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Vet ready to show her pedal power for Team GB

ella-steel-avonvale-vetA sporting vet from Avonvale Veterinary Centre’s Southam branch will be putting the pedal to the metal when she represents Team GB in a world cycling championships in Poland.

Ella Steel has been selected to represent the British squad at the UCI Grand Fondo World Championships, which features amateurs and masters, and will race this Sunday, September 1.

The 35-year-old started training for a triathlon at vet school, and an interest in cycling grew as part of that.

Unfortunately, Ella injured her calf muscle while training for an Ironman duathlon a few years later and had to stop running, so cycling took over.

ella-steel-avonvets-cyclistShe did sportives – long distance cycling events – with her husband Adam until they had their son, Bronson, three years ago and started focusing on cycle racing as it was less time consuming, although, she admits, far more intense.
In May, s

he invested in a cycling coach through Dig Deep Coaching and says after that she saw her performance improve dramatically.

Ella qualified for the world championships during the Tour of Cambridgeshire in July by finishing in the top 25 per cent of her age group, the 35 to 39 category.

She said: “It’s incredibly exciting to be representing Team GB. When I put on the kit for the first time, wearing the Union Jack, it was such a proud moment.

cycling-vet-avonvale-vets“I am very nervous. It’s a much longer race than the others I’ve done this season and of course there’s the extra pressure to perform well when you have the honour of representing your country.”

Ella, who lives in Bishop’s Itchington, trains five or six times a week. On weeknights she does two or three interval sessions, often on her indoor trainer, then does longer rides or races at weekends. On average she does eight to 10 hours a week on the bike.

She said: “It’s been hard work fitting the training in around a 40-hour week, especially with our son Bron and our dog Cosworth to look after too.

“Thankfully, my husband Adam has been incredibly supportive and taken all the slack when it comes to Bron’s teatimes and bedtimes so I can sweat it out in the garage.

“Everyone at Avonvale has also been so supportive and really encouraging.”

For more information on Avonvale Veterinary Centres, which has branches in Warwick, Kenilworth, Stratford, Heathcote, Wellesbourne, Southam and Cubbington, visit www.avonvets.co.uk or search for Avonvale Veterinary Centres on Facebook.

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Avonvale vets receive training from dentistry expert

A group of Warwickshire vets and nurses received specialist in-house training in x-rays and extractions from a veterinary dentistry expert as part of collaborative working between practices belonging to the Linnaeus Group.

The group of 12 vets and two veterinary nurses from Avonvale Veterinary Centres received a day of training from Andrew Perry, European Specialist in Veterinary Dentistry from Eastcott Referrals, in Swindon, and Alix Freeman, Resident in Dentistry and Oral Surgery.

avonvale dentistry expert

Andrew Perry demonstrates x-ray techniques

Eastcott and Avonvale are both part of the Linnaeus Group – a partnership of first opinion and referral veterinary practices which has more than 100 sites across the UK.

The training took place at Avonvale’s Wellesbourne site and comes at the perfect time for the practice, which has just invested £35,000 in four new digital x-ray systems.

Avonvale clinical director, Katie Wain, said: “Dentistry is only briefly taught at university when people do undergraduate courses because there is so much that has to be covered.

avonvale vets dentistry training

Andrew Perry demonstrates x-ray techniques for avonvale staff

“Most vets learn the finer art of dentistry through training once they have started the job, either through colleagues or courses.

“This is the first time we have had an expert from Eastcott come to do in-house training and it has been invaluable.
“The use of x-rays in veterinary dentistry is becoming more commonplace and is superb for diagnosing root problems and periodontal issues, so getting as much training as possible is vital.”

Andrew said: “Eastcott has always offered specialist led, in-house dental training, although we have recently started promoting its availability to our colleagues within the Linnaeus Group.

avonvale vets dentistry training by an expert

Katie Wain, Alix Freeman and Andrew Perry

“Training is always tailored to the specific practice’s needs. Avonvale’s was based around the fundamental skills of dental radiography and radiology and tooth extractions.

