A prickly visitor to Best Friends Veterinary Group’s Shenfield practice was one of the first pets to use new equipment following more than £20,000 investment.

The pygmy hedgehog was treated using the new digital dental x-ray machine at the practice in Brentwood. These hedgehogs are gaining in popularity as pets, and certainly make a change from the regular cat and dog patients the veterinary teams see on a daily basis.

Other new equipment at the practice includes top of the range blood analysis technology, an ECG machine to monitor patient’s heart function and vital signs.

Veterinary surgeon at the practice, Anousch Boddy, said: “This investment in equipment allows us to expand our range of service to pets and their owners.

“I am very pleased with the dental x-ray as we believe it is the only one in the region meaning pet owners don’t have to travel too far to have gold standard dental treatment for their pets.”

Ms Boddy has a passion and special interest in veterinary dentistry and adds: “The x-ray can be used to examine very small pets such as hamsters to large dogs like German Shepherds. We have already used it to treat a pygmy hedgehog and we have found we are seeing more and more unusual exotic pets than ever before.

“These new species all present new challenges but with new techniques, we can treat these patients more effectively.”

The surgery also welcomes a new experienced veterinary surgeon, Riccardo Quacquarelli who holds who holds a GPCert(SAS) – general practitioner in small animal and PgC(SAS) in small animal surgery. Riccardo is also currently studying towards GPAdvCert(SAOS) – general practitioner advanced certificate small animal orthopaedic surgery.

Ricardo added: “I am delighted to have joined the Best Friends Shenfield team. I am supported by a hardworking and dedicated team of colleagues, veterinary surgeons, veterinary nurse and receptionists. We all work as one big team to offer the best care to our patients.

“Being a certificate holder in surgery, I am at my happiest in theatre. The new equipment will allow both myself and my team to continue to test our expertise and branch out in to learning new techniques and gaining further qualifications.”

The investment has been funded by VetPartners, which owns Best Friends Veterinary Group as well as some of the some of the other most respected and trusted veterinary practices.

Best Friends Veterinary Group area manager Kelly Smyth said: “We have a great team at the Shenfield practice bolstered by a new addition in Ricardo.

“We are extremely proud to be expanding our services with this investment and look forward to welcoming our patients both new and old.”

The Shenfield surgery is also a training practice, which is essential for the profession’s growth in qualified nurses.

The Shenfield surgery is also a training practice, which is essential for the profession’s growth in qualified nurses.  The College of Animal Welfare state that they are “ Delighted to work with Best Friends Group in training the next generation of veterinary nurses. It is exciting to work closely together to provide the necessary support in which individuals can thrive.

“Without training practices being willing to support students it would not be possible to provide the opportunities for students to learn and grow. We are grateful to work with Best Friends Group in helping develop high standard nurses and hope to continue working together to train future RVNs.”

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