Welcome Belinda - our new Associate vet

Welcome to our new part-time veterinarian Belinda Oppenheimer!
Some of you may have already met Belinda, having helped us out on several occasions over the last few months. 
Belinda is now a permanent part-time member of our team, helping cover the shifts of Dr Lizzie (as Lizzie is on maternity leave- congratulations on the birth of Angus). Belinda has already managed to get a reputation as a Chicken Vet - saving some very ill chooks brought to our clinic.
Belinda graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2013, after wanting to become an exotics vet since primary school. Developing a passion for animal welfare during university, she started her career in shelter medicine, with a special interest in the needs of exotic pets in the shelter environment. Aside from exotic pets, she has a big soft spot for rescue greyhounds, and is the chief vet for Greyhound Rescue Victoria, and a veterinary adviser for numerous other rehoming and animal welfare groups. Belinda is owned by two ex-blood donor greyhounds, Till and Tobias, Acarath the Eastern blue tongue lizard, and Vüdü and Pinball the cockatiels.


Belinda with Till and Tobias

We Have a Winner!

We are excited to announce that our own Dr Brendan Carmel has just returned from Texas, having travelled there to receive the Oxbow Exotic Mammal Health Award. This prestigious international award recognises excellence and innovation in the field of exotic mammal health.

Brendan is the first recipient from the southern hemisphere and only the second person outside the USA to receive the award.

For more information on the award:http://www.oxbowanimalhealth.com/vets/oemha


Oxbow Exotic Mammal Health Award

Is your pet Unusual?

Desert Wolf Spider

Desert Wolf Spider

As you could imagine we see many different types of unusual pets. As stated elsewhere on our website 'It's what we do all day, every day'. So it's no surprise to us when the waiting room comprises of a ferret, a bearded dragon, a crocodile, a rabbit and a mouse - and of course the accompanying owners of the above mentioned pets!

Some of the more challenging (dare we say fun?) cases we have seen recently include:

  • Cataracts in a frog
  • Congenital heart disease in a young snake
  • Cancer in a rat
  • Osteoathritis in a Thorny Devil lizard

We also provide advice for various wildlife parks, schools and NGO's (Non Government Organisations). Caring for some of these animals is a challenge, for example how do your examine an eel?

What is your unusual pet or unusual pet story? How about posting a note on our Facebook page?



Winter Worries for Pets

Rain, Wind, hail, and even snow... welcome to winter in Melbourne.

We love Melbourne, though the last few weeks have been challenging - not just to get out of bed on those cold mornings but also for pets that can suffer in the cold. Read on for more details.

Dr Carmel spent a week in late July lecturing to JCU Veterinary students in Townsville on unusual pets..... tough work!

The cold weather can result in your pet becoming ill. Over the past few weeks we have seen an increase in sick parts of various species. Here is a summary of some common problems we have seen:

  • Reptiles not eating
    • It is common (and normal for most) for reptiles to eat less over the winter period. This is usually an adaption to cope with the decreased temperatures, with some going into brumation (hibernation). However we do see many reptiles around this time that are sick, typically due to inadequate temperature management in the vivarium. Respiratory infections are common.


  • Ferrets moulting
    • Fur or hair loss in pet ferrets is a common concern of owners. Adrenal gland disease, where the ferret losing most of its hair due to an adrenal gland tumour, is what the owner worries about if their ferret has an abnormal coat. Or is it just a moult?


  • Stiff and sore Dogs and Cats (and rabbits, rats, mice, guinea pigs, reptiles, ferrets....)
    • As with humans, winter time is challenging for those with musculoskeletal problems. Animals are no different, suffering from diseases  such as osteoarthritis.
    • What are the signs? Look for behavioural changes like being quieter than normal, not moving around much or wanting to jump, taking longer to get up from rest. More obvious signs include lameness or vocalising - 'it hurts'!


What to do?

Now is the time to have your pert examined by a veterinarian for a winter heath check. We can discuss any concerns you have and ensure your pet is given the best of care.

Best of all - we can make you a hot chocolate or other hot beverage when you drop in: just ask!

Call the Warranwood Veterinary Centre today to make an appointment

(03) 9879 0900


Australian Veterinary Association Conference: Rodent diseases and Snake Viruses

Brendan attended the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) annual conference in Perth late last month. He presented a talk on geriatric rodent diseases: more about news related to this in our clinic newsletter (subscribe to this on our website front page).

One of the other speakers in the exotics stream was Dr Tim Hyndman from Murdoch university. Tim discovered Sunshine Virus: a paramyxovirus that infects snakes. It is a devastating disease, often killing many animals in a collection. It affects pythons - to date mostly carpet and children python species. The signs seen with affected snakes include neurological and respiratory - abnormal coiling, head and body twisting, wheezing for example. 

There has been numerous outbreaks of this virus in Victorian snakes. We diagnosed the first outbreak in Victoria.

What to do if your snake is exhibiting neurological signs? Get it to a veterinarian experienced with treating reptiles ASAP. It may not be a disease like Sunshine virus - but there are other possible diseases that result in these signs. A reptile veterinarian can help determine the problem and whether the illness can be treated.


Our Reptile Health Care Book is now Available

'A Guide to Health and Disease in Reptiles and Amphibians' co-authored by Dr Brendan Carmel is now available to purchase.

  • For beginner to advanced reptile keepers
  • Chapters include preventative care, housing, hygiene, quarantine, feeding, breeding
  • Over 240 colour images

It is available direct from our secure website ordering page, from our clinic (ask for a signed copy!) or 'at all good bookstores'. It will shortly also be available from Amazon.com

Welcome to our new website

It's been a long time since we updated our website: the update was long overdue.

Our website has undergone a total makeover. This has included a change of hosting company: we are now with the amazing SquareSpace. I think you will agree that our new website is a massive improvement.

Please browse our new site and let is know your thoughts. More news about other exciting additions to our online presence soon!


PS Consider joining our news email list via the join-up box at the bottom of the first page.