Data protection and privacy

We keep the following information about our clients on computers and back up systems in our premises: name, address, mobile and landline phone numbers, email addresses and amount of money owed. We have a legal obligation to store this information in order to comply with rules set by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Please update us if you change any of these details.
Client data is used to store patient histories and the payment for our services and can be accessed by all employees only whilst at work using password protected software.
We may use their data to contact owners where there are legitimate interests. This applies to reminders about appointments, vaccinations and other preventative healthcare.
In general your data is confidential but there are situations where we need to share your data with other data processors; in particular, insurance companies, other veterinary practices involved with the treatment of your animals, veterinary laboratories and microchip databases. This sharing of data is part of the implied contract you have with us to supply animal healthcare.
If you owe us money at the end of our financial year (March 31st) some basic data may be shared with our accountant, and if you owe us money for longer than 3 months we may share your data with a debt collection agency. This is necessary for our legitimate interests.
You have the right to see the data we hold on you and also to have it deleted from our system if more than 7 years have passed since we last dealt with you and you don’t owe us any money.

End of PDSA Petaid

21st November 2017
Sadly the PDSA Petaid scheme, which has helped many sick and injured pets over the years, is coming to an end, as the charity no longer has sufficient funds. Current certificates will be honoured until they expire and there will be ongoing help for registered pets with existing expensive ailments such as diabetes.
There is a new scheme which involves the customer paying a lot more (£54 a year) but receiving a lot less benefits, so, at the moment, we are not planning to roll that out.

News July 2016

A rather macabre tale this month for the chapter ‘Things that dogs eat which they shouldn’t.’
A client told me a tale about her dog, a sweet little thing, butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth, etc. etc. This dog suffers from multiple allergies so is confined to the fenced off section of the garden close to the house where all plant life has been removed and replaced by concrete and paving stones to stop contact with potential allergens. One morning the dog (who shall remain nameless, to save her embarrassment,) had gone missing, only to be heard scratching about in the far part of the garden from where she was normally banned. She had squeezed through a gap in the fence. When the owner approached she found a hole had been dug in the soil and some bones were scattered about. Closer examination revealed some bits of material. It took a couple of moments before it dawned on her that this was the blanket they had used to wrap the body of their previous dog when they had buried her about 8 years previously!
The good news was she wasn’t allergic to any of these bits and pieces!
That story reminded me of the Labrador which fell into a deep sleep as a result of barbiturate poisoning, later confirmed by a laboratory. Shortly beforehand she was seen to eat a dead chicken she appeared to have dug up on a neighbour’s land. We could only assume said chicken had been euthanased with barbiturate. The dog made a complete recovery by the way.

November 2015

I write articles for Llangollen News magazine. One of the other contributors is, apparently, a duck, who writes about life on the River Dee. Here is my article for November.
This month I was privileged to meet for the first time, not a fellow journalist, but a character who has featured in news items many times. One of the builders at the new supermarket site came rushing in with a cardboard box and told how he had been standing by a window newly fitted in the outside of the building when Kylie Kingfisher had come zooming over the hedge and crashed straight into the glass. Whether she thought that the shop was open for business and she might get some bargains in the tinned fish aisle, or whether she caught sight of her reflection in the glass and was attempting amorous advances, she was incapable of saying as she had collapsed unconscious on the ground.
When I picked her out of the box she was coming round but gazing at stars; her little head was pointed up at the ceiling and moving from side to side. I have to say her plumage was as gorgeous as ever though. There were no broken bones fortunately so we put her in a cage in a darkened room. Before very long she was back to her usual self, if rather cross, so I took her down to the river bank and let her go. She zipped across the river and disappeared. Not a word of thanks!
We recommend that all rabbits who spend anytime outside the house be vaccinated against Myxomatosis. This nasty disease is almost always fatal but can be prevented by vaccination. The vaccine has been difficult to get hold of lately but we have just taken delivery of a large multi-dose bottle which is likely to be our only supply for several months The bottle has to be used in one day so we have chosen a day in early November. Please get in touch if you want to take advantage of this.


Rabbit Vaccination

Myxamatosis vaccine is difficult to get hold of at the moment. We are having a delivery soon. Please get in touch if you have a rabbit that needs vaccination (if they go outside they ought to be protected).rabbit


Please sponsor me!

