Staff Achievements and Practice Research

At Brisbane Bird and Exotics Veterinary Service, as well as working with you to keep your pet happy and healthy, we are continually improving our level of knowledge and increasing the level of knowledge generally in avian and exotic medicine.  This involves a combination of research, staff training and individual professional and personal development.

Recent and Current Research Projects:
Chicken Respiratory Disease

Using a grant from the Australasian Chapter of the Asssociation of Avian Veterinarians (AAVAC), Dr Deborah and the team are looking into which specific agents cause respiratory disease outbreaks in backyard poultry.  This is important because some are viral and some are bacterial. Knowing the frequency of each will allow better treatment and prevention in affected flocks.

Expected finish date: November 2019

Bearded Dragon Gastrointestinal Parasites

We commonly see gastrointestinal parasites in sick pet Bearded Dragons.  Dr Jess is collecting faeces from healthy dragons to look at the prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in veterinary assessed ‘well’ animals.  This will allow us to make better decisions on treating incidental findings of parasites.

Expected finish date: April 2019

Blue tongue morphometric sexing

In conjunction with Ms Annette Bird from Reptile Rehabilitation Queensland, Inc, we are looking into morphometrics (measurements of body various parts of the body) of deceased, wild Blue Tongue Lizards and comparing them with necropsy determination of gender.

Expected finish date: Ongoing

Mycoplasma in Pythons

We have collected several samples from healthy snakes that have never had respiratory disease to help a researcher assess the incidence of mycoplasma bacteria in the general snake population.  This is a collaboration with Dr Tim Hyndman from Murdoch University.

Expected finish date: Samples submitted

Sex Hormone Vaccination Trial

We are collaborating in a trial of vaccinating hens against a specific sex hormones, as a long-term way of preventing egg laying in hens, and crowing in roosters.  Dr Tim Hyndman from Murdoch University is the primary researcher.

Expected finish date: Ongoing

Bornavirus Infection in Snakes, and Possible Drug Treatments

Another collaboration with Dr Tim Hyndman (Murdoch University), Dr Emma and Dr Deborah were involved in collected samples from snakes naturally infected with bornavirus to establish the pattern of viral shedding.  Emma then looked at antiviral agents, and whether these would prevent or reduce the shedding of the virus in naturally infected animals.

Expected finish date: Data currently being assessed

Quality control study

Dr Emma was the recipient of a previous Association of Avian Veterinarians Australasian Committee grant, looking into the accuracy of in-house testing for specific blood parameters as compared with external laboratory testing.  

This has now been published. In Eolophus Volume 2, No. 3 2018

Guinea Pig Dental Disease

A collaboration with Dr Hamish Baron (University of Sydney), we are looking at BBEVS data for the last 10 years and seeing what parameters are involved in the development of guinea pig dental disease.

Expected finish date: Ongoing

Professional Presentations, Publications and Further Qualifications

Dr Sasha Miles

BVSc (Hons) MANZCVSc (Avian Health)

About Sasha

Author of text book chapter – ‘Turtle Shell Repair’ textbook chapter in Reptile Medicine and Surgery in Clinical Practice (Wiley Blackwell) edited by Bob Doneley, Deborah Monks, Robert Johnson and Brendan Carmel

Accredited as a Mental Health First Aider from Mental Health First Aid

Recent conference presentations:

  • Femoral Head Osteotomy in an Indian Ringneck Parakeet – AAVAC Conference, 2016.
  • Turtle Husbandry – AAVAC Conference, 2016.

