AN ESSEX veterinary practice has been boosted by a £125,000 investment in state-of-the-art equipment to support its specialist service for the care of exotic pets.
Orchid Veterinary Surgery in Brentwood has a team experienced in the treatment of exotic pets which include everything from the more common rabbits and hamsters to the more rare and unusual monkeys, fish and reptiles.
With the practice’s client base growing in recent years the first floor of the building has been renovated into a dedicated exotics suite.
New equipment at Orchid, which is part of the Best Friends Veterinary Group of practices, includes an ECG to monitor an animal’s heart rate, ultrasound and ultrasonic doppler to give accurate information about organs, and a laser machine to treat muscle and joint conditions.
A new waiting room has been built for the exotics suite which also benefits from a new operating table, advanced lighting systems, and anti-fatigue mats to provide additional comfort for the operating team when working.
The ventilator is particularly useful as it allows breathing to be controlled when animals are under anaesthetic.
The practice’s clinical director, William Lewis, is highly qualified in zoological medicine and has extensive experience in the field.
He has treated hundreds of different species belonging to pet owners, zoos, falconry centres and private collections. He regularly gives advice to other vets and has given lectures on a variety of topics, most recently teaching trainee vet studying at London Zoo.
Dr Lewis said: “The practice’s client base has grown substantially over recent years and this investment will allow us to provide the very best care for owners of exotics, as well as owners of more common family pets.
“We felt that is was important to create a separate environment for exotics at the practice as the wide variety of species we treat provides challenges in terms of space and catering for each animal’s differing needs and temperaments.
“Our team is able to care for exotic pets from all over the region and each day is different with everything from owls, parrots, foxes, snakes, fish and tortoises arriving through our practice doors.
“The safety of our team of staff always comes first so the state-of-the-art equipment will allow them to carry out their work even more efficiently and comfortably.”
Dr Lewis qualified in South Africa in 1988 before moving to the UK in 1992. His love for exotic pets began at aged eight when he kept pet birds.
His career has led him to handling extremely venomous snakes, caring for lions under anaesthetic and looking after a private collection of 30 crocodiles. Outside of his work, Dr Lewis is a keen triathlete.
Dr Lewis is supported at Orchid by vet surgeon Ivone Goncalves. Ivone has been with Orchid since September 2017 and is currently expanding her specialist knowledge in exotics with further certifications in zoological medicine.
Also in the senior team are vet surgeon Mikolaj Hohensee and head nurse Hayley Stokes. The refurbishment of the practice was overseen by Kelly Smyth, Southern Regional Area Manager for Best Friends Veterinary Group.
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