Small Animal Surgery Research

Current research interests in our section centres around canine/feline stifle/hip disease and brachycephalic airway obstructive disease.

Meet the researchers and lecturers

Prof Gerhard Steenkamp

BSc, BVSc, PhD
Section Head
Associate Professor: Small Animal Surgery

Tel: +27(0) 12 529 8492
Email: [email protected]
ORCID ID: 0000-0001-8428-7309

Prof Steenkamp is interested in clinical research, mainly pertaining to the maxillofacial surgery and dentistry of small animals and wildlife. These interests include the biomechanic basis of jaw fractures, neoplasia of the maxillofacial complex as well as reconstructive surgery of the facial and oral structures. His research into wildlife is mainly focused on understanding the natural occurrence of dental and maxillofacial conditions and how this may be used to support animal welfare in captivity. Some of his work on rhino have also helped to support the conservation of this iconic species. He currently has a research programme on understanding the diseases that occur in marine mammals and birds on Marion Island, and how some of these species may be used as sentinels for the southern oceans.

Adriaan Kitshoff

Dr Adriaan Kitshoff

BVSc, BVSc(Hons), MSc Dipl ECVS
Senior Lecturer: Small Animal Surgery

Tel: +27 12 529 8136
Email: [email protected]
ORCID ID:  0000-0001-9657-740X

For his MSc degree Dr Kitshoff researched canine mandibular fractures. His current research interests include diseases of the canine/ feline stifle, brachycephalic airway obstructive syndrome and abdominal compartment syndrome.


Dr Ross Elliott

BVSc, MMedVet(Surg)
Senior Lecturer: Small Animal Surgery

Tel: +27 12 529 8493
Email: [email protected]

Dr Elliott’s clinical and research interests include small animal neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery including joint replacement and minimally invasive arthroscopy. For his MMedVet degree he investigated the effects of insufflation for laparoscopy on the position of the abdominal organs. His ongoing research has looked at the outcomes of spinal surgery for intervertebral disc disease in small animals and different imaging modalities in the diagnosis of intervertebral disc disease in dogs.  

Elge Bester

Dr Elge Bester

Senior Lecturer: Small Animal Surgery

Tel: +27 12 529 8444
Email: [email protected]

Dr Anika de Witt

Resident: Small Animal Surgery

Tel: +27 12 529 8331
Email: [email protected]

Dr de Witt’s research interests include cranial cruciate ligament disease, developmental elbow disease, osteoarthritis and intracranial neoplasia.  Currently, her research involvement includes the evaluation of biomechanical properties of implants for the repair of cranial cruciate disease in cats, as well as the use of thromboelastography to test the viscoelastic properties of synovial fluid in stifle joints. 

Klaas-Jan van de Wetering

Dr Klaas-Jan van de Wetering

Clinical Assistant: Small Animal Surgery

Tel: +27 12 529 8366
Email: [email protected]

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