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Spring Anniematters 2016

Lambing season is upon us and here’s just a reminder to keep your dogs on their leads on The South Downs and fields where ewes are. Farmers have the right to shoot loose dogs on their property who might pose a risk to their livestock. Also remember to shut gates securely behind you.

We would like to congratulate our VN Nicola and her husband Chris on the birth of their son Kaleb on the 26th of February. Also VN Becki and her husband Matthew on the birth of their daughter Eliza who was born on the 29th February, four and a half weeks early and is a leap year baby!

Sometimes our spring can be nice and warm so be aware not to leave your dog in the car when the weather starts heating up. Also be aware of cats with pink noses and white ears and apply sun cream available from us or baby sun cream when they’re out sun bathing.

Did you know that not worming your dog correctly can lead to them passing them on to sheep? Tapeworm eggs shed in dogs faeces and when left on the downs and in fields can end up being ingested by sheep. This can cause cysts to form in their hearts, in their diaphragm and cheeks. Bladder worms can also be caused. Regular worming is part of being a responsible owner and not only for your dogs own welfare. Picking up your dog’s faeces is also important.

Massive congratulations to Vet Nurse Natalie Weston who has just passed her certificate in wound management. It has been a 6 month course in which she had to write up case studies, sit exams, do audits and reports. The types and styles of dressings are ever changing and being up-to-date with new research on how to get wounds to heal as quickly as possible is so important.
                                Aled, Simon and Raymund


We are very honoured to have been contacted by Vet Help Direct as we have been voted one of their top 25 practices in the UK! This is a result of the lovely reviews our wonderful clients have written about us on our website. We really appreciate the glowing and heartfelt words people have written about us. As a team, we thank you very much!

Love sharing pictures of your pet on your social media? Then we have something exciting for you to get involved in. Elanco (a drug company) are launching a new hashtag #petmagicmoments, they want you to use this hashtag on facebook, twitter and instagram in order to win some fantastic goodies. All you need to do is post a picture of your pet (or you and your pet) and use the hashtag #petmagicmoments and each week the most popular magic moment will win a personalised cushion. All entries also go in the prize draw to win £500 towards a forest holiday. Check out our facebook page for more information or pop into one of our surgeries and get posting!

70 years and still going strong!

This year marks our 70th anniversary; we are Eastbourne’s longest established veterinary practice. So here we will be going through some of our long history:

-1946 Roy Turnball, principle of a veterinary practice in Lewes, decided to open a branch in Eastbourne.  This was 9 Bolton Road and he appointed Bob Comyn as veterinary surgeon in charge.

-The practice at this time was very much agriculturally orientated, serving farms from Seaford to Bexhill, and north to Horam and Heathfield.

-By the time Simon’s Father Paul DeVile joined the practice in April 1960 fresh out of veterinary college it was very much a mixed practice. The consulting times for the small animal clients were 9-10am, 2-3pm and 6-7pm and the remainder of the day was taken up with surgical procedures and fifteen to twenty farm visits and house calls between the 2 vets.

-1960 Roy Turnball sold the branch to Bob Comyn who took over as principal at Bolton Road.

-Paul DeVile left the practice in 1966 and was replaced initially by Len Geeson and then in 1972 by Peter Allen. In1972 Paul returned to become Bob Comyn’s partner.

-By this time it was obvious that Bolton Road was unsuitable as a practice premises, it was far too small and not what one should expect of a modern, forward looking and by now mainly small animal practice.
-We opened the Willingdon Surgery to clients in 1973 and the Langney Surgery in 1974.

-Following Bob’s retirement as senior partner in 1975, Paule DeVile became sole principal of the small animal side of the practice and Peter Allen the equine and farm animal side.

-1975 Paul recruited Jim Dash, who had been a colleague in Southampton, as his small animal assistant and Paul also bought 6 St. Anne’s Road this year too. He managed to obtain planning permission for change of use from a rest home to a veterinary surgery, the surgery premises themselves being purpose built at the rear of the property.

-1978 the new surgery opened its doors and the practice changed its name to St. Anne’s Veterinary Group.

-1980 Jim Dash became Paul’s partner and in 1981 the practice was granted certification as a veterinary nurse training centre.

-1988 Bob Comyn retired and Arthur Loddo joined the practice as an assistant vet. Paul also sold the premises to the practice and moved his family out.

-1989/1990 The building underwent considerable alteration including digging out the cellars to create a spacious kennel area for hospitalised patients. The building work lasted from October 1989 until October 1990.

-1994/1995 Paul DeVile took a sabbatical year to serve as President of the British Veterinary Association and Jim took over the responsibility for managing the practice during his absence. 1995 brought Simon DeVile to the practice.

-1996 The East Dean Surgery opened.

-1998 Raymund Bouwman joined the practice.

-1999 Paul retired from the partnership and Jim became practice principal. By this time St. Anne’s had 6 vets and 7 qualified nurses.

-2001 An extra consulting room was added for nurse consultations and a second room was added to Langney to enable 2 vets to consult in the evenings. Morning consults were added to the Willingdon surgery.

-2002 Aled Thomas and Phillip Speer joined the practice.

-2004 Simon and Raymund became partners in the practice. We were also awarded the British Small Animal Veterinary Association’s Practice Standard following assessment of all areas of the practice by BSAVA Inspectors.

