I’d just like to thank you and the team for your kind words and support during this difficult time. Calamity had been with me since she was 8 weeks old and already been through 5 house moves over the 18 years that we were together. I cannot express enough what a difference you made by making the process dignified and gentle to minimize my pain – thank you so very much.
We are so lucky to have such a super vet as Viki and her team on hand in our village. Always on hand day or night, dedicated to caring for our pets. Everybody in the practice is prepared to give 100% into everything they do for you and your pet/s providing excellent care and customer service. Simply the best, I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else.
Didn’t think my daughter’s cat was going to live but the work and effort that was shown by all has given it a new lease of life a massive thanks to all involved.
Thank you so much for all the help you gave me when I (stupidly) managed to lock myself out……… as you can imagine, I am very grateful to have such a reliable and fab team on hand……… Much love to you all. See you on Wednesday for Abbie & Pepper’s pooch pamper day!
“What an amazing team!!! Viki is an amazing vet. She has always done my pony’s vaccinations.
She always takes great care of your animal and has a very good service team for both equine and small animals and although I am only 8 I definitely recommend the Newdigate vets.”
“Thank you for your exceptional care! Viki has been treating my driving pony, Floyd for the past three years. He has many health issues but Viki’s thorough, methodical, common sense, professional approach has kept him fit and healthy and able to enjoy his competing. Viki’s dedication (and fantastic sense of humour) is second to none and I highly recommend her.
Viki’s team also deserve a mention. Pat who is always on hand on the end of the phone to help me with sorting drug orders and appointments and Peter who is always there with a friendly word on our numerous visits to the practice. It really is a friendly, helpful practice to deal with.
Thank you Viki & Newdigate Vets, Floyd and I really appreciate it!”
“Over the moon. I am so pleased with the way that Newdigate Vets have handled everything to do with our horse. I am thrilled with the dedicated attention he got whilst being treated and the results are just brilliant. So much time was taken with him and we feel he really did get the treatment he deserves. Thank you to all the staff who have looked after him recently.”
I am the lucky owner of two very different pets. One a 17hh, 20 year old Shire X gelding named Wellington and the other, a 5 year old Egyptian Mau called Shai- they really are “little and large”. I live in Wimbledon, about 55 minutes from Barings Field Equine and the Newdigate Vets surgery, yet I will never go to a more local practice.
Viki became my horse’s vet a few years ago. She was the yard vet at what was then my new yard. It took some convincing to consider a new vet; but when I rang the practice to learn more about Primero, the horse feed used on the new yard (and supplied by the practice), I was blown away by the friendly reception, and the willingness to address my concerns. I wasn’t even a prospective client, yet they spent all the time that was necessary to fully answer my questions. Since then, Viki and her team have seen me and my horse through everything from the ‘everyday’ hoof abscess and vaccinations through to both age and injury-related lameness and everything in between. Nine months ago Viki asked to test Wellington for Cushings. I thought she was mad at the time, as he wasn’t showing any of the classic signs that I knew about. Viki was right and I have learned to always say yes to tests when Viki has a hunch.
Wellington is now an elder horse. He’s had various injuries and ailments from a deep digital flexor tendon tear and a bout of laminitis in his youth to the more recent diagnosis of arthritis and of course, Cushing’s. When people meet my big boy, they usually comment that he’s a gentle giant. This is almost always true. Not so when his legs are the subject of needles destined for a nerve block. What happens when a 17 hh Shire X tries to avoid a nerve block by throwing his toys out of the pram and then attempts to toss himself on the ground as well? His vet takes it in her stride, calls for experienced reinforcements and with a very firm, yet still kind approach, they work like a well-choreographed team in order to get the job done and avoid injury to all concerned (human and equine alike). After over 15 years together, I know that Wellington can be difficult when he has dental exams and rasping. What I didn’t know before my move to this practice, was the result- one very overgrown tooth at the very back of his mouth which is well hidden by a fairly wriggly tongue and a recalcitrant attitude. I’d have never seen the problem until Wellington was in pain! Nicola did the initial exam and she and Viki showed me the overgrown tooth. The equine team got to work- it took hours. My gentle giant acted like the ultimate spoilt brat but at all times my “naughty boy” was treated with firm, knowledgeable and caring hands.
