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18 Feb 2013

Got a pet? It's a sure bet you'll need a vet

Thousands of inner city apartment dwellers own a pet. But when little Fido or Fifi isn’t feeling too flash, it can be difficult to access veterinary care.

This is where a mobile vet may come to the rescue. Albert Park couple Chris Gleeson and Natasha Watts have started Bayside Mobile Vet, and are only too happy to happy to provide house calls.

“There is no vet in the CBD, Southbank or Docklands, and most vets in nearby suburbs don’t like making house calls to here because of the lack of parking,” Dr Gleeson said. “But we have a commercial van, so it’s not a hassle for us.”

“Of course, most inner city residents don’t have a car, so it is not easy for them to transport their pet to a vet. And many pets, especially older dogs and cats, become extremely anxious when dragged into a clinic. By treating the pet at their own home, it is much less stressful for them.”

“For example, I just now gave a little puppy his first vaccination and health check, in an apartment at Lacrosse, in Docklands’ LaTrobe St.”

Dr Gleeson and Dr Watts, who each graduated from Melbourne University with Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Bachelor of Science, have 20 years of veterinary experience between them, including in the United Kingdom and at the Lort Smith Animal Hospital, in North Melbourne. Dr Gleeson has further studied in the fields of small animal dermatology (skin disease), ultrasonography, animal hydrotherapy and rehabilitation.

“We have access to a veterinary clinic, should a surgical procedure be necessary,” Dr Gleeson said. “We also provide referrals and transport, should your pet need to see a specialist.”

Dr Gleeson and Dr Watts have two young children, Toby, 3, and Sophie, 12 months, so they know how important your pet is to the family, especially children. “Owners with multiple pets or those with young children also value the convenience of having the vet visit your home,” Dr Gleeson said. “There are many routine services that we can provide at your home including vaccinations, health checks, medical consultations and pre-surgical exams. “We are able to deliver flea and worming preventatives as well as food and medications if it is pre-arranged.”

Sadly, sometimes euthanasia is required. “We understand that when the time comes it is more comfortable for you and your pet to be in a familiar surrounding when you have to say good-bye,” Dr Gleeson said. “At BMV we are able to provide a service where you can say a final good-bye to your pet at your home. If you are unsure about whether the ‘time has come’ we may be able to give you some guidance with your decision-making process.”

“We are able to help organise burial or cremation for your pet if this is required.”

For more details, visit, or call 0488 061 444.  Mention this story to receive free worming treatment for your pet.


New, fresh and downstairs

“Fresh, seasonal and local produce” – that’s Bradley Dawson’s mantra for his latest foray into the culinary world as manager at Downstairs Bistro and Lounge.

Downstairs, located on Sturt St, is far from a first time for Bradley, who has been in the hospitality industry from many years now. He started in hotels but when he settled back in Melbourne 12 years ago, he focused on restaurants.

Mr Dawson said it was exciting to be part of a brand-new restaurant like Downstairs.

“It’s a fresh new project, something I could get involved with and put my thumbprint on. It’s fun to work with a blank canvas – to look at what the market requires within the area and then create the product.”

The location of Downstairs means it is somewhat of a one-off restaurant in the area and Mr Dawson certainly knows the benefits of this exclusivity.

 “It’s such an eclectic area. There is a lot of businesses in the area we can facilitate for breakfast and lunch, and then there are 11,000 residents in the 3006 postcode, who we are looking after for dinner services,” Mr Dawson said.

“I think the area has really embraced the fact that there is something of this style and design they can walk to and from.”

There isn’t one way to describe the dining experience at Downstairs and that’s just the way Bradley was hoping it would be.

“We really wanted to avoid pigeon-holing ourselves. I’d describe it as a modern bistro, wine bar.”

“These days it’s all about fun dining. Giving guest more of an interactive experience is what people really enjoy at the moment. Share plates, people having a combination and going away with a variety of experience,” Mr Dawson added.

He wants to ensure patrons will never become bored of their Downstairs experience.

“We do change the menu four or five times a year, and we do change ingredient components of dishes on a regular basis with the change of season.”

Downstairs is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. For more information head to the website

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