About The Melbourne Bird Veterinary Clinic
Established in 2000, the Melbourne Bird Veterinary Clinic moved into it's new purpose built clinic in 2009. The clinic is one of only 4 bird-only veterinary clinics in Australia and is the only bird-only veterinary clinic in Victoria.
Dr. Corrie Pinkster, nurse Laura Van Dinther and Dr. Colin Walker outside the clinic
The Melbourne Bird Veterinary Clinic is located in Scoresby, a south eastern suburb of Melbourne and is operated by avian vet Dr. Colin Walker. The clinic also employs two fully qualified and experienced avian veterinarians, Dr Corrie Pinkster and Dr Stacey Gelis. They are complimented with experienced support staff in Marcia McDonald, Laura Van Dinther, Tracey Adams, Tawny Smith and Ian Osmand. Being specifically designed for birds means that this clinic is able to incorporate features that are especially bird friendly, many of which are not found in general practices. There are two hospital areas. One looks out into a small private garden and contains 20 individual thermostatically controlled heated cages. A range of perches and bowls are available together with a fridge holding food catering for the different species presented. Some cages are adapted so that supplemental oxygen or vapourised medicines can be given. The second hospital area acts as a quarantine to hold birds with known or suspected infectious disease. It also contains heated cages and is fully tiled to allow for easy disinfection. A separate locked store holds the medications used in avian practice. Many of these are not routinely held by general practices but need to be on hand here.
Part of the hospitalisation area
Designed for Birds: Specialists
The surgery is specifically designed for the avian patient. An out of circle isoflurane anaesthetic machine increases the safety of avian anaesthesia while assisted respiration machines, heat pads, strong lighting, magnification loupes, an endoscope and surgical equipment for operating on the smallest patient are all available. A high resolution x-ray machine and automatic developer means that x-rays can be obtained in several minutes if the need is there. In the waiting room a television monitor, controlled at reception, can display various avian orientated DVDs on topics such as parrot behaviour and nutrition while avian magazines are available to read for waiting clients. Waiting room shelving displays pelleted rations, parrot toys and various supplements that are available for purchase. The practice has two consulting rooms and one office that also open onto small private gardens and a large kitchen/staff room area. A further room is dedicated to in-house diagnostics. Blood biochemistry and haematology, blood lead estimates, Chlamydia testing and microscopic examination of various samples such as throat swabs, crop aspirates and droppings can all be done here. The microscope is connected to an over head monitor enabling clients and students to see microscope fields. The clinic is centrally heated and air conditioned.
Dr Walker states that avian medicine is truly an exciting and rewarding area to work in. “We see everything from the much loved family budgerigar that lives in a cage in the kitchen through to the rare specie of parrot with a significant conservation and financial value, competitive racing pigeons and trained falcons that are part of free flight displays.”
With birds being the third most popular pet in Australia it is likely that further bird only practices will start to appear. The Melbourne Bird Veterinary Clinic is located at 1 George St Scoresby in Victoria and can be contacted by phoning 03 9764 9000.
One of the consulting rooms
Most clients come to the Melbourne Bird Veterinary Clinic from Melbourne or throughout rural Victoria however because of the low number of qualified avian vets many aviculturalists and pigeon racers throughout Australia use the Melbourne Bird Veterinary Clinic as their primary veterinary provider.