Dr Michael E Bernays
Veterinary Ophthalmologist (Specialist)
Mike grew up on a cattle property near Gunnedah on the beautiful North West slopes and plains of NSW. He went straight from secondary school into Veterinary Science in 1975 and graduated with First Class Honours from the University of Sydney in 1979, initially working at South Tamworth Animal Hospital, then a short time at Keppel Street Veterinary Clinic in Bathurst before moving to Brisbane to found Sunnybank Hills Veterinary Clinic in 1983.
In 1993 he gained his Membership of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists in Feline Medicine, then in 1995 he started a private practice Residency in Veterinary Ophthalmology with Dr Richard Smith at Kessels Road Veterinary Hospital in Brisbane. He gained his Fellowship in Veterinary Ophthalmology from the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists in 1999 and has worked continuously in full time ophthalmology practice since then.
Currently he is a director and senior ophthalmologist at Animal Eye Services based at Veterinary Specialist Services in Underwood, Brisbane. He is a Registered Veterinary Specialist in Ophthalmology with the Veterinary Surgeons Board of Queensland.
Mike has performed ophthalmic surgery on a diverse range of animal species especially cats, dogs and horses but also some wonderful exotic species ranging from Amazon parrots to Komodo Dragons, Seals and Sea Lions.
Dr Bernays worked overseas in Hong Kong at Happy Valley Veterinary Clinic between 2011 and 2017 where he provided a twice yearly consultancy to Hong Kong veterinarians and their clients.
He has published in the Veterinary Literature on various topics ranging from Convergent strabismus (cross-eyedness) in white tigers to dematiaceous (pigmented) corneal fungal infections in cats and dogs and has presented numerous papers at meetings in Australia and internationally.
Mike has given numerous continuing education presentations to general practitioners and has been involved in the training and mentoring of four new ophthalmologists in his over twenty years of experience. He has previously been an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Queensland where he gave lectures and practical classes in ophthalmology to Bachelor of Veterinary Science students.
He is a past President of the QLD Division of the Australian Veterinary Association and the local Brisbane Veterinary Practitioners Branch. He is currently a member of the Australian Veterinary Association, a Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists, a member of the Australian Small Animal Veterinary Association, American Veterinary Medical Association and the International Society of Veterinary Ophthalmologists and the European Society of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.
In his spare time Mike is a keen fixed wing aircraft pilot, with nearly 3000 hours of experience especially in his Piper Twin Comanche. He is also a musician – playing the clarinet, piano and singing in the renowned Brisbane based chamber Choir, Canticum, and recently been appointed to the position of voluntary parent administrator of Queensland Youth Symphony Orchestra.
Dr James White
Veterinary Ophthalmologist (Specialist)
James graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2010. He then moved to Brisbane to work in small animal general practice. In 2013 he started a formal residency program through the Australian & New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (ANZCVS) under the mentorship of Specialist Ophthalmologist Dr Mike Bernays. As part of this program, he attained membership of the ANZCVS in Small Animal Internal Medicine and ultimately attained fellowship and specialist registration in Veterinary Ophthalmology. James and Mike are the veterinary directors of Animal Eye Services.
James has attained membership of the ANZCVS in Small Animal Internal Medicine.
He is also a member of the International Society of Veterinary Ophthalmologists(ISVO) and an Industry Fellow of the University of Queensland.
James has authored and had published a number of research papers including ones on feline entropion surgery and also a rare eyelid disease of dogs known as “sterile ulcerative pyogranulomatous blepharitis.” This paper received the Australian Small Animal Veterinarians Association's Atwell Award for Best Case Report for 2018. He regularly lectures at conferences and seminars to local and international veterinarians, veterinary nurses and veterinary students.
James regularly travels to and provides an ophthalmology service to coastal and rural regions in QLD and NSW; such as Ballina, Coffs Harbour and Toowoomba where he works in close association with local vets clinics to care for pets with eye problems.
James also heads the clinical small animal ophthalmology service at the School of Veterinary Science Gatton Campus for the University of Queensland where he teaches the future vets of tomorrow.
