Autumn 2015

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



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