Dr. Nick Saint-Erne, DVM

Nick Saint-Erne, DVM

Specialties: Aquatic Species, Zoo and Aquarium Animals

Dr. Nick Saint-Erne, DVM, is a dedicated veterinarian with more than 35 years of experience, who is passionate about pets, exotic animals, and aquatic veterinary medicine. Dr. Saint-Erne is part of The Spruce Pets' veterinary review board.


  • Member of The Spruce Pets Veterinary Review Board
  • 35+ years of experience as a veterinarian treating dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, rodents, reptiles, fish, exotic pets and zoo animals
  • Certified as an Aquatic Veterinarian by the World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association
  • Accredited Veterinarian by the United States Department of Agriculture
  • Licensed to practice Veterinary Medicine by the Arizona Veterinary Medical Examining Board
  • Currently practices at the Arizona Exotic Animal Hospital and is a consulting veterinarian for several zoos and aquariums in Arizona
  • Current Adjunct Professor at the Midwestern University College of Veterinary Medicine, and lecturer at the AQUAVET program, sponsored by Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Author of veterinary articles and animal care books and manuals, and proficient as a technical writer, document editor, and publisher


Dr. Saint-Erne has worked in veterinary hospitals treating a variety of animals, including zoo animals and exotic pets, for more than 35 years. He was one of the first group of veterinarians certified as an Aquatic Veterinarian by the World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association, and in 2017 was designated as a Distinguished Fellow of WAVMA. He is also the Executive Editor of The Aquatic Veterinarian, the quarterly journal of WAVMA.

In addition to Dr. Saint-Erne’s veterinary work, he has owned his own pet stores and has been involved in the pet industry as a technical writer for the training materials and customer pet care handouts for a major pet store chain. He has worked with the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in drafting programs to improve the care of pets in pet stores and to reduce the risk of spreading zoonotic diseases (diseases people can catch from their pets).

Dr. Saint-Erne lectures worldwide on animal care topics for veterinarians, the aquaculture industry, and pet owners. He also teaches classes on Exotic Pet and Aquatic Animal Medicine to veterinary students.

A Word From Dr. Nick Saint-Erne, DVM

"I have been helping pet owners provide proper care of their pets as a veterinarian, as well as an author of pet care books and articles, for the last 35 years. Pet owners are looking for information not only for their dogs and cats, but for hamsters, parakeets, turtles, snakes, and other more unusual pets being kept today, and my knowledge and experience helps them provide the best homes for their pets. I have traveled throughout the USA and in several other countries educating veterinarians, veterinary students, animal breeders, and pet keepers, and now I am excited to work with The Spruce Pets to keep pet owners up to date with the latest information. Pets are now part of our family, and it is important to provide them with proper nutrition and health care to have long and happy lives together."


Dr. Saint-Erne received his Bachelor of Science degree (Fisheries Biology) and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, and received Aquatic Veterinary Certification at the World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association. He also completed the AQUAVET: Aquatic Veterinary Program at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and received his Open Water SCUBA diving certification in Wichita, Kansas.

Awards and Publications

Dr. Saint-Erne is a part of the following associations:

  • American Veterinary Medical Association – 1984 - present
  • World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association – Executive Board Member  2007-present (previously President 2016; Distinguished Fellow, 2017)
  • Associated Koi Clubs of America – Koi Health Advisor Program – Veterinary Director - 2008-present
  • Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians
  • USDA Accredited Veterinarian (Category II) – since 1984


  • Therapeutics in Ornamental Fish, in Fish Diseases and Medicine by Stephen A. Smith, CRC Press; 2019.
  • The Welfare of Ornamental Fish in the Home Aquarium, Companion Animal, Volume 20 No 4; 2015.
  • Tranquilization, Anesthesia and Euthanasia in Pet Fish, Companion Animal, Volume 19 No 12; 2014.
  • Project Piaba: Supporting the Brazilian Ornamental Fish Collectors, The Aquatic Veterinarian, 8(1); 2014.
  • Clinical Report: Hikkui Disease in Koi, Aquatic Vet News, 5(2); 2011
  • Diagnostic Techniques and Treatments for Internal Disorders of Koi, Vet Clin Exotic Animals 13; 2010.
  • Advanced Koi Care, Erne Enterprises, Glendale, AZ; 2002. 2nd Edition; 2010.
  • Fish Health Manual, PetSmart, Inc., Phoenix, Arizona; 2009.
  • Vet Assured Program Handbook, PetSmart, Inc., Phoenix, Arizona; 2009.
  • Metabolic Bone Disease in a Green Iguana, Journal of the AVMA, 1995.
  • Diseases of Koi, Erne Enterprises, Las Vegas, NV; 1994.
  • Fish Nutrition, Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Manhattan, KS; 1984.
Expertise: Aquatic Species, Zoo and Aquarium Animals
Education: Kansas State University
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Title: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

About The Spruce Pets

The Spruce Pets, a Dotdash Meredith brand, is a new kind of pets website offering practical, real-life tips and training advice to help you care for your pet. The Spruce Pets reaches 10 million people each month. Learn more about us, our editorial process, and our commitment to ensuring we are providing you with the most trustworthy veterinarian advice.

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