soon =)

Dr. Carissa Stamati BVSc MANZCVS (Small Animal Surgery)

Surgical Veterinarian

Carissa graduated from the University of Sydney in 2015 and started her career in a general practice on the Central Coast. She then undertook a rotation internship at the University of Sydney Veterinary Teaching Hospital before joining the surgery team at Northside in 2019 as a surgery intern. She has since stayed on in the role of registrar, assisting the wonderful team of surgeons in their day to day work.

In 2021 Carissa attained Membership in the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in Small Animal Surgery.

Carissa is usually found shadowed by her ridiculous rescue pug Mabel, who supervises the surgery team and performs quality control of everyone's lunches. In her spare time she enjoys all things arts and crafts.

Dr. Joshua Bool BVSc MANZCVS (Small Animal Medicine)

Small Animal Medicine Resident

After graduating from the University of Sydney in 2016, Josh began his career with a short stint as a medicine intern before joining a well-established general practice in the Northern Beaches. Over his four years in general practice, Josh developed a keen interest in internal medicine and medicine-based practical skills. In order to pursue this passion, Josh joined the internal medicine team at Northside Veterinary Specialists.

Josh achieved Membership with the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in Small Animal Medicine in 2021. Currently, Josh is training to become a specialist in Small Animal Medicine under the incredibly talented and experienced Internal Medicine Team at Northside Veterinary Specialists.

In 2019 Josh adopted an adult cat named Jasper - the two of them are best buddies!
When Josh isn’t working, you’ll catch him out riding his bike, snowboarding or cooking up a feast.

Dr. Alex Heggie BVSc MANZCVS (Small Animal Radiology)

Radiology Intern

Alex first started her career in the veterinary industry in 2008 as a casual veterinary nurse in the North Shore. She enjoyed working with animals so much that she went on to complete her veterinary studies at the University of Sydney. In 2016, Alex graduated and started her first vet role at a mixed animal practice in the Hawkesbury region. In 2018, she moved to a growing veterinary hospital in Sydney’s Western Suburbs, where she continued to develop her passion for diagnostic imaging and internal medicine, whilst improving her surgical skills. In order to continue her learning and growth as a veterinarian, Alex joined the Northside Veterinary Specialists team in 2021. Alex has since completed a Multidisciplinary Internship and commenced her Radiology Internship in 2022.
Alex really loves helping cats and dogs, and enjoys working out the best treatment plan for pets and their caring owners. She is passionate about the welfare of our animals and understands their value in the family.
Alex “accidentally” adopted the clinic cat during her time in Western Sydney. He would come home to visit on the weekends, and then eventually he never left. Jasper is now a very important part of her family.

Dr. King Mak

Small Animal Surgical Intern

King joined the Internship Program at NVS in 2021.
King has since completed his Multidisciplinary Internship and is currently completing a Surgical Internship with our amazing Surgical Team.