Dr Adriarne Heaton


Adriarne had worked in general veterinary practice for many years and was fortunate enough to see a variety of cases – particularly given the many weekends and nights spent on-call during this time. After deciding she needed a change and bit more excitement, Adriarne thought emergency medicine might just be the avenue to travel down.

During that time, Adriarne has been a big part of so many of Animal Emergency Service patients’ recoveries, and when we asked her about her most memorable patient, she was quick to tell us about a dog she had seen suffer a horrific case of intoxication of an unknown substance. “She came in wobbly on her feet, disoriented and dribbling urine, and within 20 minutes she was non-responsive and seizuring. We managed to keep her alive and supported her through her intoxication, having suspicions about what the toxin was. At 6.30am that morning the owner called to say they had found a chewed box of human medicine in the backyard. The dog had ingested up to 70 tablets! She should’ve died given how much she ate, but thankfully with all of the treatment she received she went home a few days later.”

It’s not all bad though, Adriarne says she still gets to have some fun while on the job. “Once during a C-section, my shoes got soaked with baby juices! I was due for new shoes anyway… the other Nurses thought it was hilarious!”.

Adriarne loves the part of her job that allows her to witness the happiest of endings. “One recent patient comes to mind. I saw a Labrador who was heavily pregnant and in labour for almost 2.5 days. Her puppies were in great distress (the heart rates were low) and the poor mum was tired from trying to push for so long without passing a single pup! With a pup stuck and unable to be removed manually, we had to work fast to anaesthetise her safely and perform a C-section. It was the biggest uterus I have seen! We managed to save 10 puppies (unfortunately losing the puppy that was stuck for so long), and thankfully mum recovered well also!”.

Three quick questions with Dr Adriarne

Is there somewhere local that you like taking your pets? Tell us about it!

Haha, Eric my cat HATES being walked on a lead! My mother tried this once and it was a disaster… He likes wandering around in the garden and sunbaking on the concrete, we let him do his thing.

What do you do for fun outside of being Dr Adriarne?

My three big passions are food/wine, music and exercise. I love cooking and eating out, a beautiful drop of wine makes me a happy gal. Any activity helps keep me grounded and relieves stress – I go running, walking, boxing and to the gym. I’ll give anything active a go and if it involves the beach that’s even better.

Tell us why you like working for Animal Emergency Service

The people I work with are all passionate about delivering high standards and providing every client and patient with outstanding care and treatment when they walk through our doors. Everyone from the team of receptionists to the nurses to the vets – they all work hard and together to give the pets of Brisbane the best emergency care possible. We strive to improve constantly by undergoing extra training and continuing education, by having regular meetings to discuss areas we do well and how we can improve, and we operate out of a premium 24hr hospital where the equipment and facilities are of the highest calibre. We want to give the best and we always try to deliver this – I believe this is the AES difference.