I grew up in a home full of animals; my parents also bred Persian cats so we were always at the vets. My father was a research chemist and developed some very powerful opiate drugs, including Etorphine, which was used as a horse anaesthetic and for immobilising wild game in Africa. I remember seeing this new drug being demonstrated by vets for a veterinary audience at Wetherby racecourse when I was around 11 years of age. From that day on I knew that I wanted to be a vet.
I entered Liverpool University vet school in 1977 and I spent the majority of my 24 weeks ‘seeing practice’ at Mercer and Bell at their Loughborough Road branch. After qualifying in 1982 my first job was in a very busy mixed practice in Nuneaton, working solely in the small animal department. It was very hard work but was great experience for my first 3 years in the profession.
I moved back to Leicester in 1985 and ran a new surgery in Birstall that was opened by Mike Hayes. In 1988 I was offered a partnership by Colin Brown and Richard Bell, as Peter Mercer was going to retire. Bell Brown and Bentley then came in to existence in July 1989.
“Having a special interest in skin diseases, I enrolled on the RCVS Certificate in Small Animal Dermatology in 1989; I gained the certificate in 1994. Since that time I have been actively involved in Veterinary Dermatology. I am a member of both the British and European Dermatology societies and I regularly attend conferences at home and abroad. Since March 2015 I have been on the newly introduced RCVS list of Advanced Practitioners in Small Animal Dermatology.
At home I have a Border Collie, Tilly, and a young moggie called Bertie. My interests outside of work include road cycling, playing various keyboard instruments badly, photography and gardening. I also do a regular vet phone-in on BBC Radio Leicester and find this a great way to give seasonal advice to pet owners and answer questions on their pet’s health.
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