Dr. Heather Bjornebo, DVM, Dipl ABVP (reptile/amphibian practice), CertAqV
Dr. Bjornebo was born and raised in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. As a child, her love for animals was obvious and it was at a young age she made up her mind to one day become a veterinarian. It seemed she was always findings animals and bringing them home, from painted turtles or toads to one time a litter of mice. In 1998, she founded Caudata Culture, an informational, science based website about the captive care of newts and salamanders. During college, she worked for a pet shop as well as several veterinary diagnostic laboratories. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology at South Dakota State University before attending veterinary school at Iowa State University. After graduation in 2007, having had her share of the sub-zero winters up north, she made her escape to the heat and sunshine of Arizona, where she has been practicing small animal and exotic pet medicine ever since. In 2017, Dr. Bjornebo received her board certification in reptile and amphibian specialty practice from the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners.
Dr. Bjornebo actually first met Dr. Johnson shortly before graduation and they worked together for approximately 6 months at University Veterinary Hospital before he went on to open Arizona Exotic Animal Hospital, a place she is extremely excited to finally be a part of.
If you were to ask Dr. Bjornebo she would tell you that the human animal bond has no bounds, coming in all shapes and sizes; whether furry, feathery, or scaly. Nurturing and preserving this bond is what the art of veterinary medicine is really all about and through love she believes even the most humble creatures become family.
In addition to practicing exotic pet medicine, she is an active member of the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians serving on their Membership and Public Relations Committee. She is also the Consulting veterinarian for the Arizona Sea Life Aquarium. She serves on the curriculum board for the Veterinary Technology program at Anthem College and provides guest instruction there and at Pima College’s Veterinary Assistant program. She enjoys public outreach lecturing at various exotic pet expos and club meetings throughout the valley.
Dr. Bjornebo received her Certification in Aquatic Animal Medicine (CertAqV) from the World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association (WAVMA) in May, 2016 after completing an extensive veterinary credentialing program to attain and demonstate the necessary knowledge, skills, and experience to be competent in aquatic veterinary medicine (including mammals, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates).
Dr. Bjornebo shares her home in the Valley of the Sun with 3 dogs, 3 cats, and close to 4 dozen exotic pets which includes various species of snakes, lizards, turtles, tortoises, tarantulas, birds and a beautiful reef aquarium with both fish and live corals. In her free time, along with caring for her “menagerie”, she enjoys hiking, biking, snorkeling and scuba diving, art quilting and amigurumi crocheting.
Other Professional Positions/Appointments
Veterinary Consultant, Arizona SeaLife Aquarium, Tempe, AZ
Institional Animal Care and Use Committee Chairperson 2014-2015, PIMA Medical Institute Department of Veterinary Technology, Phoenix, AZ
ARAV Executive Board, Member at Large 2015-2017. Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians.
The Avian Annual Exam. Arizona Seedcrackers Society, Mesa, AZ, Sept. 18, 2010
Ask-The-Vet. Arizona Seedcrackers Society Semiannual Bird Mart, Mesa, AZ, Biannually 2010-2014
Reptile Medicine for the Veterinary Technician. Anthem College Department of Veterinary Technology. Oct. 4, 2012
Reptile First Aid. Arizona Game and Fish Department, Phoenix, AZ, Oct. 7, 2012
Reptile Medicine for the Veterinary Technician. PIMA Medical Institute Department of Veterinary Technology, Phoenix, AZ, Nov. 2014, May 2015.