Veterinary specialist helps out at JCU Veterinary School

1 April 2014

James Cook University’s veterinary emergency centre and hospital, JCUVet, has performed four hip replacements on dogs with the help of a Melbourne veterinary specialist.

JCU Veterinary School
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Dr Chris Preston, principle veterinarian and registered specialist in small animal surgery at the Pet Emergency & Specialist Centre, made the trip from Melbourne to Townsville to lead the procedure on Friday, March 21.
Dr Preston is a specialist in orthopedic operations and leads Australia in canine arthroscopy as well as joint replacements for arthritis.
JCU Veterinary staff assisted Dr Preston in the two-hour operation to replace a hip on four large cross-breed dogs that have a debilitating joint disease.
Dr Margaret Reilly, Director of JCUVet, said the procedure not only provided a safe and timely service for their referral patients, it offered a learning opportunity for staff.
“We were so pleased to have Dr Preston provide his service to our patients and for our staff to watch his routine and techniques—he’s a rock star in the veterinary world,” she said.
“It’s much easier and safer for the patients to have the operation in their home town instead of putting them on a plane. Post-operatively it will provide a better outcome and it’s more convenient for our clients.
“Our post-operative service is an important element as we operate twenty-four hours daily to provide a great level of care for the dogs.”
JCUVet is the only veterinary emergency centre and specialist referral hospital north of the Sunshine Coast that functions as an after-hours emergency and critical care service, a specialist referral centre and clinical training facility for final year JCU Veterinary School students.

James Cook University Veterinary School

The JCU Veterinary School has offered the Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc) program since 2006. Students will acquire the knowledge and skills to diagnose, treat and prevent disease in a wide range of animals including companion animals, farm animals, aquatic species and native fauna. In addition, students will acquire a thorough knowledge of animal production systems, particularly tropical animal husbandry and aquaculture.
James Cook University’s veterinary science program offers state-of-the-art teaching facilities in a new veterinary emergency and referral clinic on the Townsville campus and a specialist large-animal treatment facility on the tablelands, which provide clinical experience and training for final-year students.
Program title: Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc)
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Program duration: 5 years
Application deadline: September 30, 2014
Entry Requirements
Applicants must have a secondary school diploma and have fulfilled Grade 12 prerequisites of English, Math and Chemistry (Biological Science is highly recommended) for admission into this program. Generally, a B average is required for admission for those who have completed an undergraduate degree, or a 92% in your top six Grade 12 subjects for applicants who have completed only a high school diploma. Please note that the MCAT is not required for entry.
The JCU Veterinary School’s Bachelor of Veterinary Science program is five years in length. Regardless of whether an applicant has completed only high school studies, some post-secondary subjects, or a undergraduate degree, the entry pathway is the same for all applicants.

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Do you have questions about JCU Veterinary School and about studying veterinary programs at Australian universities? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Veterinary Schools Officer Rachel Brady at or call  1-866-698-7355 (toll free in Canada).