James’ main base of operation is at Veterinary Specialist Services (VSS)/Animal Emergency Services (AES) hospital in Underwood.
James enjoys all aspects of veterinary ophthalmology in both treating medical patients and performing a vast array of eye surgeries including, but not limited to:
Eyelid surgery (complicated tumour removals, eyelid reconstructions and entropion)
Abnormal hair removal – distichia, ectopic cilia, trichiasis
Corneal/conjunctival grafts for ruptured corneas, descemetocele, sequestra, melting ulcers
Lens luxations surgery
Cosmetic globe replacement (prosthesis)
Glaucoma shunt surgery
Dr Kaila Leidreiter
Veterinary Ophthalmology Resident
Kaila started work as a kennel hand at her local vet at the age of 13 and has continued to work with animals in varying roles ever since. After a stint working with lion cubs in Zimbabwe in her early 20s, and then volunteering at the Veterinary and Quarantine Centre at Taronga Zoo, she started her Bachelor of Veterinary Science at the University of Queensland. She worked as a vet nurse on weekends throughout her studies before graduating with honours in 2013.
Following graduation, she accepted a rotating internship with Veterinary Specialist Services, where she had the unique opportunity to work under specialists in a range of disciplines including surgery, internal medicine, ophthalmology, cardiology, oncology, dermatology and critical care.
During the subsequent 3 years spent working in small animal general practice, Kaila developed a strong interest in ophthalmology and regularly spent her days off visiting Animal Eye Services to increase her exposure to this field. Kaila has since joined the team at Animal Eye Services and is undertaking a formal residency in ophthalmology through the Australian & New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists under the mentorship of Specialist Ophthalmologist Dr Mike Bernays and Ophthalmology Registrar Dr James White.
Kaila enjoys spending her spare time with Anoki, her cheeky Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and learning new techniques in silver jewellery making.
Veterinary Ophthalmic Nurse
Having started in the workforce as a receptionist, Leonie proceeded to University in 1998 to do a Bachelor of Applied Science in Animal Studies with a specialisation in Wildlife Biology.
After deferring her honours project in Theraphosid systematics (Tarantula spiders), Leonie decided to spend another year at Uni to do another specialisation, this time in Veterinary Technology and Management.
This led her to volunteer at the University Small Animal Teaching Hospital to gain some clinical experience while studying.
She also did some locum nursing at the Uni before being offered a nursing position at Animal Eye Services.
She currently has two dogs and a devon rex cat.
Veterinary Ophthalmic Nurse
Ambers animal career began when she was 11 years old, when she begged a horse trail ride center to let her volunteer for them. Thirty years later she’s still in the industry and loving every minute of it!
She has completed Certificate two and Certificate three in Animal Studies (Veterinary Nursing) and the Advanced Diploma of Equine Management where she won the E.F.A. scholarship.
She has spent three years as a specialist horse vet nurse, and has worked in almost every role available in the horse industry. She also competed her own horses in E.F.A. Showjumping.
She began her ophthalmology career in Melbourne in 2000 where she spent three years at Animal Eye Care. She has since moved to sunny Brisbane where she has worked at Guide Dogs in the training department and has now been at Animal Eye Services for six years. She owns a spoiled corgi who she competes in Agility with, and two cats.
Veterinary Ophthalmic Nurse
It all started when puppies used to follow Melyssa home from school; she knew then that she wanted to work in the veterinary industry. Once Melyssa finished year 12 she began working at a veterinary hospital in the outer suburbs of Melbourne.
After 4 years Melyssa moved with her much loved horse and dog to the hustle and bustle of Sydney. While working in a veterinary hospital at Bondi Junction for six years, she achieved her advanced certificate in veterinary nursing. She collected a menagerie of animals including her husband, and moved to the warmer relaxed climate of Brisbane in 1999.
After working at a couple of veterinary hospitals in Brisbane, Melyssa took up a position with Animal Eye Services as an Ophthalmic Nurse. During this time she has added to her menagerie and is now mum to four horses (two of which she competes on), two dogs, three cats, two geese and thirteen ducks.