Autumn 2015

friends Better Together


A CT scan being performed on Gerard the Newfoundland

Inside PROFILE | Dr Clare Rusbridge | Page 3

See the back for our contact details

ADI FEATURE | Q&A with Eli, Head of Imaging | Pages 4 and 5 The VET Festival | Highlights from the weekend | Pages 6 and 7 Regular features | In the Spotlight, Client Column & Fitz and Pieces !

Welcome to the autumn edition of the Friends newsletter! This month sees two great anniversaries for the new Oncology and Soft Tissue team. It has been one year since we started offering this service, and it is now one month since we started seeing patients in our new hospital with its state-of-the-art clinical equipment. However, a building and equipment are only as good as the people that use it. We hope that with our talented team we can work together with you, building clinical partnerships and offering exciting new care options for you, your clients and their animal family members in these key areas of clinical need.We know that we can change the outlook for many patients developing cancers.We know that we can offer exciting new choices for soft tissue surgical procedures, particularly in utilising minimally invasive approaches. Let’s work together to create the best opportunities for care through true working partnerships. Let’s create a new paradigm to deliver veterinary healthcare together. But we need your help because we realise we can only do this together.

PICTURE: Professor Stuart Carmichael welcomes guests to the new Fitzpatrick Referrals Oncology and Soft Tissue hospital in Guildford.

ABOVE: LEFT: Clare with one of her patients, Cavalier Spaniel Isla RIGHT: Clare receives her FECAVA prize in 2013.

PROFILE: Dr Clare Rusbridge, Chief of Neurology BVMS PhD DipECVN MRCVS

In 2013, Clare was the first neurologist to join Fitzpatrick Referrals and now heads the team of four as Chief of Neurology.

Professor Stuart Carmichael

BELOW: TOP: Noel meeting Her Majesty the Queen.

Clare has achieved a great deal in the world of veterinary neurology. Not only did she achieve the ECVN diploma and RCVS Specialist status in 1999, she is widely recognised for her work on Chiari-like Malformation and Syringomyelia and received a PhD from Utrecht University for her thesis in 2007. In 2011, she was awarded the J. A. Wright (James Herriot) Memorial Award by The Blue Cross Animal Welfare Charity as well as the FECVA award for best original paper in 2014.

Working with animals who have such extremely painful and often debilitating diseases is Clare’s motivation to research better ways of diagnosing, treating and preventing these conditions.

BOTTOM: The new University of Surrey Veterinary School.

New veterinary school will redefine the landscape of veterinary medicine for generations to come On the 15th October, The University of Surrey opened the UK’s eighth School of Veterinary Medicine, officially launched by Her Majesty the Queen. Fitzpatrick Referrals is one of nine key strategic partners involved with teaching and research at the school. The School of Veterinary Medicine started with a group of dedicated people including Professor Noel Fitzpatrick and Professor Sir Christopher Snowden who together had the vision that it was not only possible, but that it was the right time to build what could become one of the foremost veterinary schools in the world. Fitzpatrick Referrals is proud to be integral to this journey and we look forward to welcoming the vets of the future to our two hospitals, both of which are within a short distance of the new school.Within our hospitals catering for animals affected by soft tissue, orthopaedic, neurologic and oncological disorders, we hope that students will truly be inspired by the clinical coalface. Fitzpatrick Referrals is proud to be part of this seismic revolution in veterinary education and proud to fuel our moral responsibility for the animal kingdom globally.

I was always very keen on animals, I was keen on science and keen on discovery as well. I didn’t want to just be a vet, I wanted to be a vet in the cutting edge of discovery to find cures to treat incurable diseases. I became fascinated with neurology for that reason.

With the International Veterinary Task Force (IVTF) in 2015, Clare was integral to developing standardised guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of canine and feline epilepsy, with the aim to provide independent help to veterinary professionals, owners and breeders of the patient’s affected. Clare lives at home with her husband, Mark, and two children. She is kept busy by her Rex rabbits, Cobweb and Nimbus, and her guinea pigs, Nutmeg, Pumpkin & Popcorn and the albino Corn Snake, Beanie. Clare is building up the courage to take Cobweb to Annie O’Meara at Goddard Veterinary Group in Ewell to be spayed and admits she is a complete coward about her beloved bunny having a general anaesthetic.

