Veterinarians of Westgate Pet & Bird Hospital

Westgate Pet & Bird Hospital is fortunate enough to have some of the most talented and passionate veterinarians serving the Austin area. We focus on advanced veterinary medicine and care to ensure your pets live happily and healthily. Learn more about our knowledgeable and dynamic veterinarians below.

Paul Brandt, DVM

Dr. Paul Brandt is the owner, medical director, and one of our incredible veterinarians here at Westgate Pet & Bird Hospital. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), American Hospital Association (AAHA), American Veterinary Dental Society, Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA), and the Capital Area Veterinary Medical Association (CAVMA). He has also received the Hill's Nutritional Proficiency Award and has been a past President of the CAVMA.

When Dr. Brandt was in high school, he had taken his first pet "Rusty" to a veterinarian, where a misdiagnosis almost led to the loss of his pet. Thankfully, after bringing Rusty to another veterinarian for a second opinion, Rusty was diagnosed with hip dysplasia and received appropriate treatment, leading to a better quality of life. This veterinarian became a role model for Dr. Brandt, inspiring his career choice.

Dr. Brandt received both his undergraduate degree, in Wildlife Biology, and his veterinary degree from Texas A&M University. Before becoming a veterinarian, Dr. Brandt worked in several veterinary clinics and completed an internship in veterinary research at the Houston Zoo. During his last summer in veterinary school, Dr. Brandt worked at Westgate Pet & Bird with Dr. Harry A. Miller, the founder of our hospital and a nationally recognized exotic animal veterinarian.

At home, Dr. Brandt has four dogs - two German Shorthair Pointers named Pi and Puck, a Labrador Retriever called Cash, and a long-haired Dachshund cross by the name of Chili - and three chickens. In his free time, he enjoys fishing, hunting, cooking, and reading. He and his wife Tiena have three children - two boys, Mason and Miller, and their youngest daughter Sheridan. Mason and Miller have both worked as veterinary assistants at Westgate, and Sheridan loves to visit the clinic and says that she wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up.

Rick Lusk, DVM

Dr. Rick Lusk joined Westgate Pet & Bird Hospital in May 1992. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA), Capital Area Veterinary Medical Association (CAVMA), and American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). He received both his Bachelor's and Master's degree in Chemistry at Tulane University before receiving his veterinary degree at Texas A&M University in 1991.

As a son of a military member, Rick Lusk spent his childhood in Ohio, Maryland, Panama, New Jersey and Louisiana before finally settling in Texas. Before becoming a veterinarian, he worked in research animal laboratories and other veterinary hospitals. Dr. Lusk is also an avid reader and his career choice was inspired, in part, by his love of James Herriot's books.

Dr Lusk enjoys making furry, feathery, scaly, slippery, and shelled family member's quality of life better along with that of their owners.

His hobbies include hiking, camping, biking, in-line skating, traveling, and being a soccer and Boy Scouts dad. He and his wife Laura have two precocious children; a son active in the Boy Scouts who also loves the outdoors, and their daughter who is an avid soccer player.

Kimberly Doll, DVM

Dr. Doll joined our team at Westgate Pet & Bird Hospital as an associate veterinarian in May 2017, following graduation from Texas A&M Veterinary School. She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA), Capital Area Veterinary Medical Association (CAVMA), Association of Reptiles & Amphibians Association (ARAV), and Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians (AEMV). Some of her veterinary interests include reptile medicine and surgery, dentistry, avian medicine, small exotic mammal medicine and surgery, as well as general surgery.

In high school, Dr. Doll worked as a kennel technician and proceeded to volunteer at multiple animal rescue and education programs. While studying for her Bachelor of Science Degree in Biomedical Science, she completed an internship in the Herpetology Department at the Houston Zoo. In her final year of veterinary school, she had the privilege of being chosen for an exotic-only externship at Texas A&M and the San Antonio Zoo.

One of the most satisfying things about being a veterinarian for Dr. Doll is "maintaining the human-animal bond and making sure that every pet receives top-notch veterinary care, especially exotics."

In her free time, Dr. Doll enjoys hiking, camping, reading, and cooking. She has two domestic shorthair cats named Dori and Sterling, as well as various reptiles.

Jillian Villalva, DVM

Dr. Villalva joined our team at Westgate Pet & Bird Hospital as an associate veterinarian in June of 2020 following graduation from Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine. She is Fear FreeSM certified through the AAVSB RACE, she is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA), Capital Area Veterinary Medical Association (CAVMA), and American Associates of Avian Veterinarians (AAV). Some of her veterinary interests include avian medicine and surgery, small animal and exotic dentistry, exotic companion medicine, behavior and orthopedic surgery.

Dr. Villalva hails from Portland, Oregon. Her love of exotic animals began at the Oregon Zoo where she worked in the education animal department for many years. She moved to Massachusetts and studied ecology and conservation biology at Boston University where she graduated with a BA in 2013. Thereafter, she moved to South Austin with her husband, Nick. She worked for several years as a technician before heading to College Station for veterinary school. At Texas A&M, Dr. Villalva focused her education on exotic animals. This pursuit included travel to South Africa and Peru to learn about exotic animal medicine and conservation efforts. She has studied under many avian and exotic specialists including the specialists at the Center for Bird and Exotic Animal Medicine (CBEAM) in Bothell Washington, as well as many specialists around the state of Texas. Dr. Villalva plans to pursue a specialization in Avian Medicine through the ABVP while she is working here at Westgate.

Dr. Villalva’s favorite thing about being a veterinarian is making a happier home by caring for her patients. “I love helping improve the human animal bond through education and fostering an environment where we are all a collective team working towards a healthier happier life.”

In her spare time, she likes to go camping, swimming and paddle boarding with her husband as well as spending time stocking her pantry with home canned, pickled and prepared goods. She has a veritable zoo at home with a yellow headed amazon parrot named Romeo, white bellied caique named Tybalt, a dog named Goose and a one-eyed cat named Odin.

April Lee, DVM

Dr. April Lee is an associate veterinarian who joined our team at Westgate Pet & Bird Hospital in June 2016. She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and her veterinary interests include internal medicine and exotic animal medicine.

As a veterinarian, Dr. Lee appreciates the challenge of assembling diagnostic information, like pieces of a puzzle, to determine what is causing the patient's medical issue. “It's rewarding to use this to develop a solution to better the patient's health," she says.

Dr. Lee had a desire to become a veterinarian at a very young age, volunteering at veterinary clinics, as well as working at a zoo. "My parents encouraged me to enroll in 4-H leading to a 15-year hobby showing rabbits. This further fueled my career choice and solidified my love of working with animals." Her education includes a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, both from Texas A&M University.

Dr. Lee enjoys cooking, camping, dancing, and sewing in her free time. She and her husband, Dominic, have several pets - a domestic shorthair named Oliver, two domestic longhairs, Jack and Cindy, a budgie, a Green-Cheeked Conure, and four chickens.