Merridie moved to Cabarita Beach 20 years ago to spend more time with her children and start her own practice. What started out as a solo venture has blossomed into the Tweed Coast Vet we know and love.
Merridie enjoys the challenge of both being a vet and managing the practice. She has always loved doing surgery and keeping up to date with the latest surgical techniques. Her latest project is a continuing education course in cat medicine.
Outside of work, Merridie is a very active member of the community. She enjoys walking on the beach with Fang, spending time with her family and trying to diet her two fat cats, Willy and Wonky.
Rachael started at the Tweed Coast Vet shortly after graduating from the University of Queensland and we have been lucky to have her ever since!
Rachael has a keen interest in dentistry and takes pride in ensuring the pets of Cabarita have lovely smiles to share around. She has been the driving force in new dental techniques and is the reason our clinic is equipped with the absolute latest in dental equipment and digital dental X-ray machines.
When not at work, Rachael enjoys spending time with her family including her dog, Alice, and her cat, Oskar.
Dr Kaila began working with us before she had even graduated. Starting by working weekends as a nurse while studying at Gatton, she gradually became part of the family. When she graduated she left us for a year to study her internship at the Veterinary Specialist Services in Brisbane.
She has returned to us from there with a very keen interest in Ophthalmology. She is currently undertaking further study in Ophthalmology So as our resident “Eye expert” Kaila is probably the person you will see (“see” get it?) if your pets ever have troubles with their eyes.
You will often see Kaila accompanied at the clinic by Anoki, her cheeky Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who has a stomach that has often been referred to as a bottomless pit.
Dr Emma joined us in 2013 when she moved from Melbourne to be nearer her family in the Tweed Valley.
Emma is enthusiastic about all aspects of veterinary science and loves to help people with their pets. She genuinely cares about making sure your animal is as healthy as possible and loves getting to the bottom of tricky medical cases.
Away from work, Emma’s gorgeous daughter Willow keeps her on her toes. She is also kept busy with her mischievous Labrador, Fudge, her cat Cam, her giant rabbit Pancake and a myriad of alpacas.
Dr Anna comes to us with a global outlook on veterinary science. Anna was trained in the UK, and graduated from Bristol University in 2009.
She moved to Australia in 2013, and spent several years locuming around the country. During this time she has had the opportunity to learn and train under a wide variety of people, learning a variety of different techniques and skills.
While Dr Anna enjoys all aspects of veterinary work, she has a particular interest in Internal Medicine and making sick pets well again. She makes a valuable addition to our team!
Dr Brigid has worked with the team at Tweed Coast Vet for a number of years. Her special interest is in holistic medicine, combining acupuncture, Chinese herbs and complementary medicine with a strong background of mainstream veterinary medicine. This is a fantastic option for some patients – particularly for pain management, mobility, incontinence and certain behavioural conditions. If you are interested in exploring alternative options, why not book an appointment with Dr Brigid and have a chat.
Brigid has a love for rescue animals. As far as listing her pets at home, , Brigid has a too many furry friends to mention them all here – everything from cats to cows!
Dr Merridie’s daughter, Dr Sara is still seen around the clinic from time to time. She mainly works in Brisbane, but comes down regularly to help Dr Merridie with managing the practice, and helping with administrative work.
On the veterinary side, Dr Sara has a special interest in ultrasonography and will often come down to perform ultrasounds when required, enjoying the change of pace and the sea-side air.
Secretly though, the real reason Dr Sara comes down to visit is that she misses Fang. Fang is the golden labradoodle who thinks she runs the clinic, and hasn’t yet realised that she is a dog. We’ve created a staff page specially for her as the Chief Treat Taster,
Kerstin completed her veterinary nurse qualifications in her native Germany.
After moving to Australia she worked for several veterinary clinics for a couple of years before finally joining the Tweed Coast Vet team – over 16 years ago!
This makes her the longest serving support staff member on the team!
You will mainly find her in reception, though her infectious bubbly giggle can be heard throughout the entire clinic. Since her children have left home, Kerstin has taken up a more adventurous, nomadic lifestyle. She and her husband Frank, now take regular short trips in their camper-van, enjoying the freedom to explore!
Prior to starting her family, Bianca spent a lot of time volunteering for the RSPCA and the Animal Welfare League. Bianca joined us 8 years ago and is one of our great “All Rounders.” She is particularly fond of caring for our hospitalised patients and having a joke with clients in the waiting room. In her spare time, Bianca enjoys spending time with her family including her daughter Jamie, her chooks and her two cats, Misch and Shiloh.
Daen is our wildlife warrior and in her spare time rescues, treats and rehabilitates flying foxes as a part of the Tweed Valley Wildlife Carers.
Daen enjoys working in our team at Tweed Coast Vet because she loves to interact and care for so many wonderful animals.
At home Daen has her own band of animals – Dogs Tiger the Staffy and Rusty the Koolie, Roasty and Bearnie the Roosters, Peach and Marley the Rats and Tim Tam the Spotted Python.
When she has time to relax she is spending time with her family and sitting down with a good book.
Rhonda brings a broad range of experience to Tweed Coast Vet, including her most recent role at PetPlan in the UK.