Convener of the Unusual Pet and Avian Veterinarians Special Interest Group at the Australian Veterinary Association Conference In Brisbane 2018

Currently studying for Membership in Medicine and Surgery of Unusual Pets (2019)

Dr Kimberley Tozer

BVSc (Hons)

About Kimberley

Winner of the Stephen Ross Scholarship 2018

Presenting at UPAV conference 2018  – Potential Medical Therapies to Reduce the Recurrence of Urolithiasis in Guinea Pigs

Convened a Practical Workshop – Avian and exotic emergency procedures for emergency veterinarians,  October 2018

Presented seminar – Avian and exotic emergency care for emergency veterinarians,  March 2018

Presenter at RepX Expo 2018

Guest lecturer on Bird Reproductive Disease for UQ Veterinary Students – Avian Special Interest Group.  2017

Delegate at Small Animal Abdominal Ultrasound Workshop – March 2018

Co-author in Monks D, et al. 2017. Treatment of Bilateral Mandibular fractures in a goose (Anser anser domesticus). AAVAC Ann. Conf. Procs. Auckland, New Zealand. 25:51-54

Dr Emma Sciacca (McMillan)

BVSc (Hons) MANZCVSc (Avian Health)

About Emma

Recipient of the AAVAC Research Grant 2016 for the paper “Comparison of in-house and external veterinary diagnostics in avian practice” (see above)

  • Poster presented at AAVAC conference in Auckland, NZ in 2017
  • Paper published in Eolophus Volume 2, No. 3 2018

Presenting at 2018 Unusual Pet and Avian Veterinarian Conference in Adelaide, Australia – ‘Systemic Microsporidiosis in a Central Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps)

Presented ‘Reptile Reproduction’ lecture to veterinarian students at University of Queensland 2018 as part of Student Conference

Co-author in Monks D, et al. 2017. Treatment of Bilateral Mandibular fractures in a goose (Anser answer domesticus). AAVAC Ann. Conf. Procs. Auckland, New Zealand. 25:51-54

Achieved Membership to the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in Avian Health – 2018

Completed VIN Course – EXOT320-1017: Avian Cardiology

Dr Deborah Monks

BVSc (Hons) CertZooMed, FACVSc (Avian Health) DipECZM

About Deborah

Co-editor BSAVA: Manual of Avian Practice.  British Small Animal Veterinary Association. (Chitty and Monks). 2018.

Author of following chapters:

  • Chapter 5: Behaviour
  • Chapter 22: Lower Respiratory Tract Disease (Chitty and Monks)
  • Chapter 31: The Sick Baby Bird

Co-editor Reptile Medicine and Surgery in Clinical Practice (Doneley, Monks, Johnson and Carmel).  Wiley Blackwell. 2018.

Author of following chapters:

  • Chapter 5: Enclosure Design (McFadden, Monks, Doneley & Johnson)
  • Chapter 8: Reptile Paediatrics (Monks and Doneley)
  • Chapter 17: Differential Diagnoses A Problem Based Approach (McCracken, Carmel, Chitty, Doneley, Johnson, Lennox, Monks, Olsson)

Monks D, et al. 2017. Treatment of Bilateral Mandibular fractures in a goose (Anser answer domesticus). AAVAC Ann. Conf. Procs. Auckland, New Zealand. 25:51-54

Verwey  JK, Peters  A, Monks DJ,  Raidal SR (2018).  Spillover of avian  haemosporidian parasites  (Haemosporidia: Plasmodium)  and death of captive psittacine  species. Australian Veterinary Journal  96(3):93-97

Presented Continuing Education Webinar to members of Unusual Pets and Avian Vets Special Interest Group of the Australian Veterinary Association in May 2018.  Dental disease in Guinea Pigs (one hour).

Presented Membership Examination Mentor Program to Avian Membership Candidates of Australian New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists.  Program included Skype call, Webinar, and draft examination assessment and ran over several weeks.

Presenter at Parrot Society of Australia ‘Parrots 2018’.  Calcium Metabolism in Birds.

Consultant on Veterinary Information Network Avian and Small Mammal Boards.

Regular Peer-reviewer for Australian Veterinary Journal and Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine.  Have reviewed for other international journals.

Completed Veterinary Information Network Course on Pet Anxiety.

Completed Veterinary Information Network Course on Biostatistics.

Immediate Past Policy Councillor (Unusual Pets and Avian Vets) Australian Veterinary Association.