Having been to the Equine clinic and met some of the Barings Field Farm pets (dogs, cats, chickens and sheep) it was obvious that Viki has an affinity for smaller animals as well as horses. I had no intention of changing my small animal vet as I live near a regional 24 hour practice which has looked after my cats for 15 years. Shai, my five year old, neutered Egyptian Mau cat had suffered a few episodes of “blocked bladder” and was facing a life changing and quite serious surgery. I didn’t feel comfortable with my understanding of the information that had been provided and so I called Viki to ask her to help me understand what I’d been told. Shai wasn’t one of Vikis patients, but as she had always taken the time to explain issues with my horse; I knew she’d help. Viki immediately explained that she couldn’t discuss Shai as she’d never met him in a clinical situation. What she could and did do was take the time to fully answer my questions about the disease behind “blocked bladder”, FLUTD. This gave me the information I needed in order to ask useful questions of the treating vet and make an informed decision about my cat’s care. I am incredibly grateful to Viki for the time she spent helping me to understand the issues. When I started to ask more informed questions, I did not agree with the suggestion of radical surgery. At my request, my cat was referred to a specialist who confirmed my “gut” feeling that radical surgery was not the answer.
Needless to say, Viki now looks after my cat as well as my horse. After an initial exam, Viki explained to me that she wanted to add the experience of an expert in treating FLUTD- so in human terms, Shai’s GP referred him to a specialist or a consultant. A referral was arranged and the treatment of my cat’s disease changed radically! We spent time understanding his history and both his physical and psychological health. Our emphasis changed from handling the crisis of blocked bladder to treating the underlying disease and preventing the stress, risk to life and expense of allowing Shai to reach crisis point.
Shai has FLUTD and is a special case as he has a huge personality and is very friendly, but has also had some very traumatic experiences in veterinary surgeries. Viki started looking after Shai before even meeting him. We sat down and discussed every aspect of his care. She then helped me to change his travel box and made suggestions in order to make his journey to the surgery less stressful. I’ve been in veterinary surgeries all my life with one pet or another; Newdigate Vets’ is different. Everyone from reception staff to vet nurse to the vets understand cats. Shai was anxious and seemed to be expecting something awful. I could see the distrust in his eyes as both Viki and Alex handled him. I could also see him relaxing and hear when he broke into a big purr (seemingly against his will). They seemed to know what my cat needed in order to relax. From the way Shai was allowed to hide in a blanket, to the amount of time spent petting and scratching him….Shai was calm when blood was taken and sat quietly during urocentesis- taking a sterile urine sample with a large needle through his tummy (I had to look away). I could see that he fully expected to be miserable but he wasn’t given a chance. Neither was I! Viki and her team understood that I didn’t want to leave my recently-traumatised cat alone with anyone for treatment. They took as much time to calm and reassure me as they did with my cat.
The small animal surgery is friendly and calm and very professional, but that is where the “expected” experience ends. Viki and her team look at every animal and owner as individuals with individual needs. As my Cat’s FLUTD is exacerbated by stress, I was armed with a mini pharmacy and strict instructions to call if I was worried about anything. Since that time, and with very close communication we’ve stopped “blocking” in its tracks a few times and prevented lengthy, stressful and expensive in-patient stays. I expect that we will have to face the crisis of blocking again at some point in future, but every time that we can alleviate stress or medicate to stop the muscle spasms that cause Shai’s blocking, is a big win. My cat and I are both much more relaxed and happy.
It is sometimes difficult explaining to friends that the same people who look after my horse also look after my cat. I always thought that vets do one thing or another. I was wrong. What I have learned is that a good vet loves animals regardless of species, is always curious, provides all the information an owner should know (not just what they want to know), and is willing to answer questions until I understand no matter how long that takes. A good vet sets out all the options and gives enough advice to allow an owner to make the right choices for his/her pet. A good vet knows that they are like GPs, they are happy to refer to a specialist or confer with a specialist if it can provide the best care for an animal. The most important thing that I have learned is a good veterinary practice is not separate from the everyday care of an animal. My four-legged family members now have a team on their side. They have me, their vet(s), vet nurses, admin and even yard staff available day and night for everything from vaccination appointments and advice in completing insurance forms to behaviour & performance questions, general concerns and of course when there is a medical emergency. This kind of peace of mind is well worth a 55 minute drive. I’d drive three times a far to keep my pets in good health and for my own peace of mind.