Specialist Services

Priory Veterinary Surgeons
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HELPING YOU TO IMPROVE YOUR ANIMAL’S QUALITY OF LIFE

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At Priory Vets we can carry out all the routine procedures that you may require for your Horse or Pet. In addition to that we would like to tell you about things that we feel sets us apart from other practices. We have a strong ethos of going above and beyond for the welfare of people’s animals. We like to be able to offer our clients options and advice, as well as treatments for a whole range of other things that you may need. Whether its behavioural issues, allergies, stressful cats or managing pain in chronic conditions – we can provide some services we hope that can help you. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require further information on any of these services, where one of our team will be pleased to help.

Certificate Holders

All veterinary surgeons who are registered to practice in the UK are required to have degrees in Veterinary Medicine from a university accredited by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, our governing body. The degrees generally take 5-6 years to complete. During this period veterinary students have to complete over 9 months of practical experience in veterinary clinics while they are studying. At the end of this vets are considered competent in their skills to enter practice if they pass all the exams in order to graduate. Before registration, all vets have to swear an an oath to ensure the health and welfare of animals committed to their care. Once they are working in practice there is another stage known as the Professional Development Phase which is an important period for young vets to further develop their basic skills and knowledge. Throughout their careers vets have to undertake additional training called Continuous Professional Development to a minimum of 35 hours per year, which can be in a wide variety of areas.


However, there are specialist Post Graduate Qualifications that some practising vets achieve in order to have a
greater expertise and knowledge in certain areas of our work. These can be in many different subjects rather like in the medical world, and allow the holder to have additional letters after her or his name. Priory Vets recognise that certificate holders tend to provide a superior level of skill and care to their patients in their chosen field, and the overall care levels in the practice are significantly enhanced by these individuals. Attainment of further qualifications by our Vets [or Nurses and non clinical Staff ] is encouraged and funded for everyone's benefit.

This is the extra expertise we have at Priory Vets:

The Certificate in Veterinary Anaesthesia ( CertVA ) provides a deep and broad level of knowledge skills and
experience in the art and science of providing anaesthesia and pain relief to animals. An extensive case book over several years has to be completed which means hundreds of animals of different species have to have been anaesthetised in order to achieve this award, as well as a series of examinations at the end, along with detailed study of advanced techniques. The aim of any anaesthetist is to reduce as far as possible the risks associated with the procedures we carry out on pets, and to minimise the distress and pain. The better understanding , better skills, better drug use and better planning by a certificate holder all contribute to better care especially in critical and frail patients and can be a very significant factor in their outcome. The training of other staff members and the giving of advice helps to spread this expertise across the practice. Steve Carter has held this Certificate since 1987 and regularly refreshes his knowledge to stay up to date.


The General Practitioner's Certificate in Small Animal Surgery (GPCertSAS) is a two-year modular certificate
incorporating fourteen taught modules and eight practical modules. It culminates in the sumission of a casebook and an exam at the end. It is designed to increase skills, knowledge and confidence in dealing with more complex cases so that we can offer a wider range of treatment options for our clients without the need for referral, thereby accelerating diagnosis and treatment. The certificate encompasses both soft tissue and orthopaedic surgery. Amanda has held this certificate since 2013 and her main interest is in soft tissue surgery.

Additionally, in 2017, Amanda started her Postgraduate Certificate in Small Animal Emergency and Critical Care. This is another two-year modular certificate incorporating twenty taught modules as well as lengthy written, oral and practical exams. In practical terms this equates to an additional 20 hours a month of studying keeping certificate holders aware of all recent developments, with the aim to give your pets the gold standard care we strive to provide.

The Certificate In Small Animal Medicine (CertSAM) provides a comprehensive, advanced grounding in all the body's major organ systems. This encompasses interpretation of clinical pathology reports ("lab tests"), performance and interpretation of diagnostic imaging modalities (such as ultrasound and endoscopy), alongside the appropriate use of medicinal therapeutics and drugs, employed in a fashion designed to make the animal better. The improved clinical skills obtained by a certificate holder in small animal medicine better enable the Vet to investigate medical problems, some of which may be complex, challenging and intricate. The medicine course itself involved lectures received over a period of 2 years and also rigorous written, practical and oral examinations. A casebook documenting 8 detailed and individually written up medical cases must be submitted ahead of submission for the examinations, alongside a caselog of all medical patients treated over a 6month period. Rebecca has held this certificate since 2008.

