011 887 8158
  • Welcome to Birnam Vet

    Consulting hours (Strictly by appointment)

    Mondays – Fridays
    07H30 to 11:00 & 15h00 to 18h30

    08h00 to 13h00

    Sundays and public holidays

  • Birnam Veterinary Clinic

    Scientific care with a gentle touch


Scientific care with a gentle touch

Welcome to the Birnam Vet website. If you are looking for high quality veterinary services in the Illovo, Melrose, Rosebank, Birnam or adjacent areas of Johannesburg, look no further. Birnam Veterinary Clinic has been serving the community living in this area for over sixty years with dedication and a high standard of veterinary care. We are one of the oldest veterinary practices in South Africa and we specialise in the treatment and care of your four legged family pets. At Birnam Vet we aim to provide you and your family pets with a pleasant experience from the moment you walk through the reception door.

We work on an appointment system to minimise the stress of a full waiting room. Contact our friendly, Eduvet trained receptionists to make an appointment to see Dr Jaco Viljoen, our resident veterinarian.

For a full list of the services offered at Birnam Vet, please go to our services page.

About Us

At Birnam Veterinary Clinic we take our values and principles seriously and willingly share them with you.

  1. Birnam Veterinary Clinic will always strive to ensure that the veterinary services and products we provide as well as the support that underwrites it will always be of a first world standard, and will measure up to the best veterinary practices internationally.
  2. At Birnam Veterinary Clinic we strive to be a practice with a warm and friendly atmosphere. We want to get to know and welcome our clients and their pets by name, where they become friends for life.
  3. We celebrate the human-animal bond, share in the care of our clients’ pets and the enjoyment animals bring to humans.
  4. The health and well-being of our patients is our highest priority.
  5. At Birnam Veterinary Clinic  we run a clean, hygienic and well maintained practice.
  1. Our clients’ concerns and complaints are dealt with and rectified immediately. We strive to ensure that clients are looked after to the very best of our ability.
  2. Ongoing training for all our staff is the way in which we will continuously strive to add value to our clients’ and their pets’ lives. While our staff grows in a happy environment, they will care better for our patients and work harder to please their owners.
  3. Our business is nothing without a strong team. We communicate with our staff to ensure they know their importance to the team, and ensure they understand their role in caring for our patients.
  4. Our drive to grow always takes precedence over any resistance to change.


View some of the services we offer

Services Overview

At Birnam Veterinary Clinic we strive to adhere to the highest quality standard of veterinary care. If we are unable to make a diagnosis or provide care within our scope of practice as a general veterinary practice, we will refer you and your pet to the best veterinary specialists available. We are attached to our patients as if they were our own pets and only the best veterinary care will do. Our veterinary staff take as much time as possible in the consulting room to fully explain your pet’s condition and treatment with costs involved to you, the owner, and where possible use visual aids to make sure you understand your pet’s condition and treatment.

Our approach

“A scientific approach with a gentle touch”

We approach each case in such a way that the best diagnosis and treatment can be effected whilst keeping the patient’s comfort in mind.

  • General veterinary medical consultations

    We provide consultations, treatment and advice to suit your pet’s needs no matter the life stage or concern.

  • Soft tissue surgery

    In our endeavour to provide you with first world veterinary services, we obtained new surgical equipment as well as a new anaesthetic machine.

  • Preventative Care

    Prevention is better than treatment is a philosophy that we subscribe to. We offer various treatments with preventative care in mind.

  • X-ray facilities

    Our new digital x-ray facility on site at Birnam Veterinary Clinic means we can do emergency and routine x-rays immediately.

  • In House Laboratory

    Our slogan, scientific care with a gentle touch, sums up our need for accurate and rapid results, to provide the correct diagnosis and treatment.

  • Bathing & Grooming

    We all love to cuddle with our pets but sometimes it can be rather smelly and unpleasant! At Birnam Vet, we offer a bath and grooming service.

  • Premium Pet Food Sales

    We stock a wide range of premium pet food in an attempt to ensure continued good health in your family pet.

  • Vaccinations

    Vaccinations form a very important part in ensuring your pet’s good health and prevention of harmful diseases.

  • View Full Services List

    Take a look at some of the other services we offer at Birnam Veterinary Clinic.


Pet info

Need advise about pet care? Didn’t find what you need here?

Call our practice on 011 887 8158 and ask one of our receptionists or vets. 


  • The vet could not cure my pet! Owner Compliance and the Role you as an Owner Play

    First things first, there are always 3 parties to any veterinary consultation: The vet, the pet and the one often overlooked, the owner. For any veterinary treatment to be successful at least two of the three parties, namely the vet and the owner, are pivotal to the success of any intervention. As an owner, you are the eyes and ears of the vet in the home environment and most importantly no one knows your pet the way you do. The truth is we the vet cannot do their job without you. I am sure many have heard the saying that vets have it harder because their patients don’t talk, they can’t tell the vet what is wrong, or where it hurts. It is for this reason that a vet will require every bit of additional information they can get from you, the owner. Animals are as biologically complicated as people, in fact, most medical ailments affecting people can affect animals.

