The newly-appointed head of ophthalmology at one of the UK’s leading referral vet centres comes with a royal seal of approval – she used to be a vet for the Queen!
Dr Keri-Lee Dobbie has joined Linnaeus-owned Southfields Veterinary Specialists in Laindon, Essex, to lead the centre’s newly-launched ophthalmology service, further boosting the practice’s multidisciplinary offering.
Dr Dobbie, who has practised all over the world, worked for Her Majesty’s equine vets in Berkshire between 2013 and 2014, and actually met Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor.
She explained: “From 2013 to 2014, I worked for Scott Dunn’s Equine Clinic in Wokingham, Berkshire, which carried out veterinary equine work on behalf of the Queen.
“I was called out to Windsor Castle for an emergency once to care for one of the Queen’s riding horses and also went to Buckingham Palace to treat the carriage horses.
“Most notably I was vet on duty at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in 2014, where I met the Queen and Prince Philip.”
Dr Dobbie graduated from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, and has certainly packed an incredible amount into the first 10 years of her chosen profession.
She said: “I have enjoyed a varied and exciting career since I graduated in 2010.
“Firstly, I completed an equine internship at Bell Equine in Kent and then practiced as an equine vet for several years in the UK and South Africa.
“I’ve also practised equine care in Dubai and Saudi Arabia and safeguarded animal welfare on film sets in China, California, Cape Town and Budapest.
“It’s been educational and entertaining and I have been lucky enough to work with animals such as lions, leopards, rhinos, chimpanzees and camels.
“I spent two years working on penguin research and rehabilitation and also volunteered with SPANA in Morocco, a worldwide charity that looks after the welfare of working animals.”
In 2016, Keri-Lee returned to the University of Pretoria to work as a clinical lecturer in anaesthesiology and then undertook a residency in ophthalmology at the University of Pretoria and Johannesburg Animal Eye Hospital.
Four years later, she successfully completed the requirements to become a recognised specialist with the South African Veterinary Council.
Since then, Dr Dobbie has worked as a locum in a referral ophthalmology practice in the UK and spent a lot of time observing specialist practice in the USA.
Last year, Dr Dobbie was in sole charge of the Ophthalmology Clinic in the veterinary academic hospital at South Africa’s only veterinary faculty, the Onderstepoort Veterinary Academic Hospital at the University of Pretoria.
Her latest challenge is to introduce and establish the new ophthalmology service at Southfields.
She said: “I’m excited by the opportunity to begin the ophthalmology service at Southfields and to be able to offer patients the highest level of care.
“My professional interests include autoimmune retinopathies and I enjoy performing corneal and intraocular surgery.
“I’m passionate about wildlife ophthalmology and have lectured internationally and contributed to the academic literature in this field, including a thesis on the chimpanzee eye.
“Together with my husband José, who’s a veterinary dentist, I have also conducted outreach work at great ape sanctuaries in Africa and plan to continue this work.”
Southfields hospital director Daniel Hogan said: “We’re delighted Keri-Lee is joining us and launching our new ophthalmology service, which will enable us to deliver an even broader range of top-quality care to our patients and referring vets.
“One look at Keri-Lee’s CV tells you all about her passion for caring for animals and her expertise and experience will make her a very welcome and valuable addition to our expert team at Southfields.”
Southfields Veterinary Specialists is dedicated to providing the highest standards of veterinary care for pets and providing a seamless service to owners and referring vets.
The referral centre offers specialist services such as anaesthesia and analgesia, cardiology, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, exotics, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, radiation and soft tissue surgery.
For more information about Southfields, visit www.southfields.co.uk or search for Southfields Veterinary Specialists on social media.