VetHQ Newsletter
News and information for wellcare of our pets

In memory of Lucie (16.06.2013 - 11.02.2016)


It is with great sadness that we started 2016 with the loss of a young, healthy, vibrant dog during a routine procedure here at Vet HQ. Lucie had a fatal reaction to one of the drugs we administer during routine anaesthetic procedures. She had tolerated all of the medications during prior surgical procedures. It was an extremely rare, 1 in 100,000 event and one I do not ever want to experience again. I take some solace that at one point during the three hour, intensive attempt to save her life, Lucie recovered and was able to communicate with her owner who was sitting by her bedside. We were able to transport her to the best specialist hospital in Sydney where she was put on a human machine to support her breathing. Unfortunately, despite heroic efforts, she passed away a few hours later.

My sadness at this unexpected event has been eased slightly with the pride I have felt for my team. The vets and nurses present performed CPR and life saving medicine for three hours. During this time, we were able to diagnose a critical issue with her heart.  Dr Nicky took it upon herself to seek a human defibrillator from Woolworths that successfully restarted Lucie’s heart to a normal rhythm. During the CPR process myself, two other veterinarians and five nurses worked efficiently, methodically and without error to do the best we could to save Lucie’s life.

In the human world, we expect about 20-25% of patients to recover from cardiac arrest. Obviously the recovery rate increases if the patient is already in hospital at the time of arrest. With the increase in availability of defibrillators, the prognosis for recovery is increasing. Luckily, pets generally don’t suffer the same cardiac disease that causes this sudden arrest, so we are shielded from this disease most of the time. Dearest Lucie was an exception.

On hearing about Lucie, one of my clients has taken it upon herself to donate a Defibrillator to Vet HQ, should this happen again. I would like to thank Suzi Varga for her generosity to the practice, and her constant words of wisdom and encouragement to me whenever I visit her pets. The Pax (9.2.2004-28.7.2015) Varga Defibrillator will be located in reception at Vet HQ for our patients and their owners in an emergency.

2016 is our 10th year. We have grown from a one vet, two employee veterinary hospital to a seven vet, 34 employee practice. It is our honest belief at Vet HQ and indeed it is our promise to each other that no one at Vet HQ will work harder for your pets. We will treat them as our own and we will look after them with the same standard of care that you would expect if you ended up in hospital. We are not going to open up more locations, we are not going to do anything more in the next 10 years other than to look after you and your pets as we have in the past 10 years.  We are focused.

This 10th year is an exciting milestone, and I look forward to welcoming you all for a massive party at the end of the year! In the meantime, hopefully we will see you for only routine preventative health care and support.

Geoff Golovsky

The Vet HQ 7 Point Plan of Wellness


Welcome to Dr Tony Knapp

Tony is an English vet who has been in Australia for two years, working in both contract and permanent capacities at varied clinics.  He enjoys most aspects of the job, but in particular soft tissue surgery and medicine. He is a self professed cat person who is bossed around constantly by his two rescue kittens.

Tony joins our team in a full time capacity, replacing the wonderful Tammy Poon who is enjoying some maternity leave with her daughter Chloe. Tony is an energetic, thorough and compassionate veterinarian who we are very much enjoying working with. It must be said that it has also been amazing to have a little more testosterone around the clinic!  Thanks Tony for evening out the balance – boys 3, girls 31 (small steps!!!!).

What is pre-anaesthetic blood test and why is it important? 


