Veterinary Specialist Group has five specialist surgeons, Alex Walker, Richard Jerram, Alastair Coomer, Kyle Clark and Damian Chase. The Surgery Department also referred to as VSG Surgical offers a complete service in all areas of orthopaedic, neurologic and soft tissue surgery. Our Surgery team works closely with the referring veterinarians to diagnose and treat complex surgical conditions in dogs and cats. We frequently utilize the services of the other VSG specialists in Internal Medicine and Radiology to assist us in case management.


 Alex Walker – BVSc (Dist) MACVSc

Registered Specialist Small Animal Surgery

Alex graduated with distinction in 1978 from Massey University and spent two years in small animal practice in Auckland. In 1981 he was accepted for a residency in small animal surgery at the University of Missouri at Columbia where he received the Graduate Student Teaching Award. He gained his MACVSc in 1985 and in 1998 became registered as a specialist in small animal surgery. In 1999 Alex was made an Adjunct Lecturer in Surgery at Massey University and in 2000 he founded Veterinary Specialist Group along with Dr. Chris Warman and Dr. Mark Robson. In 2003 Alex became President of the Surgery Chapter of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists and became an Honorary Research Associate in the School of Natural Sciences at Unitec in 2006.

Alex has authored and co-authored the publication of many papers in national and international journals and proceedings. In 1990, he and Dr. Steve Fox introduced canine total hip replacement to New Zealand. Alex is passionate about continuing education for the New Zealand veterinarian and has made presentations at national and international conferences regularly since 1984.


Richard Jerram – BVSc, Diplomate ACVS

Registered Specialist Small Animal Surgery

Richard graduated from Massey University Veterinary School in 1987 with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science. He spent seven years in general practice in the Waikato where he worked with both farm animals and pets. In 1995, Richard began a one-year rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Texas A&M University, Texas, USA. This led to him to complete a three-year residency program in small animal surgery. In February 2000, Richard became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in Small Animal Surgery.

Richard is a Registered Specialist in Small Animal Surgery in New Zealand and has been working at VSG since 2001. Richard is interested in all aspects of surgery of dogs and cats but has special interests in diseases and surgery of the nervous system, canine arthroscopy, and plastic surgery. Richard regularly lectures to veterinarians and has published numerous articles on surgical topics in veterinary journals.


Alastair Coomer – BVSc, MS, Diplomate ACVS

Registered Specialist Small Animal Surgery

Alastair graduated from Massey University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science. He worked in a mixed animal practice in Ashburton for 18 months before pursuing a surgical specialization. Alastair traveled to the Ontario Veterinary College  for his internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery before being accepted into the Small Animal Surgery Residency Program at the University of Florida. Alastair became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2010 and has been a Registered Specialist in Small Animal Surgery since 2011. Alastair worked in the San Francisco Bay Area before moving back to New Zealand in 2011.

During his surgical residency, Alastair also completed his Master of Science (Veterinary Science) looking at Osteosarcoma in dogs and people. This work resulted in Alastair receiving collegiate, national and international awards for his research and research presentations. His clinical interests include all aspects of general surgery and particularly surgical oncology.


Kyle Clark –  BVSc (Dist), MVSc, Diplomate ACVS-SA

Registered Specialist Small Animal Surgery

Kyle graduated with distinction from Massey University in 2007.  She went on to complete three rotating and specialised surgical internships in the following four years, in addition to working as an emergency veterinarian at the Animal Emergency Centre.  Following this, she was accepted into a 3-year surgical residency program in Prince Edward Island, Canada.  During her residency she also completed a Masters of Veterinary Science in kinetic gait analysis of dogs.  She became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2014.  She worked for 2 years as a Senior Lecturer in Small Animal Surgery at Massey University before moving back to her hometown of Auckland.  She has a has a special interest in minimally invasive thoracic and abdominal surgery.


Damian Chase –  BVSc (Dist), MANZCVS, DipECVS

Registered Specialist Small Animal Surgery

Damian graduated from Massey University in 1997 and started his veterinary career in South Otago where he practiced for three years. He then moved to England where he spent 3 years working in mixed practice. When he returned to New Zealand he studied for the Australian College Membership exams in small animal surgery returning to the UK afterward to complete an internship followed by a Residency in small animal surgery at Glasgow University.

Damian gained the Diploma for the European College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2011. He has a keen interest in all aspects of surgery especially complex fracture fixation and reconstructive surgery. Damian also enjoys working with wildlife and has operated on a variety of different species such as chimpanzees, giraffes, seals and a coati, including two trips to Cameroon to operate on lowland gorillas.


Surgical Services Available at VSG: