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New Breed Vets
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False Eye

In this episode of New Breed Vets, a vital operation probes a mysterious stomach lump in the world’s most critically endangered lizard – the Fijian Crested Iguana. A dog-ravaged koala is brought back to life after dying on the operating table. Rare Leafy Sea Dragons at the Oregon Coast Aquarium benefit from pioneering aquatic husbandry, and a fish’s punctured eye is temporarily relieved during treatment by a contact lens. A Northern Sea Otter with an infected tooth is given root canal surgery by a dentist performing her first veterinary procedure, and Steve and the Australia Zoo team capture a massive rare crocodilian species for its first ever vet check.

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Case Study gharial  

Episode: “False Eye”
Case Study: False Gharial Health Check
Location: Singapore Zoological Gardens
Veterinarian: Dr Chris Furley

This species of crocodilian is endangered, and the False Gharial specimens at Singapore Zoo are particularly big – this one is 15 foot plus. Due to their size and an upgrade of the Singapore Zoo crocodilian facility, they are being relocated to new enclosures. Singapore Zoo called in Steve and Australia Zoo’s International Crocodile Rescue Unit to catch and relocate it, as well as assist in its first ever vet check-up. The Australia Zoo crocodile specialists include Brian Coulter and Senior Veterinarian Dr Jon Hanger. To secure the croc, Steve used a technique perfected on Australian Saltwater Crocodiles – a top jaw rope pulled tight. A second jaw rope was attached for safety and the croc was pulled from the water using the brute strength of the Singapore Zoo staff. Steve and Brian jumped the croc and secured the jaws. Once secured, Singapore Zoo’s head vet Dr Chris Furley gave the False Gharial a thorough physical and general check-up. They took various measurements, blood samples, and a general condition check before pulling it into a wooden crate and relocating it into a bigger enclosure – a deep moat surrounding an island of primates.

Patient Card - gharial
Patient card gharial

Procedure card gharial

Case Study rockfish  

Episode: “False Eye”
Case Study: Rockfish punctured eye
Location: Oregon Coast Aquarium, Newport USA
Veterinarian: Dr Tim Miller-Morgan

Rockfish can live up to 50 years of age. This patient punctured its eye in a collision with the aquarium wall. The swollen eye became infected and would have eventually caused the fish to go blind. Dr Tim Miller-Morgan – an aquatic veterinarian specialist, sedates the fish using a powdered anesthetic, which is mixed into the fish tank. Dr Miller-Morgan then dripped a colored dye onto the eyeball, which runs into the abrasions caused from the impact. The dye lights up under ultra-violet light, clearly showing the extent of the damage. Dr Miller-Morgan was confident the eye would heal over time, but treated the wound with antibiotics to prevent infection. He also decided to glue a clear contact lens onto the eyeball to prevent bacteria entering the wound. Several weeks later the fish was anaesthetised again to check that the wound was healing. The dye again showed that the wound had almost completely healed. Dr Miller-Morgan then applied antibiotics and a superglue seal to keep out infection. The fish was put into oxygen-enriched water and gently pushed along to increase water flow over its gills to speed up the revival process.

Patient Card - rockfish
Patient card rockfish

Procedure card rockfish

Vet Cards  

Dr Tim Miller-Morgan:

In the New Breed Vets episode ‘False Eye’, Dr Tim Miller-Morgan repairs a puncture wound in the eye of a rockfish and treats rare Leafy Sea Dragons with a protozoan infection at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, USA.


Dr Miller-Morgan has a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Biology, a Doctor in Veterinary Medicine and graduate training at the Oregon Health Sciences University. He is affiliated with the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, the American Fisheries Society, the International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine, and the Fish Veterinary Society. Dr Miller-Morgan is also an Assistant Professor at the Department of Biomedical Sciences.

Dr Tim Miller-Morgan
Dr Heidi Romney:  

In the New Breed Vets episode ‘False Eye’, human dentist Dr Heidi Romney performs her first ever root canal procedure on a Northern Sea Otter from the Oregon Coast Aquarium with assistance from veterinarian Dr Steven Brown.


Dr Romney is a human dentist with a passion for wildlife. As well as being a qualified dentist, Dr Romney has a Bachelor of Science in Zoology and did a graduate study on Black Bears.

Dr Heidi Romney
Dr Steven Brown:  

In the New Breed Vets episode ‘False Eye’, veterinarian Dr Steven Brown anaesthetises a Northern Sea Otter for human dentist Dr Heidi Romney to perform her first ever root canal procedure on an animal.


Dr Brown graduated from the Colorado State University with honours. He is a consulting veterinarian for the Fur and Feathers Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, and is associated with the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Animal Hospital Association, Oregon Veterinary Medical Association and the Lincoln County Veterinary Medical Association.

Dr Jon Hanger:  

In the New Breed Vets episode ‘False Eye’, Australia Zoo’s Senior Veterinarian Dr Jon Hanger performs life-saving surgery to remove a bladder stone from a critically endangered Fijian Crested Iguana, brings a koala back from the dead, removes a lump from the head of a Woma Python and saves a pelican with fish hook and bullet wounds.


Dr Hanger, who has loved animals since he can remember, was born with a passion for saving wildlife. He has been working professionally with Australian wildlife for the past 15 years and is regarded as one of Australia’s foremost koala experts. In 2003 he commenced working at the Australian Wildlife Hospital at Australia Zoo with Steve Irwin. As Senior Veterinarian, Dr Hanger has treated an extremely wide and diverse number of wildlife species.

Dr Jon Hanger
Dr Oh Soon Hock:  

In the New Breed Vets episode ‘False Eye’, Singapore Zoo’s Dr Oh Soon Hock uses traditional Chinese medicine remedies to treat constipation in Ahmeng, the world’s most famous orang-utan.


Dr Oh is sometimes regarded as a paradox, practising both western veterinary medicine and traditional Chinese medicine – often at the same time on the same patient. Not only does he have a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine from the National Taiwan University, he is also qualified to practise acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine. Dr Oh is a physician at the Singapore Traditional Chinese Medical College (for humans). He has pioneered immobilisation or chemical restraint of animals at Singapore Zoo, as well as using traditional Chinese medicine for treating both animals and humans.

Dr Oh Soon Hock
New Breed Vets