Vets and pet owners celebrate opening of DVS Therapy and Fitness Centre

More than 70 veterinary professionals, paraprofessionals and pet owners flocked to the launch of Davies Veterinary Specialists’ new Therapy and Fitness Centre in Higham Gobion Hertfordshire on the evening of 25th January 2017. The packed out party celebrated how to make a big difference to small animals with demonstrations of the new facilities, complementary CPD sessions and a display of the winners of DVS’s hugely popular ‘Pets on Canvas’ competition.

DVS, which is one of the largest and most diverse small animal veterinary referral centres in Europe, has built the new Therapy and Fitness Centre to provide a full remit of small animal care and rehabilitation under one roof. The Centre offers physiotherapy, rehabilitation, underwater treadmill therapy, soft supports, splinting and orthotics, fitness and conditioning and pain management and acupuncture clinics. Guests were given an exclusive tour of the new premises and the team provided demonstrations in the hydrotherapy suite and the therapeutic exercise area.

The evening’s CPD session for veterinary professionals proved so popular there was a waiting list. Leading industry professionals, Mike Farrell, Louise Clark and Diane Messum presented ‘The Drug’s Don’t Work and My Pet’s Still Painful’; A simple guide to the common sources of chronic pain and recent advances in management programmes. Due to demand DVS will be holding a repeat session shortly, for DVS team members and any referring colleagues that were unable to attend.

Last autumn DVS ran a ‘Pets on canvas’ wall art competition on social media. Pet owners, referring vets and budding photographers were invited to send bright colourful pictures of their pets enjoying the outdoors or water. The winning entries now adorn the walls of the new Therapy and Fitness Centre.

The judges chose DVS anaesthetist Louise Clark’s portrait of her lurcher Billy on Ben More on the Isle of Mull as the winner. A delighted Amanda Brophy was runner up with her portrait of her working Cocker spaniel Flyte. Amanda said: “Unfortunately Flyte has Liver disease, Lumbosacral disease and Inflammatory Bowel disease. In August 2015 he had surgery at Davies for Lumbosacral disease. The surgery was a success and along with physiotherapy has resulted in Flyte gradually returning to all the activities he previously enjoyed. This photo was taken on one of our local walks. If there’s water around he cannot resist getting wet! He loves getting muddy and wet. I cannot thank his specialist team enough for all the treatment and care he receives”.

Sarah Egginton was highly commended for her picture of her Flatcoat Retriever Torin and his friends enjoying a Scottish holiday five weeks after having a back leg amputated at Davies. “Torin has been amazing in his recovery,” said Sarah. “It was fantastic to see him swimming and keeping up with the others on his holiday. Thank you to all at Davies for your wonderful care and support.”

The winners won either a free Physiotherapy Health Check or some shopping vouchers and not only are their pictures now on display in the new centre but they will also be used for future marketing materials.

Diane Messum, Head of Physiotherapy said: ‘We have had an overwhelming amount of support for the launch event. Vets, paraprofessionals, work colleagues and pet owners have enjoyed sharing our passion and love for the work we do in providing our patients with the best care we can deliver to improve their quality of life. I am very lucky to be a part of an amazing team of veterinary professionals and developing this unique rehabilitation service has been a dream come true for me.”

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  • The DVS Therapy and Fitness Centre team comprises:
    • Diane Messum, MCSP, HCPC, ACPAT Cat A, BSc(Hons) Physiotherapy, MSc Veterinary Physiotherapy, AACP, RAMP, Head of Physiotherapy
    • Sarah Conley, MCSP, HCPC, ACPAT Cat A, BSc Equine Science and Management,MSc(Pre-reg) Physiotherapy, PGDip Veterinary Physiotherapy, PGCE, RAMP, Chartered Physiotherapist
    • Jessica Holden, BSc (Hons) Applied Animal Studies, Hydrotherapist
    • Louise Clark, BVMS, CertVA, DipECVAA, MSc (Clinical Management of Pain), MRCVS, Head of Anaesthesia
    • Carl Bradbrook, BVSc CertVA DipECVAA MRCVS, Anaesthetist
    • Fran Downing, BVSc, DipECVAA, MSc, MRCVS, Anaesthetist
    • Ellie West, MA VetMB MRCVS CertVA, Anaesthetist
  • Images attached. Others available on request.
  • Davies Veterinary Specialists (DVS) is one of the largest and most diverse small animal veterinary referral centres in Europe. Accessibly based in Higham Gobion, Hertfordshire, DVS employs more than 30 specialist clinicians, a total of 51 veterinary surgeons, 65 nurses, many with an advanced nursing qualification, and 30 administrators and support staff.
  • Further information from: 07768 958911