Our Veterinary Team

Our Veterinarian

Harbourview Animal Hospital StaffDr. Julie Lahey

Dr. Lahey has been practicing small animal medicine in the Vancouver Lower Mainland for over 15 years. She formerly was an owner and Practice Manager of South Point Pet Hospital in South Surrey from 2011-2013. Recently, she obtained her master level as a Reiki practitioner. A graduate of the Atlantic Veterinary College in PEI, this is the only veterinary college in Canada that has a marine aquatic component to the program. As a veterinary student, Dr. Lahey also completed externship programs at the Vancouver Emergency Clinic, Animal Critical Care Group (now known as Can West Vet Specialists) and the Vancouver Aquarium. She also received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of British Columbia (UBC). Prior to the veterinarian program, she studied science at both UBC & the University of Guelph. Interests include surgery, internal medicine, dentistry and client education.

Born in Vancouver, Dr. Lahey now resides in North Vancouver with her husband Sal, three children & pet cat "Tripod". Some of her interests include swimming, hiking, skiing, and ocean kayaking.

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Conventional Medicine Consultants

Harbourview Animal Hospital StaffDr. Eugene Gorodetsky, Endoscopy

Dr. Gorodetsky provides on-call endoscopy services for our emergency patients. A typical case would be a dog who has swallowed a foreign object such as a toy. The patient is spared a major operation by having the object retrieved using a flexible endoscope.

Examples of procedures which can be done with an endoscope are:

  • upper gastrointestinal study (examination of the esophagus, stomach, and part of the small intestine)
  • colonoscopy (examination of the colon and rectum)
  • rhinoscopy (looking up the nasal cavity)
  • bronchoscopy (examining the airways)
  • Endoscopy often includes collecting samples such as biopsies; these samples are sent to a pathology laboratory for further evaluation.

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Dr. Dave Francis, Surgery

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Dr. Janet Nieckarz - Loeven, Radiology DVM Dip. ACVR

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Dr. Wendy Williamson, House Call Vet

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Dr. Laurie Head, Radiology

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Harbourview Animal Hospital StaffDr. Hugh Upjohn, Birds, Furry Pets & Exotics

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Holistic Consultants

Harbourview Animal Hospital StaffDr. Kamil Svancara, Orthopedics, Chiropractic medicine, Birds, Furry pets and Exotics

Dr. Kamil Svancara has been living and fully enjoying an active, healthy lifestyle on the North Shore since early 1992. He graduated from a Veterinary University in Czechoslovakia in 1986, where he worked after graduation as a mixed animal practitioner and then immigrated to Canada in 1989. Dr. Kamil Svancara moved to B.C. in 1992, where he owned and had operated 2 veterinary hospitals. About 8 years ago, he decided to spend more time with family and started to work as a locum veterinarian. Over the years, he has transformed his approach to healing animals from the traditional medical model to an integrative approach. Dr. Svancara uses conventional therapy with alternative medicine to transition sick animals to a natural state of good health. Dr. Kamil Svancara has special interest in soft tissue and orthopaedic surgeries particularly TTA surgery for ruptured Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL), fracture repair, femoral head excision and patellar luxation. To enhance healing, he also incorporates laser therapy, chiropractic care, as well as stem cell therapy. Other areas of his interests include exotic pets medicine including birds, reptiles and other small furry companion pets.

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Harbourview Animal Hospital StaffDr. Shulamit Krakauer - Acupuncture, Naturopathy and Homeopathy

The Homeopathic Veterinarian:

Dr. Shulamit Krakauer graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1997. She developed an interest in alternative medicine during that time and a particular interest in homeopathy. After practicing conventional medicine, including a large and small animal rural practice and a busy emergency clinic, she decided to pursue this passion.

Shulamit completed the International Veterinary Acupuncture course and certification program in 1999 and the Animal Natural Health Center Homeopathy program with Dr. David Evans and Dr. Richard Pitcairn in 2001. She completed the Vancouver Academy of Homeopathy 4 year program in 2004.

Dr. Shulamit continues her studies by participating in advanced seminars with internationally renowned homeopaths in order to expand her knowledge of homeopathic remedies and their use in people and animals. Dr. Krakauer took a craniosacral course in 2008 and is also enjoying adding this gentle modality to acupuncture treatments. Shulamit is fortunate to have worked with various holistic and conventional veterinarians both in Vancouver and on Vancouver Island, which has given her a wide range of clinical experience and exposure to various treatment options.

Outside of work and study, Shulamit enjoys being in the great outdoors with her dog Choco aka Tanner, or having coffee with Greyboots the Cat. Both like to sing along to her accordion. She can also be found participating in various meditation groups, doing contact improvisational dance or drinking chai latte and eating a date square. Dr. Krakauer's volunteer work currently includes working with Side by Side Homeopathy - a group of homeopaths dedicated to treating addiction in the downtown east side, and has taught meditation at Alouette women's prison.

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Harbourview Animal Hospital StaffAndrew Bexson - Animal Communication and Grief Counseling

Andrew brings a wealth of compassion, sensitivity, knowledge and experience to Harbourview Animal Hospital. Having explored spirituality and several alternative-healing approaches, he has a wide range of modalities to offer.