When your pet comes to Vet HQ for a general anaesthetic or sedation we always offer to run a pre-anaesthetic blood test. Yes, it is an extra charge and yes, it involves another little needle prick but the value of the test could be life saving.
When we perform a blood test at Vet HQ we do our very best to ensure your pet doesn’t have an upsetting experience. Our nurses cuddle them during the process to reassure them and most animals hardly even notice the prick of the needle. For the animals who are a little more sensitive, we apply a local anaesthetic to the skin so they won’t even feel a thing. We only take 1ml of blood and are able to run the test with our advanced laboratory equipment at Vet HQ so we receive results within 20 minutes.
The reason we are performing the blood test is to check the function of your pets’ kidneys and liver as well as their blood count (to ensure they are not anaemic), protein levels, electrolytes and glucose levels. These are important to check before we administer any drugs and to ensure that overall your pet is healthy and able to tolerate an anaesthetic.
With older pets, it is possible they have some organ dysfunction even if they seem completely happy and healthy. Sometimes we pick up abnormalities which leads us to discover diseases in the very early stages which allows us to treat them before they become a problem.
If we do pick up a problem, for example evidence of kidney problems, we might choose not to go ahead with the procedure or otherwise put them on a fluid drip for 24 hours before the anaesthetic. This treatment approach ensures there is minimal effect on the kidneys and the drugs are flushed out of their system as quickly as possible. Understanding what’s going on inside your pet enables us to tailor the treatment and ensure we can provide the highest level of care and the safest anaesthetic possible for your beloved friend. You may wonder why these blood tests are important for a perfectly healthy puppy or kitten before desexing? Surely they won’t have any diseases or problems with their organs at this young age? It still is very important to check because some young pets may have a genetic problem which we can’t see clinically.
We have recently seen a completely healthy 6 month old puppy with the following blood results which indicated just a very small elevation in a level called urea. We decided to hold off the desexing and do a few other tests to work out the cause of the elevation. Unfortunately, it led to the diagnosis of early stage kidney disease which we have started treating to delay any symptoms.

We have also recently seen another very healthy puppy who had a pre-anaesthetic blood test before desexing. The results picked up an elevation in a level called ALT which is a liver enzyme. We held off the anaesthetic until we do further testing to determine the cause of the elevation and ensure that there are aren’t any problems that would put her at risk under the anaesthetic. We suspect she may have a developmental problem called a liver shunt. Usually, the body delivers the blood to the liver to detoxify the blood but a shunt is a vessel that bypasses the liver so the blood doesn’t get detoxified. If we put an animal with a shunt under anaesthetic, the body will not get rid of the drugs as quickly as it should and it means the animal takes a very long time to wake up from the anaesthetic and other complications can occur. If she does have a shunt, we will repair this and then she shouldn’t have any more issues throughout her life.
There are some abnormalities that we can’t detect by looking and examining your pet and so we offer a pre-anaesthetic blood test to ensure that we are examining every aspect of their health.


Sudden Collapse 

Sudden Collapse  
We have had a couple of dogs that presented to us either very lethargic or collapsed. We thought our findings might interest you and serve as a good warning for what to look out for. 
Max, a 13 year old Jack Russell presented to us collapsed and in shock. On physical examination he had an increased heart rate, pale gums and a very low blood pressure. We placed him on intravenous fluids to improve his blood pressure and he slowly started to improve. An abdominal ultrasound was performed at Vet HQ by an imaging specialist that revealed a large cancer on his spleen.  The cancer had bled causing a sudden drop in blood pressure which had made him very weak.

We took a sample of Max’s blood (just 2ml)  and processed it through our own Idexx pathology interpretation equipment.  In just 10 minutes we were able to see that Max had a severe anaemia (lack of red blood cells). We focused on stabilising Max before  performing a blood transfusion that afternoon (with thanks to Caitlyn’s generous pooch Tully!) While there is a  high risk that the tumour may bleed again, which could be fatal to Max, we decided a removal of the spleen during abdominal surgery was next priority.  Wonderfully, dogs survive very well without a spleen!  We then sent the spleen off to our external pathologists for a diagnosis on exactly what kind of tumour this nasty thing was.  

Great news for Max- the histopathology results revealed that the tumour was benign (harmless)!! This gives Max a very good prognosis- a really positive outlook for his future. He has recovered well and is happy to be back at home.
We have a vast range of state of the art equipment here at Vet HQ which allows us to rapidly assess and come to a diagnosis for a range of symptoms and illnesses. If your pet is not quite themselves or you have any concerns please bring them in for a consult and physical examination- it could save their life.  
 Dr Troy Jackson N10012 BvetMed (Hons)

Blood Donation



Investing in your pet's health

Have you ever been hugged by a bear in the woods?

