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About Us

Dr Catherine Thomas BVM&S MRCVS CertAVP(ZooMed) - Veterinary Surgeon

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Catherine has been treating the exotic pets of Suffolk for eight years but this all started long before that. Over twenty years ago Catherine was first introduced to some more unusual pets by a primary school teacher; she became fascinated by them and begged her parents to let her have a pet snake. That was just the start, over the years many more species of birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals were added to the collection.

 

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A love of these animals combined with a thirst for science led to the realisation that there was only one career which could ever fulfil her dreams. There were times when these pets of hers needed Veterinary attention; the difficulties in finding an exotic animal vet and the limitations involved reinforced Catherine’s desire to be an exotic animal vet so that she could improve the situation for future generations of pets and their owners.

 

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Over the years Catherine has put many extra hours into learning about these creatures which are ignored or at best skimmed over on the Veterinary course. She has worked for and with some of the UK’s leading exotic animal specialists and has attended as many conferences as possible to keep up to date with the latest advancements in the field. This has been helped by being a member of the British Veterinary Zoological Society and the European Association of Avian Veterinarians.

Catherine completed the Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice in exotic animal medicine. This is a post graduate qualification which involves examinations and assessment of submitted cases which proves her knowledge and abilities in exotic animal medicine and is over seen by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (the governing body of Veterinary Srgeons). Catherine is particularly proud of her distinction in the small mammals part of the certificate. Attainment of this certificate along with other proof of her work with exotic animals means that Catherine has been recognised by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons as an Advanced Practitioner in the field of exotic animal medicine.

Catherine was a part of the team who organised the ICARE 2019 conference in London, ICARE is Europe's largest Veterinary conference for exotic species which is held in different cities around Europe. IN 2019 it came to London where we hosted over 700 of the world's exotic vets who came to learn and share experiences.

 

Jo Hambling - Veterinary Care Assistant

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Jo has always been deeply passionate about animal welfare, behaviour and rehabilitation; with lifelong experience of rescuing and caring for various exotic animals and domestic pets.

Her family had a smallholding with a lot of aviaries, full of gorgeous birds; i have always felt a special connection to birds in general, especially parrots.


What's your favourite animal?

My favourite bird is a flamingo.
As the saying goes: "Be a flamingo in a flock of pigeons!".
They are vibrant, funny, colourful and I just think they are brilliant!

My favourite domestic animals are rats.

They are so smart, affectionate and make the most wonderful companions.
They are also extremely misunderstood; so I relate to them a lot!

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Do you have any pets at the moment?

I currently have two rescue dogs: A German Shepherd Cross, and a Doberman puppy!

What have some of your favourite pets been?

Willow, our Giant Continental house rabbit who we rescued last year and sadly passed. We used to call her Velociraptor, because she was gorgeous, but an evil genius "Clever Girl..."
Dusty the Chinchilla; the first pet I can remember. He was a wedding gift for my parents, so arrived a year before I did, and lived to twenty!
And I have far too many rescue rats to mention... they all hold a special place in my heart!

What are you most looking forward to, working for Suffolk Exotic Vets?

I am really excited to learn and progress in an entirely new career; animals have been my life for as long as I can remember, so finding a role where I get to handle and care for other people’s fur/scale/feather babies while studying and growing is such an amazing opportunity.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Outside of work I mostly spend time with my dogs; enjoying nature taking long countryside walks, or attending charity fun dog shows.
I am a creative soul; I enjoy photography, drawing and painting.
To relax I tend to read books while listening to rock music, or watch fantasy/sci-fi television & movies; anything can transport me to another world or time!