Andrew teaches clinical hypnotherapy and counseling and works with individuals and families in his private practice.

He has volunteered at Canuck Place, a children's hospice - in a family supportive role and Friends For Life, a charity set up to support terminally ill adults. He has found these experiences very rewarding and enlightening. Andrew has absolute positive and high regard for all those he meets. He is attentive, patient and kind, bringing a calm demeanor and a good listening ear.

Andrew has the remarkable ability to tune into the animal kingdom and communicate with animals telepathically.

In his Grief & Loss work Andrew points out that "Grieving over a loved and treasured animal or a close friend and/or family member is a natural and necessary process, which most people are able to experience, and eventually move forward from positively. Losing a pet or person you love can be the most painful experience in your life. It's hard for many of us to even imagine life without those we cherish and deeply care about. Although we know that at some point our loved ones will pass this world, for most of us this is not a topic we freely discuss".

With compassion, love, guidance and small steps Andrew will help you move forward on your journey.

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Harbourview Animal Hospital StaffRita Forsyth - Animal Communicator and Reiki Practitioner


All animals communicate regularly through telepathy. It is the most basic form of communication. We were all born with the ability to communicate telepathically. Humans have learned to rely on verbal communication and, because of this, our telepathic skills are pushed aside and become rusty. As with any muscle, when we do not exercise it, it becomes weaker and inefficient.

When we have the proper mind set and training, we have the ability to communicate telepathically with all species.

I assist animals on an emotional and physical level by communicating and offering energy healing to them as well as assist their human companions in understanding their needs on a much deeper level. I provided volunteer energy healing and communication at the Coquitlam Animal Shelter and obtained further experience by taking several animal communication courses. I have also provided hands-on healing and communication with horses at the Horse Protection Society. I work both privately and with Animal Hospitals communicating with and offering energy healing to the animals that are brought to me. My work has me communicating with and providing energy healing to domestic and non-domestic animals.


I assist animals in their ability to heal by apply Reiki. Reiki is a simple, natural and safe energy healing. It treats the entire being including body, mind and spirit. It reduces stress and promotes relaxation and healing. It is NOT a substitute for a veterinarian's care and can be a very useful and powerful addition to medical diagnosis and treatment. It works in conjunction with all other medical or therapeutic techniques to relieve side effects and promote recovery.

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Harbourview Animal Hospital StaffNicola Way - Animal Massage Therapy

Nicola Way combines 15 years of experience in providing massage therapy for dogs and cats bringing relief to torn and over-used muscles, trapped nerves, degenerative conditions, herniated discs, neurological deficiencies, arthritis, postural complaints, stress, anxiety, digestive disorders, and more. She is trained in deep tissue massage through the Northwest School of Animal Massage, Tellington TTouch through the Greyfriars Rehabilitation and Hydrotherapy Centre in the UK, and is certified in osteopathic and cranio-sacral techniques, and manual ligament therapy. She is committed to enhancing the general well-being of all small animals through influencing positive changes in her animal clients.

Services Offered:

  • Deep tissue massage
  • Tellington TTouch
  • Cranio-sacral techniques
  • Osteopathic techniques
  • Manual ligament therapy
  • PEMF (Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Field) therapy
  • FitPaws Master Trainer

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Service Consultants

Harbourview Animal Hospital StaffRenée Erdman Behaviourist Dip CBST, VSPDT

Renée prides herself in coaching humans and their dogs to achieve success in overcoming training challenges and behaviour issues through force free training. Her effective training programs, group classes and one-on-one coaching sessions provide accessible training to suit your schedule. Renée is recommended by veterinarians and spends a great deal of time volunteering her time at the West Vancouver SPCA, Squamish Animal Control and Whistler WAG.

Services Offered:

  • Certified Behaviour Consultant and Trainer through Companion Animal Sciences Institute (CASI)
  • Victoria Stilwell Licensed Positively Dog Trainer (the only one in Canada)
  • Currently furthering studies at the "Harvard" for dog trainers, the Academy for Dog Trainers with Jean Donaldson
  • Professional Member of the Institute of Modern Dog Trainers
  • Member of the Pet Professional Guild dedicated to force-free training
  • Certified in Pet First Aid and CPR
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    Harbourview Animal Hospital StaffJaime Kinna Behaviourist

    Jaime is one of the owners and training director of Good Dog Training, Daycare and Boarding in Port Coquitlam. She is also a founder and head instructor of the Good Dog Academy, a PCTIA registered school that offers certification for people wanting to pursue a career as professional dog trainers. She has experience competing in CKC obedience and conformation gaining titles on several breeds of dogs. Jaime has trained and handled dogs for television, and major motion pictures. She has also achieved validation as an explosive detection K9 handler, narcotics detection K9 handler and security patrol K9 handler. Her own Malinios ‘Atty' has obtained her IPO BH title and is a validated patrol and narcotic detection K9. Atty and Jaime are currently competing in the sport of PSA.

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