“We provided both theoretical and practical training in each discipline. At the request of the delegates, a review of gingivitis stomatitis complex and regional anaesthesia was also provided.

“There is often relatively limited access to high quality training during the undergraduate veterinary course but dental diseases are exceedingly common and can leave pets with significant debilitation. Additional training helps to provide general practitioners with the skills and knowledge they need to serve patients’ needs.

“I had a fantastically enjoyable day at Avonvale. The group picked up all of the techniques we covered really well and hopefully feel increased confidence to go and use these new skills as soon as possible.”

Avonvale plans another day of dentistry training from Eastcott Referrals later in the year for the rest of its vets.

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Avonvale Vet rescues abandoned kittens

Stray kittens Dobby and Darcie have found a new dream home after being cruelly abandoned in the Leamington Spa area – they’re now the new pets of the vet that helped rescue them.

abandoned kittens exploring avonvale veterinary surgery

Stray kittens Dobby and Darcie at play at Avonvale Veterinary Centres in Heathcote where they were cared for after being abandoned.

The abandoned new-borns were handed into Avonvale Veterinary Centres in Heathcote, after being picked up by the local branch of the RSPCA.

They were cared for around the clock by Stephanie Hughes, senior vet at the Heathcote practice, who has now decided to adopt them.

Stephanie explained: “We do a lot of work with the local branch of the RSPCA and they recently handed in these two kittens, who we named Dobby and Darcie.

“Dobby is a black and white male cat while Darcie is a tortoise shell female. I am hand rearing them both at the moment, which means they are following me everywhere!

avonvale veterinary centres kittens

Abandoned kittens Darcie and Dobby exploring at Avonvale Veterinary Centres in Heathcote where they were cared for after being dumped.

“Hand rearing means they need bottle feeding every two to four hours and they are on a liquid-only diet. They also need stimulating to go to the toilet, which is something else their mother would normally do for them.

“They are both adorable. I have grown very attached to them so they will be staying with me permanently now. They even come to work with me with the Avonvale nursing and reception staff helping me out with their care. It’s lucky there’s so many cat-lovers on the staff!”

It may be a happy ending for Dobby and Darcie but Stephanie says the problem of unwanted kittens being dumped is a continual challenge for the practice.

steph from avonvale vets with her adopted kittens

Stray kittens Dobby and Darcie with Stephanie Hughes, senior vet at Avonvale Veterinary Centres in Heathcote, who has adopted them.

She added: “We take in a lot of strays here and we always try to help but the best way to cope with the number of strays is for owners to have their pets neutered to prevent unwanted pregnancies.”


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£120,000 Investment in Kenilworth Vet Practice Refurbishment

A leading Warwickshire vets has invested £120,000 in an extensive refurbishment of one of its surgeries.

Avonvale Veterinary Centres has completed the refit at its Kenilworth branch, which boasts new treatment and X-ray rooms and a total overhaul of its existing theatre facilities.

There is also a new ward specifically for the treatment of cats and new heated kennels to make sure Avonvale’s feline guests are kept warm and cosy during their stay.

These additions for cat patients mean the surgery can apply to the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) to become a registered Cat-Friendly Clinic.

Staff have not been forgotten, as the work also includes improved office and rest facilities, to make sure everything runs smoothly behind the scenes.

Clinical director Kieran O’Halloran said: “This was an extensive refurbishment and we are all immensely proud of the additional support and care we can now give to pets and their owners when they come to us for help.

“We have always offered the very best treatment to animals and we now have even better facilities to help us carry out our work.

“The world of veterinary care and treatment is advancing all the time which is why we are consistently improving the service we offer.

“We hope people will be as impressed with the refurbishment as we all are.”

vets in warwickshire

The new cat ward, consult room, kennels, prep room, reception and X-ray suite at Avonvale’s refurbished Kenilworth practice


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