Neither have I, but at Vet HQ we have just installed the latest in patient warming equipment.  A standard of excellence in  temperature management, the ‘Bear Hugger’, is a device that blows hot air around our patients while they are anaesthetised, ensuring they maintain optimal temperature throughout any procedure .

At Vet HQ we are always looking for ways to improve our patient care.  A warm patient means a safer and more stable recovery from procedures involving anaesthetic. Just another example of us taking the best care of your pets at Vet HQ all the time. 


Up coming events 

Vet HQ will be attending the Cranbrook Junior School Pet Fest on 13 March, from 10am -2pm at 6 Kent Rd, Rose Bay.

All funds raised from this event will go directly to CETOP’s projects in Nepal. Since 2001, Cranbrook School has supported various community assistance projects in Nepal and India through an organisation called CETOP (Cranbrook Explorers and Travellers Overseas Partnerships).

CETOP is a volunteer teacher and parent initiative. Cranbrook Junior School (P-6) has been involved in collecting supplies for local schools, funding teacher training programs, building maintenance and helping to set up dental clinics in Nepal for six years.

Ask VetHQ the way

June 2015

Vet HQ
389 New South Head Rd
Double Bay
NSW  2028
P: 93261255
F: 93261266
F: Vet HQ Double Bay
F: Vet HQ Dog Day Care
You Tube: Vet HQ
Instagram: Vet HQ
Our Vets:
Dr Geoff Golovsky
BVSc(hons) MANZCVS (Surgery)
Interests: Surgery, Oncology, Talking (as much as you want)
Dr Caryn Wun
Interests: Internal Medicine, Diagnostic Imaging (xray/ultrasound), Behaviour
Dr Tammy Poon (currently on Mat Leave)
Interests: Surgery, Dermatology, Cardiorespiratory disease
Dr Nikki Goldberg
Interests: Surgery, Dermatology, Dentistry

Dr Tony Knapp
Interests: Cat Medicine and soft tissue surgery

Dr Troy Jackson
BSc(hons), BVetMed(hons) MRCVS
Interests: internal medicine, ophthalmology, and emergency and critical care
Dr Julie Ashton
BSc (hons), BVSc, MRCVS, MANZCVS (behavior)
Interests:  Behaviour

Our Nurses:
Kate Fahy- VN Head Nurse

Jenna JJ Luskey- VN
Client Services Nurse

Astrid Jeffs- Senior VN
Kristina Karlson- VN
Mel Ashby- VN
Ashley Pronyk- VN
Mariko Shimizu- VN
Amy Butler- VN
Our Trainee Nurses:
Tessa Carroll Trainee- VN
Caitlyn Wright Trainee- VN
Our Animal Attendants:
Ainslee Maher
Kristie Ashworth
Jess Brogna

Our Reception Team:
Sasha McJury- Senior Receptionist
Jen Dodd- Senior Receptionist
Elle Wright- Trainee VN
Michelle Minter- VN
Annabelle Selleck- VN
Our Dog Stylists:
Mariko Shimizu- VN and Groomer
Amy Butler- VN
Kaye Tam
Anna Maltseva- BVSc

Our Vet students:
Talia Jacobs
India De Bres
Rob Lea
Business Manager:
Alyssa Carter
Hospital Hours:
7.30am-7pm Mon-Fri
9am-1pm Sat
10am-1pm Sun
Consultation by appointment
Emergency till 11pm (Mon-Fri)
P: 0434635226
After Hours:
For emergencies after 11pm and on weekends out of hours please contact:
East Side Veterinary Emergency
10 Newcastle Street Rose Bay
P: 1300792802

Or North Shore Vet Specialists
64 Atchison St Crows Nest
P: 94364884
Our Values:
1.  Together we are more successful
2.  We care - every time- all the time
3.  We do the best we can
4.  We communicate directly, honestly and empathetically
5.  We are responsible and we are the solution
Our Purpose:
To provide the highest quality pet care and be an integral link between you and your pet
Our Promise:
No one will work harder to look after your pets.

Copyright © *|2013|* *|VetHQ|*, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is: