Practice News September 2019

Staff Changes

We welcome two new receptionists to Withy Grove, Steph and Louise. We’ve not had a dedicated receptionists role before, hopefully the appointment for these two will improve the experience for you are your pets. Louise is an experienced veterinary receptionist and Steph has a wealth of customer experience in other fields.

We had to say goodbye to our vet Fiona who has taken some time out to go travelling, but we are delighted to have replaced her with a local vet, Alice Pinder. Alice qualified from Liverpool university this year and has only been working for a few weeks but has settled in nicely and is very popular with staff and clients.

On top of all this, two of our vets are taking some time out to become mums! Zoe his already off on maternity leave and Regan will be going later this year. We wish them both a happy and healthy time looking after their babies. We will cover some of these two vets’ shifts by using locums this autumn and winter, Iliyan and Matteo are both locum vets who live in the Preston area and we also welcome back Catherine who has locumed for us previously.

Keyhole surgery

Suanne continues to perform a multitude of keyhole surgeries, particularly bitch spays. This method of spaying a bitch produces smaller wounds with a more rapid and less painful recovery. Please ask for more details of this procedure. Here’s what one happy owner said;

‘I just wanted to thank you, Suanne and the team for the great treatment you gave Pickle. She has made a full recovery now with no side effects and is actually a lot more energetic and brighter than she was before the operation! We are keeping an eye on her diet to ensure she doesn’t put on weight and she is having regular short exercise four times a day, although I think she would like to do more given the chance!’


We are investigating extending our building at the rear to generate another consulting room, more kennel space and another operating theatre. We will keep you posted on how this progresses.

And finally, some hedgehog photos

As always at this time of year, we have a steady throughput of hedgehogs that we care for, treat and either release back to the wild or send to charity care and rehabilitation centres. Our nurses and vets are building up useful experience in looking after these little creatures and getting them well enough to be released. We have a donation box in reception to help pay for the care of these animals.

Hedgehog in a blanket being held.

Hedgehog on the vets table.

Hedgehog being held in a blanket.






Many of our hedgehogs are infested with parasite such as worms, fleas and ticks, we make sure they are all treated before release, here is a picture of some worms (capillaria) from a hedgehog taken down our microscope this week.

Microscope image of hedgehog with worms.

Laparoscopic (keyhole) Bitch Spays Now Available at Withy Grove

Endoscopy Surgery Being Performed on a Dog

Suanne performing endoscopy on a dog.

We are delighted to announce that Suanne, or surgery certificate holder, is now fully trained up and performing Laparoscopic bitch spays as well as other procedures.

Laparoscopic is ‘keyhole’ surgery and involves using a camera and small instruments used through a ‘channel’ to

perform the surgery. This normally means there are two incisions but they are both very small.

This technique is widely used in human surgery.


  • Small wounds (1 – 2cm) and less tissue handling means less discomfort and a lot less pain after the operation
  • Surgery is quicker so recovery is much quicker. Dogs can be back to normal exercise in half the time compared to normal surgery
  • Surgery is more precise so only the areas we want to operate on are involved
  • Less risk of side effects such as infection, bleeding and wound breakdown
  • It is much easier to survey the rest of the abdomen to check it is normal as everything is in the ‘right place’
Dog prepped for surgery

Instruments are inserted using equipment on the left.

A ‘retained testicle’

A ‘retained testicle’, this is one which hasn’t descended into its correct place, it is more prone to cancer so needs to be removed.












  • A larger area of fur needs to be clipped
  • In the unlikely event of complications, conversion to open surgery may be required
  • Keyhole surgery is more expensive due to the training and extra equipment that is required
Blood vessels being cauterised

Blood vessels are cauterised to prevent any bleeding with this piece of equipment.

Other Laparoscopic Surgery

There are, of course, many other uses for this type of surgery. For example;

  • Bladder surgery
  • Biopsies such as liver and internal tumours
  • Ear surgery
  • Nose surgery
  • Finding and removing retained testicles
  • Looking in joints (arthroscopy)

If your bitch is due to be spayed or you have any questions about this keyhole technique and how it can benefit your pet, give us a call and ask to speak with Suanne or get in touch online.