Additionally, in 2015, Rebecca became an RCVS Recognised Advanced Practitioner in small animal medicine. Advanced Practitioner Status is an official recognition of a Veterinary Surgeon's particular knowledge and skills in a designated field of Veterinary Practice. Such Vets have accredited at post-graduate certificate level (academically equivalent to a Masters degree). Further to demonstrating knowledge and experience beyond their initial veterinary degree, advanced practitioners confirm that they continue to remain up to date in their field by undertaking over and above the minimum requirement for CPD. Practically this equates to 120hours of "Professional Key-Skills" study and an ongoing commitment to undertake at least 50hours of CPD every year.

Cat only Clinics

Cats are prey animals, and as such get easily stressed when they are faced with being moved around into areas that smell of unknown animals, in particular dogs, and with unfamiliar sights and noises. We also provide elevated surfaces for their waiting period, stress reducing essential oil and pheromone diffusers, longer consult periods and cat friendly quiet clippers - for clipping any hair required for sampling.All four branches
have a ‘cat corner’ in the waiting room so we can keep cats and dogs separated and reduce waiting room stress – please ask at reception for more information. Our Banstead branch has attained a Bronze recognition award with the ISFM (International Society of Feline Medicine).

As such our cat clinics are dog free zones! We also provide elevated surfaces for their waiting period, stress reducing essential oil and pheromone diffusers, longer consult periods and cat friendly quiet clippers - for clipping any hair required for sampling.All four branches have a ‘cat corner’ in the waiting room so we can keep cats and dogs separated and reduce waiting room stress – please ask at reception for more information. Our main Cat clinic is held at our Banstead branch which has attained a Bronze recognition award with the ISFM (International Society of Feline Medicine) Read more about the awards here . Our Cat only clinics are held on Tuesday mornings, and all day Thursdays –including cat only operating on this day. We also offer short sessions at Redhill and Tadworth branches

For more information call us on 01737 370694.

New Puppy?

We know how important it is that a new pup fits in well with its new family and home. Here at Priory Vets we are passionate about helping you meet both your own, and your new pet’s needs to get your new relationship off to the best start. Puppy Playschool starts with a FREE introductory evening talk open to clients of any Priory Vets branch, packed with information about puppy behaviour and health care. These sessions are a lot of fun and very popular as you and your new puppy get to meet others! You can then choose to start the Puppy playschool classes over the subsequent 4 weeks. This is run by qualified behaviourist, Susan Gammage DipCABT and our qualified nurses. Puppy playschool is a series of play and socialisation sessions held in the early evening at our Tadworth branch, with indoor and outdoor specially designed areas for pups to meet and develop their social skills through play. Each session, lasting 45mins – 1hr, also gives opportunity for advice from the nurses on a range of important dog topics each week. Course cost £62.50

Puppy Primary is a four part course, following on from your puppy playschool group, for those who want to develop their puppy’s social skills further and to introduce them to effective reward based training. These sessions are also run by Qualified Veterinary behaviourist, Susan Gammage DipCABT. Puppy Primary is designed for slightly older pups around 6 months of age or older, where they can start to learn the important basics of training. Course Cost £63.00

For more information or to book on to one of these courses, please speak to the Vet or Nurse at your appointment, or telephone our receptionist Karen on 01737 370694

Laparoscopy – Keyhole surgery

Keyhole surgery is a very effective and modern way of carrying out a variety of surgical procedures using specialist equipment. The laparoscope is a small camera that along with forceps are inserted through small incisions in the skin. This then allows the vet to view the inside of the patient on a screen and carry out any surgery required.

 The main benefit to keyhole surgery is the size of the surgical wound, which means less pain and a much faster recovery period after surgery. The surgical environment in the operating theatre is extremely clean and kept as sterile as possible, however using keyhole means there is even less risk of infection as the organs are not exposed to the surrounding environment. It also allows for a good view of the internal organs in the case of abdominal laparoscopy, meaning these can be checked visually at the same time. 

Procedures using this method are Female dog neutering, retained testicle removal in male dogs, internal organ biopsies, bladder surgery and various joint procedures.

 The most common way in which we currently use keyhole at Priory vets is for Female dog neutering. The majority of our clients now opt for a laparoscopic spay rather than the more traditional method. Rest period after surgery is usually 2-4 days as opposed to 10 days, and wound care and healing is much more simple. 

The laparoscope is based at our Reigate branch but we welcome clients of any branch to book in for this method of neutering. Speak to one of our vets for more information.

Acupuncture – Horses and Small animals

Acupuncture is an energy based system of healing that has been used in animals for over 3000 years.

Scientific research shows that acupuncture produces several internal effects in the body of the treated individual. These effects include production of natural chemicals and changes in electrical flow that activate the body’s ability to rebalance itself in times of pain, injury or disease. In addition to reducing pain, acupuncture has effects on the cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine and immune systems.