This month I’ve been building up my cycle training in preparation for the event I’m taking part in on August 9th. In recent weeks I’ve done 4 rides of over 100 miles (only just over: I usually end up having to do a detour for a mile or two in order to break that barrier!) and another 2 over 90 miles. The event itself covers 115 miles – very hilly miles at that, so it will be that much tougher. I’ve already cycled most of the course, which starts in Chester, heads over the Panorama to Llangollen, then up the Horseshoe Pass, before heading to Cerrigydrudion, Llyn Brenig, Ruthin via Clocaenog forest and back to Chester. The organisers are a bit sadistic: they make slight detours in order to throw in a steep hill. For instance, going from Ruthin towards Mold, the main road goes up a steep hill, but this is not hard enough so we will go up a lane nearby, called Pen Barras, which is much steeper – about 20%.
     I’ve really enjoyed all this cycling, visiting places I’ve either never been to or only briefly visited in the car;- Bishop’s Castle, Newport, Dinas Mawddy, Cyffyliog, Ysbwty Ifan. How great it would have been to have attended Ysgol Ysbwty Ifan: it would sound like you’ve trained to be a doctor!
     As well as feeling fitter (and thinner!) I’ve gained another health advantage. Whereas for many years I’ve suffered from frequent migraines, despite taking preventative medication, once I took up cycling again (after a gap of over 25 years) I noticed the migraines stopped and I’ve been able to stop the pills.
    I’m raising money for St David’s Hospice in Llandudno and welcome any sponsorship. Either call in at one of the surgeries or go to


It’s amazing how Friday is so often a busy day. Monday is predictably busy as it follows the weekend when, though there is always a vet on call, clients tend to try not to disturb us, partly because they want to be nice to us, and partly because they know it will be more expensive! Wednesday is usually the quietest day, but Friday is often the most hectic. Clients will book routine surgical treatments on a Friday so that they can have the weekend at home with their pets afterwards, and then, of course, the approaching weekend spurs people to bring in pets that have been ill for a few days but are not showing improvement.
Take last Friday for instance. We had already booked in a routine neutering and a dental. Then a client arranged an enucleation (removal of an eye) This wasn’t an emergency but needed to be done to prevent pain in a blind eye which was swollen by glaucoma. Then at the beginning of the week we had a cat which had been run over and completely smashed its hip joint along with an open wound. We hadn’t wanted to operate the same day due to infection risk from the wound, but we didn’t want to leave it too long. So it was arranged to have an operation on Friday to have the smashed fragments removed so that a new false joint could form. This is where the top end of the thigh bone, embedded in the surrounding muscle, almost magically forms a new joint around it as it wears away at and stimulates the muscle.
So things were already looking busy when, on Friday morning a female dog was presented with a womb infection requiring a hysterectomy straight away. Then, what do you know, a Yorkshire terrier puppy arrived being sick (as a dog!) because, it turned out, it had a child’s dummy teat blocking its intestine! Still, we always seem to cope: all the staff pull their fingers out and the jobs get done!
A final thing: I am taking part in a sponsored cycle ride in August, starting in Chester and touring round many of the hills of North Wales. I am raising money for St Davids Hospice in Llandudno, which, I discovered earlier this year, is a wonderful place. So, if you can spare a few pennies it will give me an incentive to carry on!

