Meet Our Furr-midable Team

Our team of compassionate veterinary professionals is committed to providing the best possible animal care and customer service.

We welcome you to visit our facility, meet our charming staff, and become a part of the Kersting family.


Our Doctors

Dr. Kersting​


Dr. Kersting is a native of St. Louis and completed his Bachelors Degree in Biology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and the University of Missouri-Columbia. He graduated from the University of Missouri-College of Veterinary Medicine in 1987. During his veterinary studies, he completed externships in exotic pet and zoo medicine, including one with Dr. Fred Soifer, a staff veterinarian for the Houston Zoo and one of the best avian veterinarians in the country.

After graduating, Dr. Kersting opened Bird Medicine and Surgery, the only full-service avian and exotic veterinary clinic in the St. Louis area. Dr. Kersting became the staff veterinarian for the Purina Mills Research Farm and managed a flock of 1000 finches, canaries and parrots. While at Purina, Dr. Kersting was involved with nutritional research that led to the production of the first pellet diet for pet birds called Purina Mini Friends. Continued research over the next three years led to the development of the Mazuri line of avian diets for zoo birds and is still available today.

​In 1994, Dr. Kersting and his wife, Dot, moved Bird Medicine and Surgery to its current location in Chesterfield. They opened Kersting Veterinary Hospital, a full service veterinary hospital for dogs and cats. In 2008, the clinic was expanded and renovated and now offers full service grooming and boarding for dogs, cats and birds.

Dr. Kersting also serves as the staff veterinarian at Grant’s Farm, Missouri Botanical Gardens Butterfly House in Faust Park, and St. Louis Aquarium. He also offers a Hospital Externship Program in Dog, Cat and Avian Medicine and Surgery for high school students, pre-veterinary college students and veterinary students. There is always a student studying at the practice. Dr Kersting loves to encourage children to consider Veterinary medicine as a wonderful carreer and he believes we need many more good Bird Doctors. Dr. Kersting has worked with the Pekin Duck Fund, Wildlife Rescue Center, and Wild Bird rehabilitation. In addition to his 24-hour consultation service he consults with local emergency clinics on bird emergencies and has been involved with the Humane Society of Missouri and local parrot rescue groups assisting in bird seizure, rescue cases and adoptions.

Dr. Kersting has been a member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV) since 1986 and attends their annual conference. This is an intensive 5 day program of classroom work, panel discussions, master classes and laboratory work to receive the latest medical and surgical advances in avian medicine. Dr. Kersting believes his knowledge and expertise has tremendously benefited from this annual seminar. He has also been honored to be a presenter of original research at the annual AAV meeting.

​Dr. Kersting is a member of the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians, the Greater St. Louis Veterinary Medical association, The Missouri Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Veterinary Medical Association. He is a founding member of the Gateway Parrot Club. He has also served as the consulting veterinarian for the American Cockatiel Society for nine years.

When Dr. Kersting is not at the clinic, he and his wife enjoy spending time with their daughter, Katie, and are very active in her sports activities. Dr. Kersting coaches her volleyball team and is a Troop Leader for her Girl Scout troop. He also enjoys camping and collecting parrot-themed stamps. The Kersting family shares their home with their black labs, “Gracie” and “Libby”. Their cat, “Marvin”, is the official mascot of Kersting Veterinary Hospital, and occasionally vacations in the Kersting home. A beautiful Blue Headed Pionus parrot named “Pie” will also greet you in the waiting room when you arrive. She is a very special bird successfully treated for Aspergillosis many years ago.

Dr. Dittmer


Dr. Melanie Dittmer is a Graduate of Texas A&M University Veterinary School. Dr. Dittmer completed a Small Animal Internship in Nashville, Tennessee at Nashville Veterinary Specialists. She then completed a Wildlife Internship at CROW (Center for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife) a wildlife rescue facility in Sanibel Island Florida. During that Internship, Dr. Dittmer experienced Hurricane Ian and the resulting wildlife disaster recovery at CROW and on the Island.

Before joining the Team at Bird Medicine and Surgery/Kersting Veterinary Hospital, she completed an Internship at the University Of Missouri Veterinary School in Exotics and Anesthesia. Dr. Dittmer has completed externships at approximately a dozen Zoos across the country during here Veterinary career.

Besides her lifelong interest in exotics, she enjoys hiking, bird watching, crocheting, watching sports, and spending time with her friends and family including her partner, Anthony. Dr. Dittmer is very passionate about veterinary medicine and can’t wait to take care of your critters with you!  

Dr. Canada


Bird Medicine and Surgery and Kersting Veterinary Hospital welcomes Dr. Mitchell Canada. Dr. Canada is a Graduate of Ross Veterinary School. After completing an Externship with us, he decided to join our team. Dr. Canada is a native of St. Louis and is excited to work and help small animals and exotics in the community that he grew up in. His passion is Avian and Exotic Medicine, Small Animal Internal Medicine and Pathology.

Dr. Canada has 2 very spoiled cats named Verbena and Caspian. Dr. Canada’s hobbies include hiking, bird watching, swimming and playing board games and video games.