Katy Dodson BVSc BSc PgCert (SAM) MRCVS
Joint clinical Lead – Qualified from Bristol University in 1997
- Interests: I enjoy all aspects of first opinion work, medicine, surgery, imaging, diagnostics etc. I love meeting people and their furry family members and focusing on creating a calm and relaxed environment for both. I enjoy sharing knowledge and building strong Vet-Client-Pet relationships so together we continue to improve their pets health and welfare.
- Most memorable case: My parents’ Springer spaniel who ate a Bic razor and when I retrieved it from her stomach I also found a piece of plastic that had come from a new bed my parents had had 3 months earlier!!
She made a full recovery but would still try to eat anything.
- Favourite dog walk: Although my adored friend has sadly walked over the rainbow bridge now, we did love to walk around Melbourne and up to Breedon Church with a short (or sometimes long) stop at the pub.
Amanda Ford MRCVS
Joint clinical Lead – Graduated from Cambridge Vet School in 2008
- Interests: I love the diversity of first opinion practice from the puppy or kittens first visit through to their twilight years and all the ups (hopefully not too many downs) along the way! I enjoy dentistry and am constantly amazed by the huge improvement seen after procedures and I have recently enrolled on a cardiology certificate.
- Most memorable case: An 8-month-old puppy who had a brain cyst removed – she made a full recovery and the area of brain that had been squashed regrew. I love being amazed how the body can repair itself.
- Favourite dog walk: You can’t beat a good ramble around Dimmingsdale – a favourite with me, my dog and the family.
Raquel Martinez Vega DVM, PhD, PGCert (Medicine and Surgery) MANZCVS (medicine of cats)
Qualified from the Complutense University of Madrid, 2009
- Interests: After completing a Master’s degree in veterinary research in 2010, I pursued a PhD focused on the inner ear at the Biomedical Research Institute in Madrid. In 2016 I moved to Derby to do a Postgraduate Certificate at the University of Nottingham which I have now completed. I have just finished the ISFM Feline Medicine course so, as from May 2023, I will be a Member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (ANZCVS). I enjoy most parts of first opinion work but my particular areas of interest include geriatric medicine, imaging, endocrine disease, infectious disease control and general surgery.
- Most memorable case: A lovely 1 year old female cat that had accidentally drunk some bleach so she needed intensive care including a feeding tube at home for several weeks but luckily she made a full recovery!!
- Favourite dog walk: Definitively Kinder Scout!
Helen Ashworth BVSc, BSc, MRCVS
Qualified from Bristol University in 1993
- Interests: I enjoy all aspects of veterinary medicine and love the way that the job is different every day. Working as a first opinion vet is extremely rewarding because we have the privilege of being the primary contact with our clients. I particularly enjoy building a rapport with our clients so that we can optimise the outcomes for our furry friends.
- Most memorable case: I remember seeing a young cat recently who presented with sudden onset breathing difficulties. She responded partially to treatment for asthma but not well enough to satisfy me that this was the diagnosis. When her breathing was more settled, I radiographed her chest to find that there was quite a large, dense object stuck at the bottom of her wind pipe inside her chest. She was sent for endoscopy which led to the discovery that she had inhaled a piece of concrete! Eventually it was successfully removed. We will never know what she was doing to have inhaled this!
- Favourite dog walk: I am lucky enough to live near many footpaths in a rural area. My favourite walks are with my special friend Bella (a Sprocker) and her puppy, Lily. They have a brilliant time jumping around in the long grass, sniffing for pheasants and chasing each other. It is impossible not to be happy when you see them having such fun.
For more information on veterinary post-graduate qualifications see:
Eleanor Hancox RVN VTS (Anesthesia and Analgesia) Senior clinical nurse
- Interests: My interests are anaesthesia and cardiology. I also aim to create a fear free environment for all animals at the vets.
Most memorable case: Anaesthetising a 1kg, 8 week old chihuahua puppy in heart failure (due to a serious heart condition called patent ductus arteriosus) for surgery and seeing him bouncing around a few days later!!
- Favourite dog walk: Wandering along the canal with my bouncy pug to the local garden centre for a coffee!!
Donna Carmichael RVN
- Interests: Wound management and laboratory diagnostic testing. I also have a soft spot for elderly pets.
- Most memorable case: Spending New Years Eve with my own dog on a drip after he ate a bowl of bread and butter pudding. He was in a dog crate in the lounge with me and the beep of the drip pump is still haunting me! Yes – nurse’s pets are naughty too!
- Favourite dog walk: Most recently to the top of St David’s Head in Wales.
Amy Leatherland RVN
Amy is a Veterinary nurse with an honors degree, having Qualified in 2006.
- Interests: She has a certificate in wound management and loves nurse clinics, surgical nursing and theatre practice.
- Most memorable case: Anaesthetising a Kune Kune pig for a CT scan, pigs aren’t normally my specialty but I was willing to make an exception!
- Favourite dog walk: My favourite walks are in the White Peak Disctrict but I try to never to the same walk more than once!
Laura Johnston RVN
I have a BSc(hons) in Zoology and achieved my BSc in Veterinary Nursing in 2021.
- Interests: I am rabbit-obsessed and am passionate about their care. I enjoy theatre practice and laboratory testing.