Before her twin boys started school, Rhonda made the huge choice to leave the UK. Moving to the Northern Rivers with her young family, she’s joined Tweed Coast Vet to continue her lifelong love affair for animals in her workplace.
Varley’s dream has always been to work with animals – particularly in helping to keep them healthy and well. She loves being involved in surgeries out the back, but more often than not you’ll find her out the front, having a chat and checking up on how your pets have been going.
She absolutely loves working with animals and people, and we love working with her.
When Cath joined us we found ourselves with someone with a broad range of experience from many different parts of the veterinary industry. In particular, Cath has focussed on surgical and anaesthetic nursing. With Cath on the team you can feel confident your pet is in safe hands.
Cath says the best part about her job though is the time she gets to spend cuddling and reassuring our patients – making sure they are as comfortable as possible.
When not at work, Cath loves spending time at the beach with her Golden Retriever, Chloe.
Ray has a passion for animals and in particular enjoys animal husbandry and the surgical aspects of working in a clinic. Ray adores animals and will never give up an opportunity to give extra love and attention to the patients. When not getting all those cuddles at work, Ray loves being out in nature and is a bit of an adventurer. She loves to run along the beach with Benji (her gorgeous Maltese X), skating and hanging out with friends and family.
Top Secret: Ray’s full name is actual Rachel, but given we already had a Rachael in the clinic she has kindly given us permission to create a nickname for her!
Fang is really the main person you need to know in the vet surgery. That’s right, although she looks a lot like a labradoodle, she is convinced she is actually a person.
She is not always present as she has a busy schedule, including several days a week at Dog Safari. When she is in the clinic however, she is often far too busy supervising the treat jar to always be on show, but late afternoons she enjoys coming out to the reception area to remind us that it is time for her treat and afternoon walk.
Born in 2007, Fang was destined to be a star. She has starred in many on stage performances. Locals will recall her in Neptune Theatre Company’s productions taking on roles such as Caramel the Camel in South Pacific, Sandy the dog in Annie, another camel in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dream Coat, and even a Salvation Army Officer in Guys and Dolls.
There have been a few other Cameo performances, where Fang has appeared just as herself due to popular demand.
Fang enjoys long walks on the beach (but things getting caught in the rain is a terrible thing). She will lie on her back and splay her legs in the most un-ladylike manner when she feels she is not getting enough attention, and stand on the scales to prove she has not eaten too many treats today (‘so can I please have another one now?’)
Fang initially came to this surgery as a puppy to be de-sexed and have corrective surgery on her eye-lids (which rolled in and were causing problems.) Dr Merridie did an excellent job of the surgery, but in the course of smooching the puppy after surgery discovered the pup had wrapped its furry little legs around her neck in a puppy hug and would not let go. Dr Merridie fell in love with the puppy, and knowing it was looking for a new owner, didn’t send the puppy home.
Fang is so named because as that tiny mass of curly puppy soon proved, she had a very placid personality. She imitated a bath mat perfectly, and loved nothing more than sleeping while in someone’s arms. Dr Sara felt that “Fang” might inspire some spunk or attitude into her, and give her a name to grow into. Despite many protests, “Fang” has stuck, although dismally failing to inspire Fang to anything like her namesake, she has proved a beautiful irony.
We love her to bits, and couldn’t be prouder. Come in one afternoon and meet Fang, guardian of the Vet Surgery, and Chief Treat Taster. Or check her out on her Facebook page, Fangspage.
Jasper is a beautiful, fluffy, white, 3-legged male cat of uncertain age, with 2 different coloured eyes, one part of an ear missing and a little bit of a tragic past. Since coming to us, he has earned the title “Chief Inefficiency Officer”, due to his endearing habit of ensuring that no other staff member can use a computer unaccosted.
Jasper came to us as a stray through Friends of the Pound. He had been hit by a car and had a complicated break to one of his front legs. The experience seemed to have traumatised Jasper a little, as he was initially reluctant to come out of the box we had provided for him to hide in.
Once Jasper had his damaged leg amputated, he improved markedly. Because he was having an extended stay with us, we took to leaving his cage door open so that he could explore the whole room if he chose. He didn’t choose. While he loved being patted and was not scared of people in any way, he was not interested in leaving his safe place.
For weeks he stayed in his cage, but one day we found that he had moved from the cage into the closet next to it. As it was a blanket cupboard, we allowed him to make his bed on the big soft blanket he had chosen, emerging only to toilet, eat and drink. He loved being patted but would not leave his man-cave, instead insisting (in typical cat fashion) that we come to him for smooches.
This continued for months, and eventually he became a fixture. We did not end up sending him back to Friends of the Pound. Everyone had come to enjoy their morning cuddle with the strange ball of white fluff that seemed to prefer the life of a hermit.
Eventually Jasper’s bed was moved to the staff room, and these days Jasper has expanded his range to both the staff room AND the office. Jasper spends his time sitting on either the staff’s laps, or their keyboards. He loves people and has no fear of any one. He doesn’t seem to have any desire for daylight either, but we try not to judge him for that!