Palliative Care Veterinarian
Dr Serena has always had a passion for animals, inspired by growing up with exceptionally patient and kind horses and dogs who allowed a young Serena to dress them up, climb all over them and even ride them through the house on occasion! Since graduating Dr Serena has worked in rural mixed practice and emergency medicine treating everything from 1000kg Hereford Bulls to 200g Echidna puggles in locations from Tropical Coastal QLD to the Snowy Mountains of NSW. Dr Serena currently lives in the ACT with her partner, their three children, two dogs, two cats and four horses (which is really not that many animals if you ask her!). Dr Serena feels incredibly lucky to love being a vet and considers it an honour and a privilege to be a part of your animal’s lives and to be a trusted part of your bond with them.
Special interests: Pain management and a holistic approach to enhancing quality of life for our animals.
It always starts with one. Who was your special pet? I am lucky enough to have had two heart animals. I have a horse called Mayple, a black QH mare who I have had the pleasure of being with for over 24 years now! She is now in her late 20’s but still sassy and cheeky! My golden retriever Miele who was with me throughout my university days and then my first seven years of being a vet. During Miele’s 13 years we lived in multiple houses with many different people and dogs across three different states, she was such an adaptable loving girl. Miele was my constant companion coming to work with me almost every day. Now when it comes to the way I practice veterinary medicine, my motto is “What would I do/recommend if this was Miele” as she always was and despite no longer being with me; still is, the love of my life, my heart dog.
What else are you passionate about? I’m most often found playing with my horses who I ride competitively in eventing, show jumping and dressage or playing in the snow on my snowboard. Not only an adventurous person, I’m also a massive book worm and known to finish two books a week for most of my life.
What do you love about palliative medicine? I love that we are able to filter all the medical and care information we have through the lens of what is best for the patient and their family. We can then focus on providing the best care and quality of life so a pet’s last days with its family are treasured memories. I love that we have the ability to create a safe space for families to say goodbye in the best way possible. I think that euthanasia and the process the family goes through is one of the most important times in the life of the pet and I feel privileged to be able to be a part of it.
Words you live by: “Treat others the same way you would want to be treated yourself”.
Qualifications: Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc)