Dr Roselle Hartwigsen BSc, BVSc, CVA
Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life. Helping animals came naturally to me from a very early age growing up on a farm. I never had a shadow of a doubt that being a veterinarian is my calling. I was blessed with the ability and means to pursue my passion and qualified from Onderstepoort in 2011.
During short externship at the Dubai Equine hospital I was exposed to veterinary acupuncture. A endurance horse was suffering from severe back pain and no conventional therapy was able to alleviate his pain or diagnose the problem. The senior veterinarian decided to treat the patient with acupuncture. It worked! The horse was pain free within two weeks after months of suffering. My interest in complementary therapies was triggered and after a year of studying at the Chi Institute of Europe I became certified in Veterinary acupuncture.
It has become my mission to integrate conventional veterinary medicine with acupuncture and herbal medicine. This provides me with more treatment options for each patient and allow the treatment of patients where hope is almost lost. I am very privileged to work as part of an fantastic team of veterinary professionals at Bergbos Animal Clinic in Rustenburg. At Bergbos the care of our patients is an absolute priority and by combining excellent conventional and complementary therapies we can offer more treatment options than the average practice for every patient. At Bergbos Animal Clinic we treat everything from dogs, cats, reptiles, birds to horses, cattle and a variety of wildlife. The variety of patients guarantee that no day at the clinic is ever boring.
Since 2017 I have had the honour of acting as the director for the Chi Institute of TCVM (Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine) in Africa. We are a branch from the main campus situated in Florida USA. As director I am responsible for training veterinarians in Acupuncture, herbal medicine and food therapy through the Chi Institute of TCVM.
I am also the representative for South Africa in the WATCVM (World association of TCVM). I use my position on the board of directors to create awareness on the poaching of Rhinos and the slaughtering of lions and donkeys for so called medicine among my international peers. I am passionate about stopping the exploitation of our animal kingdom.
Being a “different” kind of veterinarian that practises complementary medicine has been challenging, especially in finding respect for the field amongst some conventional veterinarians. But, with research validating what we as complementary veterinarians have been seeing with our treatments, more and more veterinarians are turning to acupuncture and herbal medicine to help their patients when conventional medicine fail. I hope to be of some help in teaching and guiding my fellow vets as they explore these fields of study.
Often the question is asked:”Do you love what you do?”. My answer is a definite Yes. I love my patients, I love my clients. I love the satisfaction of helping animals and easing their suffering. No job is without challenges and I face mine head on. Always hoping to use my knowledge and skills and be a small ray of healing light in every situation.