April 2015

Well, Becky and younger Clive (the two other vets in the practice) are married! (For a full report see the next issue of Hello magazine.) However, it wouldn’t be Becky without a bit of drama, and, sure enough, the ceremony very nearly didn’t take place!
My phone rang about 10pm the night before the wedding. It was Becky: ‘Can you help us save the wedding?’ They had turned up at the church for the rehearsal to find a different vicar from the one they’d met a few weeks earlier to discuss (and pay for) the wedding. ‘The other one’s on holiday’ they were told. ‘It’s strange he didn’t tell us’ they thought, ‘but anyway let’s carry on.’ ‘Where’s your banns certificate?’ they were asked. ‘Oh, the other vicar was sorting that.’ ‘Ah, but you must have a certificate,’ they were told.
This is where it gets complicated and I don’t quite understand the ins and outs of the rules of marriage in Britain. Becky and Clive own a house in Alderley Edge (near where they used to work) and Becky’s father owns a field by the church in the neighbouring parish of Nether Alderley where the wedding was booked, with the reception to take place in a marquee in the field. The banns had definitely been read in one of these places but not the other, unbeknown to our now worried couple ‘The wedding can’t take place’ said the vicar. Clive and Becky, now distraught, thought ‘what can we do?’ – cancel the wedding, just go ahead with a party they’d already sorted?
Just when their whole world seemed to be collapsing somebody had an idea. ‘You could get married in Alderley Edge instead if you can prove you live there.’ The vicar said she would need proof of residence and then they could marry at 11am in Alderley Edge when there happened to be a vacant slot and then have a second ceremony in Nether Alderley at 2pm when everybody else was expected!
This is where I came in. I had to drive up to Becky and Clive’s rented house in Carrog where our locum was staying to find the necessary documents. I knew Marion (the locum) went to bed early and her phone was switched off, so there was I hammering at the door and shouting ‘Marion’ from the garden. it took about 10 minutes before I finally was heard so I must apologise to the neighbours. Having found the necessary documents I met younger Clive in Sainsbury’s car park in Wrexham where I handed them over. Anybody viewing CCTV camera footage must have thought something dodgy was going on!
So it was that the wedding took place in one church at 11am, with Becky wearing wellington boots and curlers in her hair, followed by a ceremony at another church (with Becky, now looking stunning, allowably late,) with the wording subtly altered by the fact they were already married!
The reception was brilliant and they’ve now headed off, exhausted, on honeymoon!

Winter weather

In weather terms we are into my least favourite time of year now; cold, wet, snowy, dark. It’s also the busiest time of year for testing cattle for tuberculosis. This can be an enjoyable job in fine weather: easy, low stress (unless you have to tell a farmer his cattle have TB), a chance to have a chat with the farmers and top up your sun tan! This time of year it’s more often a battle to keep yourself and your paperwork dry, as the rain lashes down and the wind howls across the farmyard, and, as it’s a job that involves a lot of standing around, your fingers and toes start to loose feeling. I often have to resort to jumping up and down or running on the spot to generate some heat. This year however younger Clive is keen to do as much TB work as possible so he’s heading out in all weathers whilst I’m spending more time in the warm at the surgery – lovely!
There’s been a run of orthopaedic jobs since the New Year. Becky had to wire a cat’s jaw after it was broken in an argument with a car.  A similar accident led to a broken leg in a Labrador with the added complication of multiple skin wounds including where the broken bone had poked out through the skin. He’s doing well after having a metal plate screwed in place to stabilise the fracture.  Another unfortunate Labrador ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in both knee joints at the same time requiring an operation to insert replacements in both. She also has been doing well;- we are lucky that dogs and cats make such resilient patients
Roll on the warmer, longer, sunnier days of spring!


Dangerous Work 2011

One of the best things about being a vet is the variety of work. All sorts of creatures from large farm animals to tiny childrens’ pets and birds. We need to provide a range of treatments combining the skills of a GP with those of a hospital surgeon in a way that Doctors can’t. So, even after 26 years in the job I still get called upon to perform tasks that I’ve never done before. These jobs can be mentally and physically challenging, often difficult and sometimes a little dangerous. I was called upon to do one such job last week. A client phoned to say he was travelling to Australia but that when the authorities there heard what he was taking along they had become very concerned. There was the possibility of death and disease from Sydney to Perth and he needed my help. What on earth was it he was taking along? Cheese was the reply!

The client (who I had only met previously with his cats) is an expert on cheese manufacture and was to be the keynote speaker at a conference on cheese in Melbourne. He wished to take some samples with him but the Australian customs needed to see a veterinary certificate saying they were prepared in a manner that minimized disease risk. Now I wasn’t sure that I was sufficiently qualified to certify cheese so I phoned the local animal health office who assured me I was assigned to panel 1 e) and therefore able to carry out the task.  The day before his flight the client brought the cheese to the surgery securely enclosed in a plastic cool bag. I opened the lid with some trepidation to find a dozen pieces of cheese of various sorts wrapped as they would be for sale in a supermarket. They appeared docile and I was able to handle them without the need for a muzzle. After a small hitch in finding out the registration numbers of the premises where the milk had been pasteurized I was able to complete, sign and stamp the certificate, in triplicate, and send the cheeses on there way without a single bite or scratch. Some samples were left with us for post-mortem, testing and disposal in a way that complied with clinical waste regulations. (They tasted very nice.)            All in all the most difficult job I’ve had to do since I had to sterilize some wild and aggressive fishing rods prior to the owner’s holiday in Iceland