I wanted to be a vet for as long as I can remember.When I was 4 years old, I had a book that you filled in answers to and in the question ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ – I have always written vet. Like many people in my profession, I have never wanted to be anything else. I’ve never felt since becoming a vet that I’ve wanted to do anything else.

In 2013, Clare was the first neurologist to join Fitzpatrick Referrals and now heads up a team of four as Chief of Neurology. She is also a Senior Lecturer at The University of Surrey enabling her to pass on her extensive knowledge to students and continue her clinical research.

Photographs provided by University of Surrey



Over the past few weeks, we have been upgrading our Imaging Suite to host the best technology available anywhere in the world of veterinary diagnostics. Our specific MRI and CT scanner technology, software packages, image acquisition algorithms and imaging interpretation is at this time not available anywhere else in Europe. Our Head of Imaging Eli took some time out of her very busy day to answer some questions about radiography and the new Imaging Suite. Q&A WITH ELI JOVANOVIK PGDIP BSC (HONS), HEAD OF IMAGING The Future of Diagnostics!

LEFT: The new Siemens Symphony 1.5T A Tim System MRI scanner.

In addition to this we also have upgraded our MRI scanner to the Siemens Symphony 1.5T A Tim System. .With this latest upgrade our imaging department is now equal to that of leading hospitals in human medicine today. The new scanners have the capability to provide highly advanced imaging, hence pathology can be detected in greater detail and produced within a shorter time period lessening distress on the patient. A routine MRI scan of the brain now only takes 15 minutes with all routine sequences that previously would take 25. The CT scanner has state of the art detector technology, capable of producing very thin slices of 0.5mm that enable the clinician to recognize and diagnose very subtle changes. We are pleased to inform you that our Outpatient Imaging Service is now back in operation. To find out more, visit: outpatient-advanced-diagnostic-imaging-consent-form/

quality; enabling the clinician to diagnose and treat the patient. Ultimately, obtaining a good MRI or CT scan in small animals takes teamwork - between the nurses, anaesthetist and radiographer, who all take the greatest care to look after the patient throughout the process.

What attracted you to radiography?

What gives you the greatest satisfaction in your role and why?

The main reason I chose radiography was a combination of my passion for medicine and for technology. I have dedicated nearly 30 years to radiography having worked with MRI since 1996, and have loved every moment!

Through working at Fitzpatrick Referrals and with animal patients, I have learnt how resilient our animal friends are.We see so many spinal emergencies come through our doors and when I see the confusion in their eyes when they are unable to walk, it is heart-breaking. However the whole team will stay as long as needed, day or night to do MRI or CT scans, surgery and take them through recovery, seeing them going for a walk in the morning is an absolute delight.

Can you describe your average day?

There has not been a single average day in my last four and a half years at Fitzpatrick Referrals… and I love it! Every day has been filled with joy, sadness, laughter, and challenges of all kinds, making a colourful collage of memories.

How did you come to work here at Fitzpatrick Referrals?

Before I moved to the UK I worked as a diagnostic radiographer in the Institute of Radiology in Skopje, Macedonia. I moved to the UK in 2000 to further develop my experience in MRI through working in NHS and private hospitals. One day I had the opportunity to perform an MRI scan on a dog, which is when I became aware that small animals can have very similar conditions to humans – such as tumors, degenerative disc disease and epilepsy. I was fascinated when I came to visit Fitzpatrick Referrals and its Advanced Imaging Department which had equipment equivalent to a human imaging suite. I am hugely appreciative of being given the opportunity to utilise all my experience in using the equipment to benefit animals as well as humans.

How do the challenges of working with animals compare to working with humans?

How will this change the future of diagnostic imaging for us all?

What’s happening to ADI at Fitzpatrick Referrals and why is it so important?

Our upgraded suite and what it can do will change the future significantly, which I am very excited about! With such cutting edge equipment we can take a huge step forward to improve patient care in both animal and human medicine. The new MRI scanner will help us in orthopaedics and neurology to give us greater insight into some of the most common diseases such as epilepsy and elbow disease.

