Dr Kat Crosse – From skiing accident to PHD in airway disease in Brachycephalic dogs

VetPrac welcomes Dr Kat Crosse to the education team for the Fix the Face workshop in September 2019. We think she’s the perfect choice for this workshop – she’s currently doing a PhD in airway disease in brachycephalic dogs AND she has a great teaching philosophy!

Kat hails from the UK, and originally intended not to do any small animal work. She can’t remember a time when she didn’t want to be a vet. Her first job was mixed, but mostly large and equine. It became increasingly clear to her, however, that the frustrations of never quite reaching a diagnosis and a lack of ability to treat her large patients made her small animal work seem more and more enjoyable. A moment of “being an idiot on her skis” and tearing her cruciate, with subsequent crate rest with toilet walks only, meant she spent a lot more time in the small animal part of the clinic. It was only then that she started to foster her interest in surgery, and was soon volunteering for “ops days” 5 days a week.

When studying through her residency at Massey University, she found huge holes in the understanding of airway disease in brachycephalic dogs. At the same time the population of these dogs was increasing exponentially. She had too many questions that she couldn’t find answers for and she had too many dogs clearly suffering who needed the veterinary profession’s help. The aim of her PhD is to really try to identify what the difference is between the good and bad brachycephalic dogs and by using airway flow dynamics, assess what is the best way to improve their airways.

When teaching, Kat loves the background work of trying to distil the most complex of theories and practices into succinct and easy to understand lessons. “It takes a lot of work to be able to explain something complex in simple terms, and I like the fact this pushes me to really understand the things I am teaching.”

Since finishing her residency at Massey University and becoming a diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2016 she has worked as a small animal surgeon at Massey University. One extremely worthwhile project at Massey that was coordinated by Kat was a charity outreach clinic in Samoa. She took veterinary students to Samoa, where they performed desexing of local animals. She loved working there and could see the benefits to the Samoan community and the students alike. Unfortunately, the project became a victim of slashed funding. Kat welcomes any donations to allow the project to resume – she would happily take the students back to Samoa if she could access $20,000 per year.

Kat fills her spare time to the brim with either mountain biking, yoga, painting, crafting, hiking, planning pranks on my colleagues, hanging out with her dog Fennel…. the list goes on!

So, if you’re registered for the workshop, take advantage of her superior educational skills, quiz her about her PhD findings, but above all, watch out for her pranks! It should be a fun workshop!


Kat can be contacted at k.crosse@massey.ac.nz


Independent Vets of Australia presents the Synergy Conference 2019

In veterinary business there are a number of key elements that when given strategic and synergistic attention can have multiplying effects on the results for the practice.

This September 19th to 21st, the Independent Vets of Australia Synergy Conference will be held at Pier One in Sydney.

Over three days this event brings together practice owners, associates and managers to learn how to accelerate practice results through collaboration with key speakers, experts and partners. International speaker and author Dr Peter Weinstein is just one of the key speakers who will present across the three days. With experience in private practice ownership and corporate practice, Dr Peter Weinstein discusses the key influencers which make independent practices excel in competitive environments. Dr Peter Weinstein will cover Education Marketing, Patients for Life, Customer Experience, Corporations and workshops based on his book entitled EMyth The Veterinarian – Why Most Veterinary Practices Don’t Work and What to Do About It.

In addition, a number of experienced guest speakers will share insights and solutions around Managing People, Thriving in Practice, Solutions to the Vet Drought, 2020 Planning & Social Media throughout the event.

Working in (and on) a veterinary practice requires agility, collaboration, and determination. The IVA Synergy Conference is designed to enable practices to identify and establish the strategies that will work synergistically towards a common goal to create success.


Full details are available online at ivaconference.com.au.
Early bird tickets available until the 31st of August.





Ashlee’s journey: Nursing to Canine Rehabilitation Certification

Looking for a new challenge in your career as a veterinary nurse or technician?

Have you considered the field of canine sports medicine and rehabilitation?

Read on to find out how Ashlee Callander chose this career path. Ashlee is now a senior CCRA (Certified Canine Rehabilitation Assistant) at the Vet Practice in Whittlesea, Victoria, and will join the education team at VetPrac for the Canine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Workshop later this month.

How did you first develop an interest in canine sports medicine and rehabilitation?

“I have always had a passion for animals; originally coming from the hairdressing and beauty industry I was looking for something more fulfilling. Being a CCRA gives me the ability to have such a great impact on the animal’s physical state and well-being. I also love educating clients on providing a higher level of care to their furry family members and being able to provide support to them even in the harder times. Rehab isn’t just a job; it takes an immense level of dedication and care to ensure only the best for our animals.”


Tell us about the training you’ve undergone to become a certified canine rehab assistant.

“My clinic always sees the importance of having educated and accredited staff to provide knowledgeable and correct treatment. My studies have allowed me to spend some amazing time over in the US; I made 2 trips over to complete my certification and placement. During this time, I met some of the kindest, compassionate and amazingly skilled human beings. It is such a great feeling to meet so many people with such dedication to the field and to the quality of our dog’s lives.”


What kind of clinic do you work in?

“I work in one of the largest clinics in Australia; we are a 24hr animal hospital that provides everything from basic care to state-of-the-art treatments. These services include CT, MRI, orthopaedic surgery, regenerative medicine and of course our fully certified rehab centre that is currently 6 members strong and growing.”


What’s a typical day at your clinic in your role as a rehab assistant?

“Every day is different when it comes to my job! I work with a combination of inpatient post ortho or neuro patients, outpatient post ortho/sporting/geriatric/neuro who come in for a session with their owner and what we call All Day Rehab patients that come and stay with us for the day. Every day is a different balance of each, but there is always a guarantee that it’s going to be a busy day!”


What strengths do you bring to your team?

“I love getting creative with our patients’ rehab to be able to get the most out of their exercises. I’m also big on form and ensuring correct posture and gait; it’s not just as simple as getting dogs to do cool tricks. It’s great when our team brainstorms and adds all of our knowledge together, especially when working with a hard case.”


What advice do you have for veterinary nurses or technicians that wish to pursue a career in canine rehabilitation?

“It is such a fulfilling career and I love what I do. Ensure that you practice your skills every day and get hands-on every chance you can in your training as good palpation skills are key. You also need to be prepared for the emotional rollercoaster that comes with it. Ensure you and your team support each other physically and emotionally.”


When asked about a memorable case she’d been involved with Ashlee replied “It’s hard for me to describe one case that is really memorable for me as on a regular basis we see patients that have been given euthanasia as their best option: the incurable lameness that’s been going on for months if not years or the paralysed dog that no one thinks will walk again. We have been able to prove all these things wrong and significantly turn their lives around and regain an active quality of life. It takes dedication from our team and the owners to nurse these patients back to health. It’s pretty special!”


What do you like to do for fun?

“In my winddown time, I love getting out into the fresh air and exploring our beautiful countryside, including doing this on horseback. I have 1 dog, 1 cat, and 3 horses so a lot of my time outside of work is dedicated to them. They are my sanity!”


Ashlee Callander can be contacted at The Vet Practice on (03) 9716 2495 or ashlee.callander@thevetpractice.com.au

To find out more about the training required to become a certified canine rehabilitation veterinary nurse, go to http://www.caninerehabinstitute.com/CCRVN.html