Meredith Gordon

Certificate IV Veterinary Nursing – qualified

About Meredith

2018:

Attended Parrots Conference (2 days – July 2018)

Attending UPAV Nurses Conference (1 day – November 2018)

2017:

Attended Step-Up Parrot Training Convention (1 day – September 2017)

Attended UPAV Conference (2 days – August 2017)

2016:

Completed Mental Health First Aid Certificate

Member of Veterinary Nurses Council of Australia

Kelsey Head

Certificate IV Veterinary Nursing – qualified

About Kelsey

2018:

Attended Parrots Conference (2 days – July 2018)

Attending UPAV Nurses Conference (1 day – November 2018)

2017:

Attended UPAV Conference (1 day – August 2017)

Radiation Use License

2016:

Presenter ‘Chicken Care 101’ Nurses Stream, Combined Conference Unusual Pets and Avian Vets/Association of Avian Veterinarians Australasian Committee.  

2011:

Certificate IV Veterinary Nursing

2010:

Certificate III Native Animal Rehabilitation

Member Veterinary Nurses Council of Australia

Stephanie Bock

About Stephanie

2018:

Attended RepX Expo (1 day – March 2018)

2017:

Attended UPAV Conference (1 day – August 2017)

Radiation Use License

2016:

Presenter ‘Respiratory Disease in Rats’ Nurses Stream, Combined Conference Unusual Pets and Avian Vets/Association of Avian Veterinarians Australasian Committee.  

2009:

Certificate V in Technology (Veterinary Nursing) – equivalent to Certificate IV Veterinary Nursing in Australia

Member of Veterinary Nurses Council of Australia

Madeline Rienecker

About Madeline

2017:

VNCA Course – Basic Necropsy Techniques

VNCA Course – Avian and Exotic Necropsies

2016:

Presenter ‘Avian Egg Incubation’ Nurses Stream, Combined Conference Unusual Pets and Avian Vets/Association of Avian Veterinarians Australasian Committee.  

2015:

Attended a workshop with Operation Nest Egg (ONE) in Kiwi egg candling and incubation

2013:

Attended a workshop in Avian Artificial Incubation with the Durrell Conservation Academy

Bachelor of Wildlife Science (incomplete)

Certificate IV Veterinary Nursing (incomplete)

2007:

Certificate III Captive Animals

Member Veterinary Nurses Council of Australia

Tiana Davey

About Tiana

2018:

Speaker Unusual Pets and Avian Vets (Australian Veterinary Association)/Association of Avian Veterinarians Australasian Committee Combined Conference ‘Captive Waterfowl Nutrition’

Radiation Use Licence

Completed the following courses:

  • Reptile Haematology (VIN)
  • Avian Haematology and Cytology (VIN)
  • Pet Anxiety (VIN)

2017:

Certificate IV Veterinary Nursing 

Completed the following courses:

  • Basic Reptile Nursing Care (VIN)
  • Basic Necropsy Technique (VIN)
  • Avian and Exotics Necropsies (VIN)
  • Basic Avian Nursing Care (VIN)
  • Capnography (VIN)
  • Anaesthesia Alphabet Soup (VIN)

Member Veterinary Nurses Council of Australia

Charlotte McDuff

About Charlotte

2017:

Enrolled in Certificate IV Veterinary Nursing (expected finish date 2020)

Member Veterinary Nurses Council of Australia

Karla Jarvis

About Karla

2018:

Certificate IV Veterinary Nursing

Member Veterinary Nurses Council of Australia

Alana Twomey

About Alana

2018:

Completing Advanced Programme in Veterinary Nursing of Zoo and Exotic Species – estimated to finish 2020

Attended UPAV Nurses Conference (1 day – November 2018)

Presented Avian Behaviour Seminar (October)

2017:

Attended Step-Up Parrot Training Convention (1 day – September 2017)

Radiation Use License

Completed the following courses:

  • VIN – Basic Necropsy Technique
  • VIN – Avian and Exotic Necropsies
  • VNCA Course – Capnography

2016:

Presenter ‘Guinea Pig Care 101’ Nurses Stream, Combined Conference Unusual Pets and Avian Vets/Association of Avian Veterinarians Australasian Committee.  

2011:

Certificate IV Veterinary Nursing

Member Veterinary Nurses Council of Australia

Member Parrot Society of Australia

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