-2005 the Willingdon Surgery moved from 9 Gorringe Valley Road to 1 Gorringe Valley Road.

-2006 Hetty Pullan joined the practice.

-2012 Naomi Wolfe joined St. Anne’s and we also launched the visiting vet service where we clump visits in the same area on different days to offer a cheaper service.

-2013 brought us Tiago Bispo.

-2014 Jim Dash semi-retired and Aled became a Partner. This year we also started having afternoon consultations at the Langney surgery.

-2015 Nirina Wijsman arrived.

St. Anne’s is extremely proud that the majority of our team are very long standing; almost all of our Qualified Nurses have been trained up at St. Anne’s. Our Qualified nurses alone have collectively worked over 100 years at St. Anne’s.
This Spring we embark on an exciting new chapter at St. Anne’s, we will be having a refurbishment to rejuvenate the building that hasn’t quite kept up with our needs. We love the fact that over the last 70 years we’ve seen 3 generations of families bringing their beloved pets to us. People who have come to us for a long time comment on the family feel and on many occasions one vet has seen a pet almost throughout its entire life. Having that reassuring bond between owner, pet and vet is very important. We are invested in this practice and want to continue the service we have always provided for our clients. So things will be changing at the main surgery bit by bit and you may have to bear with us as we have to work around the new things happening but we want to reassure you that the quality of service that we provide will not waiver.

Lungworm – it’s kind of a big deal

We just wanted to remind people about Lungworm and that we still see cases of it. You may have seen posts about it recently on our facebook page or seen adverts about it on TV. Lungworm is a serious parasite that can lead to death if not treated. We have seen a case recently where the patient was in for a routine procedure but wasn’t able to stop bleeding, this led to further investigation and Lungworm was diagnosed. It can cause clotting problems which is obviously a big problem if the patient becomes injured or has surgery. Other symptoms to watch out for are tiring easily, nose bleeds, bleeding into the eye, weight loss, going off their food, vomiting and diarrhoea, depression, lethargy and seizures. Dog’s pick up lungworm by eating slugs/snails or ingesting their trails that end up on grass, bowls or toys that are left in the garden. Something as simple as drinking from a puddle can introduce lungworm larvae into your dog’s body. Larvae migrate through the liver, venous circulation and heart into the lung where they mature into adults. The adults lay eggs in the bronchioles (tubes of the lungs) which release the L1 larvae and these are coughed up and swallowed by the dog. The larvae are then excreted through the faeces into the environment and are then consumed by the snails thus completing the cycle. Lungworm is completely preventable by worming monthly with certain products that contain the specific ingredient that prevents lungworm. Call us on 01323 640011 to make sure your dog is getting monthly lungworm prevention.

Microchipping – Lets stay together!
I’m sure many of you are aware of the new microchipping legislation that came into force on April 6th. From that date all dog are to be microchipped and registered on a microchip database by the age of 8 weeks old.  If discovered that a dog isn’t chipped, then the owner will be given 21 days to get the dog microchipped otherwise they will be liable for a £500 fine. This is also the case if the details on the database aren’t kept up to date, such as you have moved address but have the same numbers, you are also given the same time frame with which to work from.  Over 110,000 dogs go missing in the UK every year. In 2010/2011 UK local authorities were unable to return 65,612 dogs. The great thing about microchipping is that it is a one off payment and it lasts for the animal’s life time. Being reunited with your pet will happen much quicker. I see a lot of chip forms filled out with only one contact number on. My advice to you is to put down more contact numbers just in case, even if you only have a mobile number, put down a parent or sibling’s number. This just increases your likely hood of them getting hold of you. If your dog isn’t microchipped then please call us on 01323 640011 and we can get them booked in.

Toxic Time
Hot cross buns seem to be in the shop straight after Christmas these days and are in most people’s homes around this time. Definitely keep them and similar cakes like simnel cakes out of reach of dogs and cats alike. Don’t assume that your cat won’t be interested in hot cross buns – we’ve seen it! The sultanas and raisins can cause acute renal failure and in order to have a positive prognosis the patient must been seen promptly to induce vomiting. Usually intravenous fluids and bloods are required to check kidney function. Eating any amount of raisins, sultanas or grapes means the patient needs treatment.
Spring brings us the beauty of bulbs such as crocus and daffodils. Daffodils can cause skin issues if the sap comes into contact with the skin. Ingesting the plant even in small doses can cause vomiting and diarrhoea. The toxic substances are concentrated in the bulb; symptoms vary but can include a high temperature, lethargy, low blood pressure, slow heart rate and dehydration. Effects can be seen within 15 minutes to 24 hours after ingestion. Other spring flowers such as tulips and primroses can cause vomiting and diarrhoea. The spring crocus is of similarly low toxicity, not to be confused with the Autumn crocus which is more toxic.
If you would like to know more about what is poisonous please search for ‘Animal Poison Information’ on Facebook and like Menna’s (A.K.A Poison Girl) page. Or e-mail me at if you want to know if something you have in your garden could be a threat. If you’re worried your pet has ingested something toxic please do not e-mail me but call the surgery on 01323 640011 and we can advise you if anything needs to be done.


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