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So, this is just a quick introduction to me and The Visit Vet, our story so far.
I grew up in Northern Ireland, but moved to Scotland when I was 18, studied Veterinary Medicine at the Royal Veterinary College in London and graduated in July 1997.
I have worked in mixed practice in Perthshire and Cumbria ever since, and over the years have pursued interests in pet behaviour, dentistry, pain management, feline medicine and farm animal fertility work. I achieved a Diploma in Bovine Reproduction in 2004, just after my first child was born. I have 2 more children, and they were part of the reason I wanted to become a mobile vet.
The original idea was conceived not long after I qualified. I realised that pet waiting rooms were far from ideal from the pet's point of view. Sounds and smells of other animals could be stressful, and certainly nothing like the environment most pets were used to. For hygiene reasons, you couldn't make a reception area just like a living room, and the embryo of an idea began to bring the consulting room to people in their own homes. This idea was put on the back burner as my young family were growing up, but reawakened in 2019 when I read an article about a mobile vet in the Midlands...it was time to develop my dream job, so I started to plan what I would need and how I wanted the service to run.
I took the plunge in November 2020, just as lockdown 2 began (not great timing, but I'd handed in my notice, so I just had to get on with it). I had purchased drugs, disposables, microscope, centrifuge, blood pressure monitor and weighing scales, set up a blood testing machine and was ready to answer the phone.
It is an absolute pleasure and privilege to do the job I do now. Seeing patients in their own homes gives me an amazing insight to a pet's real character and even simple questions about feeding pets can be answered much more easily when the bag of food is in the next room. Some nervous animals are still nervous, but once the examination is finished, they generally relax while I am talking with their owner about their treatment plan. Even patients which are not phased about going to the vets relax even more in their own environment, in nearly 24 years I hadn't seen any pet lie with its belly in the air in a consult room, something which happened in my first month of home visits. I'm looking forward to spending more time with happy patients and owners.