Northside Veterinary Specialists are here for you and your pets during this crazy COVID time, and business is (almost) as usual. In accordance with best practices to keep our employees safe and our hospital operational, we have moved to a contactless consultation and admission process.

Please rest assured, even though we aren't seeing you face to face, your pet is still getting the best of care. Visit the COVID section of our website for more information.

Call on 9452 2933 with any questions.

We thank you all for your support and patience!

COVID-19 CONSULTING HOURS 6am - 6pm, Monday - Friday
24 HOURS PER DAY, 7 DAYS A WEEK in case of emergency

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 Anna Dengate BMedSc BVSc FANZCVS Small Animal Medicine

Small Animal Medicine Specialist

Anna also grew up on the Northern Beaches, graduating from Sydney University in 2008 and progressing to a scholarship to Cornell University in America. After researching canine coagulation disorders during her undergraduate studies, she now collaborates with haematologists at North Shore Hospital to optimise care for dogs and cats with clotting problems. Anna also organises case discussions between specialist hospitals and has presented at several local and international conferences. She sat membership exams in small animal medicine in 2012, and qualified as a specialist in 2016. Anna enjoys time out with her two dogs (Penny and Ginny), two kids and family when not working.

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

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(Hon) MANZCVS GradCertVetStud

Small Animal Surgery

Bio coming soon! =)









Dr Michelle Joffe BVSc (Hons1), Dip ECVS, MVSt, MVCSt

Specialist in Small Animal Surgery

Bio coming soon =)



Dr Rita Singh BSc BVMS DipVetClinStud FANZCVS DipACVIM


Dr Rita Singh is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in Cardiology and is the only registered specialist in Veterinary Cardiology in NSW.

Rita loves all aspects of veterinary cardiology and is devoted to providing quality and compassionate care for your family members. While the majority of our patients are dogs and cats, Rita has also been trained in cardiology of horses and exotic species including ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, turtles, snakes, iguanas, monkeys and large cats. Rita is also experienced in providing surgical and interventional procedures including pacemaker placement and correction of certain arrhythmias.

Dr Rita Singh is available for consultations at Northside Veterinary Specialists or at your regular veterinary hospital by request.

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

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


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 Mariano Makara Dr med vet, Dipl. ECVDI

Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging

Dr. Makara has a veterinary degree from the University of La Plata, Argentina. He undertook a radiology internship with Ross University, School of Veterinary Medicine, under the guidance and direction of Dr. Joe Morgan. He then moved to the University of Zurich in Switzerland where he completed a residency program in diagnostic imaging and passed his certification exams for the European College of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging in March 2010. His research interests have centred around contrast medium injection techniques and scan trimming in computed tomography. Mariano currently works part-time at the Sydney School of Veterinary Science at Sydney University as Senior Lecturer in Diagnostic Imaging and has recently joined the Northside Veterinary Specialist Team.

Dr Jennifer Smith BVSc (Hons)

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 Stephanie Conroy BVSc

Hospital Veterinarian - Medical, Surgical and Emergency & Critical Care

Steph has recently returned to the NVS team from maternity leave, and is one of our highly qualfied emergency and hospital veterinarians. Steph has undertaken several years of general practice, 2 rotating internships, and subsequently managed an emergency service at another veterinary hospital. She works to provide consistency in case management between specialist services, and manage our more intensive hospital patients to facilitate availability of specialists for procedures in local clinics. Steph’s extensive
knowledge and thoroughness have enhanced our patient care greatly, and we are very happy to have her on board.

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. Paul McCarthy BSc, DVM

Multidisciplinary Intern

Bio coming soon =)





Dr. Joshua Bool BVSc

Internal Medicine Intern

After graduating from the University of Sydney in 2016, Josh began his career with a short stint as a medical 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 has joined the internal medicine team at Northside Veterinary Specialists.
In 2019 Josh adopted an adult cat named Jasper - the two of them are now best buddies!

When Josh isn’t working, you’ll catch him out riding his bike, snowboarding or cooking up a feast.



Dr. Jen Stewart BSc, BVSc(Hons1)

Surgical Intern

Photo & bio coming soon =)