Dr. Sherry van Dalsen hails from the United States of America and, after marrying her South African husband Maarten, the two of them moved to Hermanus where they teamed up to open Bergview Veterinary Clinic in 2014.
In 2017, they opened another practice in Onrus and the rest, as they say, is history!
We caught up with one half of the Dr. van Dalsen duo to find out about her background, her most exciting career moment, and her advice for pet parents who think pet insurance is an unnecessary luxury.
Where were you born?
Rising Sun, Maryland (USA).
Did you always know you wanted to become a vet?
Yes, I knew from an early age of around 12 years that I wanted to be a veterinarian.
What made you want to become a vet?
I grew up in a rural area and we always had horses, cows, and pigs.
When the veterinarian would come, I was amazed at wonderful it was to help an animal that was sick. I wanted to do the same.
As a young girl, I was intrigued at how difficult it was to treat an animal because they can’t tell you what’s wrong.
If you completed an internship, where did you do your internship?
I did not. I did my 4 years of veterinary school at the University of Georgia and received a BS degree in Biology as an undergraduate.
Do you have pets? If so, tell us about your pets/ childhood pets?
Yes – we have two rescues. Cinders (Cocker Spaniel) and Luka (Dachsund).
How did you end up being part of the dotsure.co.za TVC?
I decided to send in a video as it seemed fun and a super idea to encourage people to get their pets insured.
Why do you think pet insurance is so important for South Africans?
Pet insurance encourages people to take better care of their pets. When they are insured, owners have the peace of mind that they can go to vet and see what’s wrong without worrying about the financial side.
What would you say to someone who thinks pet insurance is an unnecessary luxury?
If someone thinks pet insurance is unnecessary, then I suggest they start a savings account for their pet. Things always happen when you are not prepared.
Pet insurance is vital these days as veterinary medicine and care has progressed; the medical and surgical options we can provide now for animals is on par with human care – so naturally, the cost is a lot more!
Where is your veterinary practice based?
Hermanus and Onrus.
How long has it been in operation?
Our practice in Hermanus has been going since 2014 and the Onrus practice has been since 2017.
Tell us about your clients/patients?
We have a variety of patients! From little critters like rats and bunnies to larger species like horses! Our clients are the best. They really care for their pets and trust us to do the best we can do.
What is the weirdest thing you have seen or treated a patient for?
We had a patient coughing and gagging… On X-ray we identified a rock that was stuck behind the nasal passages in the upper palate. It was not easy to remove and we’re still not sure how it got there!
What is your stand-out career moment to date?
We had a Westie that was vomiting and I was able to palpate a wine cork stuck in the stomach! A very expensive bottle of wine! Haha!
How can people get a hold of you?
Bergview Veterinary Clinic: 028 312 1390
Onrus Veterinary Clinic: 028 316 3415
We communicate on social media with our clients on our Facebook pages and email regularly to clients and colleagues.