Meet Fiona, head of service for primary care at U-Vet

Fiona Witham is the head of service for primary care at U-Vet. She’s been with the hospital for 12 years.“It's the longest job I've ever had, I really love it. It doesn't even seem like a job. it's always been like a family. We are on the same team and want to make everybody feel involved and enjoy work. It’s a really nice little community.”

Image of Fiona WithamHaving her own horse at a young age spurred on Fiona’s passion for animal care. As a student Fiona assisted the veterinary team at the Sydney Olympics – an experience that confirmed her career choice. After qualifying as a vet at 22, Fiona worked at U-Vet before moving to the UK and New Zealand. She eventually found herself wanting to return.

“I needed more of a challenge. I'd been working for about 10 years and thought it would be nice to come back to U-Vet, where it was always so intellectually stimulating and there were always new ideas and discussions. I came back thinking I'd only stay two or three years. Here we are, all these years later!”

Fiona has seen firsthand the expansion of U-Vet and its facilities, which offer pets and their owners a central hub of expertise. She takes pride in the level of service possible for animals and their families.

“The hospital is just growing and growing all the time. When I started, we had a tiny little room that we would see all our emergencies in. Now we have four dedicated consult rooms and a huge area with a surgery and a critical care room. Rabbits, reptiles, birds and cats have their own separate wards so they can be completely stress free. There have been huge changes with equipment too – we have a CT machine for horses, dogs, and cats; we've got an MRI machine and a really cool thing called a fluoroscope. Fluoroscopy is a bit like a x-ray video, great for diagnoses."

“We do tend to have quite specialised care. The animal comes in the morning. It's vomiting and we can get it in front of three different specialists by the afternoon. It's had x-ray, it’s had surgery, there are zero delays. We’re very proud of the ability to do that.”

Fiona thinks it’s the U-Vet community, dedication to high quality care and passion for helping animals that sets U-Vet apart.

“There is definitely a very strong feeling in the local community for U-Vet. We've got clients who've been coming here longer than I've been alive, and they would just never go anywhere else. They're just so dedicated to bringing their animals here. It's amazing."

“We provide ethical treatment options using the current medical knowledge that's individualized to that patient. We equip the owners so they’re really involved with the decision making. That doesn't always mean running every single test, but we let them know what's possible and what their options are. Every animal comes with their own family and their own set of circumstances – we respect that."

“What you get here is a clinic that has a lot of support around it, passionate staff, facilities that really benefit our patients and a dedication to providing the best possible care.”

Meet some of the other U-Vet veterinarians at Our Staff