Integrating Acupuncture with conventional veterinary medicine can help reduce the amount of medication needed to treat a certain condition or reduce the side effects that some drugs can cause in many patients. It can be especially helpful in chronic conditions that conventional medicine can’t cure.

The main conditions in which acupuncture can be helpful for the Equine patient include:

  • Musculoskeletal complaints (chronic lameness, laminitis, back, neck and sacroiliac pain)
  • Support in geriatric patients
  • Chronic disorders of the gastrointestinal tract (chronic diarrhoea, gastric ulcers, recurrent colic, Inflammatory Bowel Disease)
  • Allergies and disorders of the immune system (skin and respiratory allergies)
  • Hormonal disturbances, infertility
  • Support for the performance horse
  • Neuromuscular disorders, nerve paralysis
The main conditions in which acupuncture can be helpful for the dog or cat patient include:

  • Musculoskeletal complaints (chronic lameness, back, neck, hip, knee and elbow pain)
  • Support in geriatric patients
  • Chronic disorders of the gastrointestinal tract (chronic diarrhoea, Inflammatory Bowel Disease)
  • Allergies and disorders of the immune system (skin and respiratory allergies, chronic otitis)
  • Chronic skin problems
  • Hormonal disturbances
  • Chronic and/or recurrent urinary tract problems
  • Neuromuscular disorders, Wobbler syndrome, paresis, paralysis and ataxia secondary to intervertebral disc disease
Our Acupuncturist is Luna Zamora MRCVS who holds a Certificate in Veterinary Acupuncture. She is also now currently completing her BSc (Hons) degree in acupuncture and regularly performs it on both horses and small animals.

Laser Therapy

The benefits of Laser therapy are relatively new to the Veterinary Industry, but it has been quickly recognised and adopted by Vets and used to treat a range of conditions.

Laser therapy uses light to favour and accelerate the body’s natural healing processes. The laser beam is passed over the skin, so that light energy (Photons) can penetrate deep into the tissues beneath. The energy then produces different biological effects as it reacts with different tissues. It also acts on nerves and directly reduces the transmission of pain signals to the central nervous system. The result is an increased rate of healing and decreased pain.

This treatment is suitable for use in Dogs, Cats and Horses, and also can be used in rabbits and other small pets. At Priory Vets we use MLS Laser Therapy technology, which is the most advanced laser therapy system on the market. It has much greater effect, reducing the response times and treatment times.

Benefits of MLS Laser therapy

  • Anti-inflammatory effect
  • Pain relief
  • Accelerated tissue repair and cell growth
  • Improved vascular activity
  • Increases metabolic activity
  • Stimulation of trigger points and acupuncture points
  • Reduced fibrous tissue formation
  • Improved nerve function
  • Immunoregulation
  • Faster wound healing
One of the great things about Laser therapy is that it is safe and has no side effects. It can be used alongside other treatments in the management of a condition.

MLS laser therapy effectively treats pain associated with conditions such as Arthritis, tendonitis, wounds, post-surgical swelling, lameness, hip dysplasia (Dogs), disc disease, sinusitis and many more. 

For most conditions we start treatments 2-3 times a week, and reduce as progress is seen. Long term conditions can be managed by a treatment every 2-4 weeks.

Our Laser therapy at Priory Vets is carried out by Luna Zamora MRCVS. Follow treatments may be carried out by the nurse, depending on the condition. 

For more information, please speak to your vet or contact Luna on 01737242190

If you are not a registered client or if you are a Veterinary Surgeon from another practice, we would be happy to discuss a referral for Laser therapy with you.

REACT allergy clinic – Horses

REACT allergy clinic was established a number of years ago, and run up until 2015 by now retired, Priory Equine Vet Mike Burrell MRCVS. Mike developed an interest in why horses get allergies, and after much research developed a form of allergy testing based on human techniques in the late 1990s’. After many successful treatments in horses it has grown into a referral clinic of its own, and Mike’s work is now continued by Priory Equine Vet Luna Zamora MRCVS. For more information on Equine allergies and the REACT clinic click here.

Behavioural consultations – Horses, Cats and Dogs

At Priory Vets we believe that understanding your pet or Horse’s behaviour is a key part of ownership. We always try and work in a way that promotes natural behaviours and recognises key factors such as stress when visiting the vets.

We are pleased to be able to offer one to one behavioural consultations by appointment with Behaviourist Susan Gammage DipCABT. Susan has qualifications in Equine, Canine and Feline behaviour, and she follows the National Animal Centre ethics of using positive reinforcement techniques in her programmes.

Susan also runs our Puppy Playschool alongside our Qualified Nurses.
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