Differences in anatomy, biomechanics, physiology, the variation of species, breed and size are just a handful of things that as a veterinary radiographer I face every day. Everyone thinks that if you work with animals you have less responsibility, but the need for sedation or general anaesthetic during the scan makes the process much more challenging. I often have to think on the spot to adapt the parameters of the MRI or CT scan protocol in order to produce images of optimum diagnostic

We just completed an upgrade of our Advanced Imaging Department with brand new CT scanners – the Toshiba Aquilion160, one in our Orthopaedics and Neurology hospital and one in the Oncology and Soft Tissue hospital.

The new Toshiba Aquilion Prime 160 CT scanner, Rottweiler Cassis undergoing a CT scan with Veterinary Nurse Claire.

Eli Jovanovik and her team, (L-R) Amy Tullet, Kerrie Power and Felicity Stringer.




In the Spotlight Taking time to get to know more about the people behind the referral! Name: Louise Ketteridge Age: 43 Training: University RVC. First job: Cheshunt Mixed Vet Practice in Waltham Cross. Current job: Joint Proprietor at Oak Barn Veterinary Surgery in Shalford, Surrey. Why are you a vet? I blame James Herriot! I wanted to be a vet from when I was tiny. Best part of your job? As a general practitioner you get a real relationship with the pets. They’re not your own pets but I often feel as though they are. Also as a GP I get to do such a wide range of things. Who is your Hero? I was going to say the Queen but Emma said that in the last ‘In the Spotlight!’ Mary Berry because she has had an amazing career and anyone who can stay that slim around all those cakes deserves a medal. Most unusual animal you have treated? I placed intrauterine coils in Chimpanzees in MonkeyWorld because they were so happy they kept producing babies! Your passion? Gardening and cooking…especially the eating part. Three words that describe you? Organised, Caring and Perfectionist.

MAIN PICTURE: The ONE LIVE festival and

headline act Mike and the Mechanics

The VET Festival 2015

We are delighted to announce that the next VET Festival is on the 3rd & 4th June 2016, and will take place in the stunning Loseley Park in Surrey. Secure your tickets now and take advantage of our Advance Early Bird discount offer. Visit for more details. Save the Date!

The ONE LIVE Music Festival was a great success as concert-goers celebrated ‘One Medicine,’ in support of The Humanimal Trust – the first UK charity to raise awareness and inspire the development of new healthcare initiatives to benefit us all.

A big thank you to everyone who attended TheVET Festival on the 5th/6th September! This inaugural event brought together world leading veterinary professionals to truly deliver ‘Veterinary Education for Tomorrow.’

What keeps you awake at night? I have no problems sleeping whatsoever… my head hits the pillow and that’s that. If you could be granted a wish, what would it be?

To solve pollution – I have a real thing about litter and hate seeing it discarded along the verges as I drive into work in the morning. What words would inspire a child to become a vet? They need to believe in themselves. It is hard but if you work for it you can do it. See practice from really early on – it’s not for everyone and it’s not all about cuddling puppies and kittens so best to find out sooner!

What dog breed would you be? Ridgeback – I’m clumsy enough ! What would you be if not a vet? A nightmare… Where is your happy place? Anywhere by the sea Do you need to love animals to be a great vet? Yes – All the best vets care too much. Your dream destination? New Zealand – I visited a number of years ago and would love to go back.

ABOVE: TOP: Noel opens the VET Festival. BOTTOM: Getting ready for ONE LIVE.

ABOVE: TOP: Dr Will Eward captivates his audience. BOTTOM: ONE LIVE rocks into the night.

ABOVE: TOP: Chilling out between lectures. BOTTOM: The sun goes down and ONE LIVE gets started.

ABOVE: TOP: Key note speaker Dr Jane Goodall. BOTTOM: Hunter and the Bear warm up the crowd at ONE LIVE.


Fitz &Pieces

Kelvin Kow joins the Fitzpatrick team We welcome Dr Kelvin Kow who has come from the University of Florida with his family to join the team as Senior Consultant of Medical Oncology!

