Our First Blog – The History of Prahran Vet Hospital
The Prahran Veterinary Hospital Story
Dr Carl Muller graduated from Melbourne University in 1968. He was part of the second graduating class of Melbourne University Veterinary school. On graduation he first worked in mixed practice in Bendigo and after six months moved to Benalla for 2 years in mixed practice mainly cattle and horses. He subsequently worked at Lort Smith Hospital. In late 1971 he went overseas and performed locums in various practices in southern parts of England. Arriving back in Melbourne in 1973 moved into 646 Malvern road and commenced practice in early 1975.
The building at 646 was a far cry from the purpose built hospital we enjoy today. It was built in the late 1800’s. During the second world war it was divided into seven flats and later was a boarding house for single men for many years. Unsubstantiated oral history suggests that there were two large willow trees in the front yard and the building was a house of ill repute called “The Willows” between the war years. It took two long years to obtain council permits and renovate. In 1975 Prahran Veterinary Hospital opened for business.
For the first five years Carl lived and worked at 646 Malvern Road. In those days he was vet on duty 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Tricia Chips was his first veterinary nurse. An English trained nurse her nicknamed was “Fish n”. She returned to the UK after a couple of years and by then a full time nurse could be employed.
For a period of 5 years, Dr Muller ran the hospital with Dr Philip Kidd. Dr Kidd moved his practice to Richmond in the mid 1980’s.
Carl worked hard but always enjoyed his leisure time. A keen tennis player he developed tennis elbow in the early 80’s. After conventional treatments did not help he tried acupuncture, and was impressed by the relief it gave him. Carl then went on to study human acupuncture, completing a course part time over 4 years. Carl was one of the first veterinarians in Victoria to use acupuncture to treat conditions in dogs and cats and has been instrumental in the development of acupuncture as a well recognised treatment modality in veterinary medicine in Australia.
Toorak Veterinary Clinic, originally in Ross Street Toorak merged with Prahran Veterinary Hospital in the early 1990’s. Andrew Patterson, the original owner of Toorak Veterinary Clinic had decided to return to university to study law. He continued to work at part time at Prahran for the next few years.
In 1990 Dr Peter Juliff joined PVH after a 18 months at the Lost Dog’s Home. Peter had recently achieved his Membership of the Australian College of Veterinary Surgeons in the field of Canine Medicine. Working with stray and unloved dogs at Lost Dogs home had left him somewhat jaded and he was ambitious to use his skills and knowledge to provide really high quality veterinary care and to work with people who treated their pets as family.
Carl was an early adopter of technological change and progressive in both business and veterinary fields. The practice was one of the first Melbourne practices to computerise patient records in 1989. Peter had been doing some computer programming at the Lost Dogs Home and pursued his interest as the VPMS system they were using at the time was cumbersome and difficult to use. He and Kay developed the VetWare computer system and Prahran files were converted to VetWare in September 1992.
Carl and Peter are progressive vets and were one of the first to install “in-house’ blood testing machines.
Dr Nicole Hoskin joined Prahran Vet Hospital in 1999 after returning from 12 months working in Singapore. After first working as a locum at Prahran she readily accepted a position as associated Veterinarian. Nicole knew Carl through the Australian Veterinary Acupuncture Society and was keen to learn more about acupuncture through working with him. Nicole then became a partner in 2005.
Prahran Veterinary Hospital has never been a place that accepts the mediocre. The goal has always been to provide the very best of care to our patients and to inform and educate their owners – our clients.
Dr Jennie Heslop joined Prahran Vet Hospital as a new graduate in 2001. She had worked with us as a student and had clients requesting revisits with her from just a few weeks after she joined us. Jennie is very committed to continuing education, and cats. She completed her membership in Feline Medicine in 2010.
David Hall joined the practice as associate veterinarian and surgeon in 2008 With David on staff we were able to offer the more sophisticated, orthopaedic surgeries. David left to join a specialist practice in 2011 and we were lucky to find Diana Barker, an excellent vet and surgeon who has been able to learn those difficult procedures and so we continue to offer them in house.
Visiting specialists also provide us with great depth in the care we can provide in house and the close working relationship with other specialist and emergency centres also benefits our clients.
The Prahran Vet Hospital website has been up since the year 2000. The monthly email newsletter has been going out since 2001. We are now active on facebook and twitter and will soon move into online blogging as a way of keeping in touch, and informing our clients.
In August 2005 Prahran Veterinary Hospital moved home. It was a time of massive change and very exciting. In our new, purpose built hospital the dream of becoming an ASAVA hospital of excellence had become a real possibility with us having submitted our application in early 2012.
There are three points to the triangle on our logo – the vet (team), the pet and the client. Our ability to do the best for the pet depends on our ability to gain the trust of the client. Once we have made a friend of the client we are free to provide the very best of care to their pet and that makes us feel good!