Dr Donnie Engelbrecht
VSc degree, University of Pretoria, Faculty of Veterinary Science Onderstepoort, qualified in 1989
Donnie joined the Van Wijk Street Vet in 2002 and has a special interest in working with horses.
Dr Donnie Engelbrecht is married with three daughters and has been a Nelspruiter since 1997. Their family also includes 5 dogs, 7 cats, 5 horses, 3 African Grey parrots and a few chickens.
Describe your job in 3 words: Exciting, rewarding and challenging at times
What’s the coolest/most interesting thing you’ve done/seen recently? I had to deal with 2 buffalo bulls which were entangled by their horns after they have been fighting. This was a first for me, but I managed to free them from each other by immobilizing them first. At least it had a happy ending whereas both animals survived.
The best thing about being in the Van Wijk Street Vet Practice? The best thing for me at Van Wijk Street Animal Hospital is to be part of a very professional team, working as a happy family and the respect we have for each other.
Tell us about you work experience: I left Onderstepoort in June 1989 to do my (then) Army service for two years. I was stationed in the former Lebowa homeland as a Clinical veterinarian running clinics in the rural areas on a daily basis. After the army in 1991, I joined the Potgietersrus Animal hospital as an Assistant Veterinarian, treating large animals like cattle and game. In 1992 I joined the Department of Agriculture as a State Veterinarian situated at the Nooitgedacht Agricultural Research farm in Ermelo until 1992 when I moved to the Nelspruit State vet office. In 2002 I joined Dr Quentin Otto in Private Practise as a partner in the Van Wijk Street Bird and Animal Hospital.
Special interests? Working with horses and game. We own horses and I got use to working with horses. I grew an interest in equine work due to the fact that I was exposed to horse work during my time as a private veterinarian as well as owning horses myself. I love doing game work but its more of a hobby; it’s relaxing and I get to work in the bush.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working? I enjoy being in the bush and it’s important for me to spend time in the bush with my family, where we enjoy tracking and viewing game. Deep sea fishing is also one of my passions I enjoy with my friends. I also cycle to keep fit.
Dr Quentin Otto
BVSc. Onderstepoort, University of Pretoria, 1979 to 1984
Dr Quentin Otto built the surgery at 68 van Wijk Street and started Van Wijk Street Animal Hospital on 3rd November 1997 where he has been working ever since.
Quentin moved to Nelspruit as State Veterinarian in February 1992 and has been here with his wife and 3 kids ever since. He loves birds, exotics and dogs and he used to breed with Macaws, Ring neck Parakeets, Brown-Headed Parrots and Australian Cattle Dogs.
Describe your job in 3 words: Exciting, stimulating and rewarding
What’s the coolest/most interesting thing you’ve done/seen recently The most exciting and rewarding thing of being a veterinary surgeon, is the dramatic recovery of a patient after surgery and see how a dog walks and even runs on a leg only a few hours after repairing a fracture and seeing the appreciation of the owner. Being able to make a difference in the life of an animal and pet owner is priceless.
The best thing about being in the Van Wijk Street Vet Practice? I worked at a few Veterinary Hospitals, including England, but I never experienced passion and dedication during these work experiences. I then decided started Van Wijk Street Animal Hospital, where we can live our dream and serve the animals in need and make a difference in people’s lives. All the vets and staff have the same passion and dedication, which is very difficult to find anywhere else.
Tell us about you work experience: I worked as State Veterinarian for 13 years, where I did locums at various practices. Van Wijk Street Animal Hospital was built in 1997 and I have been here ever since. I was awarded a scholarship in 1998 to work at the Raptor Rehabilitation Centre in Minnesota and attended the American Avian Conference, which also attended again in 2007. This helped in broadening our knowledge of avian care and ensure that our treatment of birds is on par with international standards.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working? I love sport and my family. I enjoy playing tennis, golf, cycling and fishing. We also enjoy our beautiful country with our kids.
Dr Jaco Coetzee
BVSc 1993 at Onderstepoort
Jaco joined Van Wijk Street Vet in 2013 and loves orthopaedic surgery and working with wildlife.
Dr Jaco Coetzee moved to Nelspruit 2012, and is married with a daughter and son. They have 2 dogs, Chaka, a Rottweiler and Spikkel, a real dog. They also have two rescue cats, Milo and Patch.
Describe your job in 3 words: Exciting, Variety and Rewarding
What’s the coolest/most interesting thing you’ve done/seen recently? I went fly fishing in the Maletsunyane Gorge in Lesotho
The best thing about being in the Van Wijk Street Vet Practice? Working with dedicated staff and vets, each with their own style and methods. Together we encourgage each other to do the best for our patients.
Tell us about you work experience: I graduated in 1993 from Onderstepoort. From there I was appointed State Vet at Giyani in the old Gazankulu. I opened a clinic in Hermanus on 1 January 1996 and was there for 16 years. I moved to Nelspruit December 2012 and joined Van Wijk Street Vet in 2013.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working? Spending time with my family fishing. We love spending holidays at the ocean or somewhere in the bush. At home I spend my free time doing woodwork and making knives.
Dr Christo Nortje
BSc, BVSc (hon)
Christo joined Van Wijk Street Vet in 2013 and his passion is small animal surgery, especially orthopaedic surgery.
Dr Christo Nortje moved to Nelspruit in 2012. He is married and they have a baby son. Their Jack Russel, Stiegl, German Shorthaired Pointer, Duvel and Basset Hound, Milan are the two big brothers and older sister to their baby boy in their family.
Describe your job in 3 words: Exciting, interesting with some sadness
What’s the coolest/most interesting thing you’ve done/seen recently? I performed face lift surgery on an English bulldog to enable him to see. The excessive skin drooping over his eyes was pulled back to allow the bulldog to see clearly for the first time in his life!
The best thing about being in the Van Wijk Street Vet Practice? Up until Van Wijk Street Vet, I have never met such friendly and compassionate people to work with – people that really care not just for the animals but the owners as well.
Tell us about your work experience: After qualifying in 2009, I worked in Australia in a small town called Myrtleford for two years, working mostly with small animals and some horse/cattle. I moved back to South Africa in 2012 and worked as a locum at Van Wijk Street Animal Hospital for a month. I enjoyed it so much and I must have done something right because I got offered a permanent job. The rest, as they say, is history. I will most definitely stay at this practice until the day I am fortunate to retire.
I started my postgraduate studies in 2015 and finished my honours degree in 2019, which focused on radiology (x-rays), small animal Orthopaedic surgery, small animal soft tissue surgery and ophthalmology (eyes). I have a very special interest in these fields.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working? My main focus in life is my family, so when I am not working my favourite activity is spending quality time with my beautiful wife and baby boy Leander. I love the outdoor life, especially camping and fishing. I also like to try my luck on the golf course (although I need a lot more practise before I can call myself a golfer). Like most vets, I love wild life, and spending time bird watching in the Kruger is most probably the best therapy any person could ask for.
Bronwyn De Swardt