We started to notice that Yogi, our little chocolate treasure, was unusually sluggish on a relatively short, sunny morning walk across what we call our back garden – Tooting Common. Like many Labradors in long grass, he often walks with his head down sniffing out interesting smells and rooting out the occasional lost tennis ball. However, on this particular morning, he seemed to be misplacing his feet, almost stumbling on occasion. We were only 10 minutes into the walk when he had a complete wobble, stumbled and fell, unable to move… he seemed frozen, dizzy and nervous, unable to put one foot in front of the other, for fear of falling again. After we got him home, a very slow and worrying 20 minutes later, we were sure something was quite wrong, but the symptoms came and went… misplacing his feet, stumbling, head shaking like he had Parkinsons Disease. A visit to our local vets for a physical examination and blood analysis, provided nothing concrete by way of a diagnosis, and as the symptoms (when they presented themselves) got worse, we were sent directly to Fitzpatrick Referrals at our specific request. Yogi had the most thorough examination with Surgical Resident, Susan Murphy, and it was decided that he should stay for a MRI scan and spinal fluid analysis. The following morning we received a call to say that the general anaesthetic, scans etc. were complete and Yogi was back in a warm kennel and under observation. Our Yogi by David Jones. CLIENT COLUMN After 48 hours we drove back to Fitzpatrick Referrals and we met with both Susan and Resident in Neurology and Neurosurgery,Anna Tauro, (a title that even impressedYogi!) and the scans were thoroughly explained.They both were so calm and took us through everything in such a lovely manner, that our worries and fears for him were soon allayed. We took him home and although his symptoms had worsened quite considerably post anaesthetic… (he couldn’t stand unaided), his shaking symptoms were very so pronounced that he couldn’t even drink from his water bowl as his head was bobbing so much…. thankfully they quickly started to subside with the drugs and the normal Yogi started to reappear. We were told that the drugs had side effects, and that he would want to eat and drink a lot. Labradors certainly like their food…but the amount of water he drank was really quite something…and we could time a boiled egg by the time he took having a wee! After a week we were given the all clear to take him away with us on vacation to France, so with passports in hand (and paw), off we all went. He continued to recover day by day, playing with his bestie … Bailey the Australian Labradoodle… and has made a hopefully complete recovery, thanks to the care, professionalism and skill of the whole FR team. Idiopathic Cerebellitis was diagnosed and a hefty dose of Prednisolone steroids started.

Join us on the19th-20th November at the LondonVet Show - Olympia STAND B35 The Fitzpatrick Team is returning to London Vet Show! Our lecture stream is on the LVS website and there is no need to book, just arrive in time for a seat. We look forward to seeing you all!

Protect theVeterinary Nurse!

RCVS is running a petition to protect the title of the ‘Veterinary Nurse.’ Currently anyone can refer to themselves as a veterinary nurse, even if they lack the relevant training and education. You can sign the petition on their website: vn-register/protect-the-title-veterinary-nurse/

Fitzpatrick Pub Hubs We had a great time at not one, but two Pub Hubs in the past month! First, we went to The Ship Inn in Havant on the 22nd October with Dr Kelvin Kow for ‘Chemotherapy administration & safety for the primary care practitioner.’ Then on the 4th November, Clare Rusbridge presented ‘SYRINGO-MY-WHAT? Diagnosis and treatment of canine Chiari and Syringomyelia’ at The Talbot Inn in Ripley.

We want to hear from you Would you like to share some of your thoughts or experiences working in the profession and with Fitzpatrick Referrals or contribute to our newsletter?

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IN AN EMERGENCY To discuss a case or for any urgent or emergency referrals, please call us For Orthopaedic and Neurological emergencies TEL 01483 423761 For Oncological and Soft Tissue emergencies TEL 01483 668100


We are delighted that we are now able to offer referring vets multiple ways to make a referral to us. You now have the option to refer via our website using the online form, where you can simply fill in all necessary details and attach supporting

documents within the same submission.We have also refreshed the fax back form for both our Orthopaedic and Neurology hospital and Oncology and Soft Tissue hospital to make it as straightforward as possible for timely and effective processing. As before, if you have an emergency the best way in which to get in touch is by telephoning the required hospital for an urgent appointment to be arranged. For more information please visit -

Fitzpatrick Referrals Orthopaedics & Neurology Halfway Lane, Eashing, Godalming, Surrey GU7 2QQ

Fitzpatrick Referrals Oncology & Soft Tissue 70 Priestley Road, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7AJ

Our contact details

Tel: 01483 423 761 Fax: 01483 527 590

Tel: 01483 668 100 Fax: 01483 668 101

Thanks everyone at FR.

For opening times and more information visit For general enquiries please contact

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