    View Article
  • My dog is really getting old Geriatric dogs - The senior years

    Taking your elderly dog to the vet for an annual check-up can sometimes feel like a waste of time and a big inconvenience to the pet involved. The stress involved and the difficulty of transporting a big elderly dog, which is not so mobile anymore, may make you wonder if it is really necessary. The answer is a very big YES!

    At what age exactly are dogs considered geriatric? You may find different views on the internet and as with humans, it does depend to a large degree on the individual animal. Some humans are sprightly and active at age 75 and others are tired and sickly at age 60. The same applies to dogs but there is a general consensus that small breed dogs generally have a longer life span than medium and large breed dogs. Giant Breeds are considered geriatric at the early age of 6 to 7 years, whereas breeds are only regarded as geriatric when approaching ten to twelve years of age.  The aim of an annual check-up for an adult dog is not just to update the vaccinations, but to give the veterinarian an opportunity to evaluate the dog’s general health and pick up any problems that might have gone unnoticed by the owner. The broad generalisation is that for each one year a human ages, a dog will age the equivalent of 7 years. If you look at it in this light, it will make sense that in older dogs, regular check-ups, as in humans, are vital. The vet will also ask the owner a series of questions to establish how the animal is doing at home. Things to start looking out for when an animal gets older is a loss of appetite, losing weight, struggling to get up and move around, as usual, drinking and urinating more than usual, and general signs like vomiting and diarrhoea.

    View Article
  • My cat is really getting old Geriatric Cats - The senior years

    Due to improvements in nutrition, veterinary and home care, cats are living a lot longer than they did twenty to thirty years ago. In the past when a cat reached the age of 13 years old, we believed them to be really old. This is definitely no longer the case. We see several cats that are now reaching ages in excess of twenty years. Cats also tend to age a lot more gracefully than dogs and so it is not always easy to tell when they are starting to struggle or are showing signs of illness.  

    View Article
  • My pet is vomiting Is vomiting a sign of an upset tummy?

    Vomiting is one of the most common symptoms of disease seen in pets. It can be quite alarming to see your pet vomit up all his or her food or alternatively continuously wretch and only bring slime or bile. So should you rush your dog or cat to the vet immediately when you see them vomit, or is it safe to wait and see? Because there are so many causes of vomiting, we recommend that if you are ever in doubt, it is always better to visit the vet and have it seen to, even if it is just to put your mind at ease and prevent it from progressing to something more serious.

    View Article
  • My older German Shepherd Dog seems to be getting weak in its hindquarters Degenerative Myelopathy

    This article outlines a genetic disorder that mainly German Shepherd dogs are prone to. There are other breeds affected by this condition too like Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Corgis, Boxers, Wirehaired Fox Terriers and Rhodesian Ridgebacks, however, the disease is mostly seen in German Shepherds.

    If one breaks down the name of the disease it describes what happens with the disease. Degeneration refers to a breaking down or deterioration of something. That “something” in this case is myelin which is the insulating sheath around neurons in the spinal cord. Neurons are the “electrical wires” of the nervous system and one can compare myelin to the insulating plastic around the wires, almost like one would find with an electrical cord. Whenever a term is followed by “pathy” it refers to a disease or disorder in a certain part of the body. In this case the spinal cord.

    View Article
  • View All Articles


Meet the people looking after your pet

  • Dr Jaco Viljoen

    Dr Viljoen joined us at the beginning of 2016.  He is our resident vet and he absolutely loves animals...
  • Lorraine Johnson

    Lorraine started at Birnam Vet in April 2017 as a temporary receptionist, but she has since become permanent.  She absolutely loves animals and have...
  • Desiré van Zyl

    Desiré van Zyl is the new morning Receptionist at Birnam Vet.  She joined us in November 2015 and has a passion for working with animals...
  • Alpheus Mvelase

    Alpheus started working with Dr Rick Price in 1997 and continued working with Dr Wessels when he took over the practice. We are very happy Alpheus is...
  • Elia Madula

    Elia is a firm favourite with clients and animals alike at Birnam Veterinary Clinic. He has worked at the clinic since 1995. He has completed the F10...
  • Evelyn Sibanyoni

    Evelyn started working at Birnam Veterinary Clinic in 1992 as a groomer and is well known and loved by the clients and their pets! We are very...
  • Goodness Msibi

    Goodness started working at Birnam Veterinary Clinic in 2010 as a veterinary assistant and now works with Evelyn in the Grooming parlour. She has a...


View some of our latest news, updates on the practice and all things related to your pet.

  • Missing cat


  • Corlett City Veterinary Hospital take over


  • Free Rabies Vaccinations


  • 2 Maltese gets new home


  • Lost dog near Forrest Town


  • The Story of Ginger


  • What types of bones are safe to give my dog?


  • Browse All Articles

Birnam Shop Image

Get in touch with us

42 Fort Street (c/o Fort Street and Delta Road), Birnam, Johannesburg, 2196
011 887 8158/9
011 887 1299

Consulting Hours

* Mon – Fri

07:30 – 11:00 &
15:00 – 18:30

* Saturdays

08:00 – 13:00



Public Holidays



* Consultations Mon – Sat are by appointment

Shop Hours

Mon – Fri

07:30 – 18:30


08:00 – 13:00



Public Holidays