- Most memorable case: Assisting the head nurse with the anaesthetic of a Tiger during my experience at a zoo.
- Favourite dog walk: I don’t have a dog of my own (yet!), but when fostering I enjoyed walking the beaches of Ayrshire in Scotland.
Sophie Horton-Smith RVN
I graduated from Harper Adams University in 2019 and have worked in large hospitals and referral hospitals since. I moved to Etwall Vets in July 2022 and haven’t looked back since. I love all aspects of my job but mostly anaesthesia and building client relationships. Outside of work I’m currently studying for my Masters in Advanced Veterinary Nursing alongside looking after my crazy Gordon Setter. I love going on long walks in the countryside and exploring the UK with my boyfriend in our camper van.
Serena Metcalfe RVNC&GCertVNESPGCert
I qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in 2013, then swiftly achieved my qualification in Nursing of Exotic Species. After focussing on exotic pets for a number of years, I moved in to varying areas of Nursing, before becoming Head Nurse. I also became a Clinical Coach to train students, and started concentrating on my main passion of Consulting. From 2018, I have continued to be a Consulting Nurse helping senior, diabetic, young pets and more to live their lives as comfortable and happy as possible.
I recently obtained my Postgraduate qualification in Animal Health and Welfare Research, centralising on nutrition.
In my spare time, I am usually with my family, basset hounds, bird and tortoise. I love travelling and am a vintage collector.
I have always had a passion for both animals and science; horse riding since the age of four and studying sciences at A levels! I then combined the two and decided to do a veterinary nursing degree. I’m currently a second year student and loving both the theory and practical side of my course!
- Interests: I love anything small and furry- guinea pigs, rabbits, rats! I also have a keen interest in creating a calm environment for all pets and making their trips to the vets as comfortable as possible!
- Most memorable case: Nursing a puppy who had eaten raisins- toxic to dogs! This was the first inpatient I had the opportunity to nurse myself, from administering fluid therapy to ensuring the pups experience was as comfy as possible.
- Favourite walk: Reservoir walks along the beaches and through the woodlands, especially in spring whilst everything is blooming
Nicola Hawksworth RVN
Head Receptionist/ Personnel Manager
Nicola has been a Veterinary Nurse for 33 years and is now bringing her wealth of experience to our Reception team.
- Interests: Sewing, cross stitch pictures and singing in two local choirs.
- Most memorable case: A Doberman whose owner said it rattled when it ran- an x-ray showed a stomach full of over 20 garden stones!
- Favourite dog walk: The old train track near the Denstone Coffee shop.
I have 14 years in the veterinary reception profession. I love dealing with our clients and their pets. There is nothing I like more than putting everyone at their ease whilst they are waiting and I’m more than happy to have good chat!!
- Interests: I love spending time with my family and very lively dog, Digby! I enjoy running, going on long walks.
- Most memorable case: reuniting a dog, that had been missing for 3 years with its owner. I’m not sure who cried the most, me , the dog or the owner!!
- Favourite dog walk: here, there and everywhere with Digby!
I have 14 years experience working in the Veterinary profession in both Reception and Animal Care Assistant roles, usually at the same time! I also ran my own dog walking, pet care and small animal boarding business for 6 years. I currently share my life with my husband, a Romanian rescue dog and 4 chickens but I have had a variety of pets over the years.
- Interests: I enjoy running puppy classes and also providing dog behaviour advice.
- Most memorable case: My favourite memories are of the nervous and anxious dogs that I helped to become more relaxed and confident especially when visiting the vet.
- Favourite dog walk: As you can see from my picture and the state my dog Ozzy and I are in, there is nothing better than a muddy walk in the countryside. Calke Abbey is quickly becoming our favourite walk but I’m happiest when we’re lost in nature!
I have worked in practice for 30+ years and have given homes to many waifs and strays over that time. I currently have 2 rescue pets – one dog and one cat, both with additional needs.
- Interests: I have a keen interest in behaviour and dog training. I have participated in heel work to music, agility and obedience. I also love the challenge of hand rearing – goats, puppies, kittens, hedgehogs and mice.
- Most memorable case: There was a chameleon that had a fight with a parrot and had to have surgery and I spent most of the day warming him up, fascinated by his colour changing and little feet.
- Favourite dog walk: Anywhere with my little dog.
Sarah has worked in a veterinary setting for many years, originally as a veterinary nurse but latterly as a senior receptionist. She loves helping clients and their pets and will be great addition to the team.
- Interests: Walking, reading, sewing, and looking after pets…. Guinea pigs are surprisingly hard work!!
- Most memorable case: Laparotomy to investigate a Labradors vomiting problem, turned out to have swallowed a whole tea towel!!
- Favourite dog walk: Circular walk at Calke Abbey, always trying to catch a glimpse of the deer, and a bonus coffee in the cafe at the half way point!
Kay Naden RVN
I enjoy knitting and have made some wonderful Beatrix Potter knitted toys. I am captain of a local pub quiz team and also relish the idiosyncrasies of pet insurance claim forms.
- Interests: I am involved in many aspects of the practice including client care, practice administration and staff training.
- Most memorable case: My own dog ate a lightbulb when only 11 months old and had to have it surgically removed.
- Favourite dog walk: Walking to the Clachaig Inn in Glen Coe.