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A Bit of Everything at Seers Croft

Seers Croft Hydrotherapy Pool

As we take a tour of the Seers Croft Veterinary Surgery in Faygate, we gradually learn to expect the unexpected.

There is a St Bernard swimming in the hydrotherapy pool, horses in a stable block, and there seems to be just as many exotic animals being cared for or awaiting treatment – turtles, snakes and lizards – as there are cats and dogs.

On the Seers Croft website, there is a picture of a pony apparently trying to use a computer, and the staff have treated monkeys, lemurs, peregrine  falcons, peacocks, parrots, and even a red panda! They are able to deal with exotic species due to the experience of the staff. Rob Reynolds holds a Royal College Certificate in Zoological
Medicine, and as a result Seers Croft treats numerous unusual animals kept privately.

These animals range from ferrets to tapirs and coatimundi to bearded dragons and pythons. In addition to the experience of the staff, it is the on-site facilities and medical equipment that makes Seers Croft stand out.  It all started as just a small practice based in Rusper, before the company moved to Faygate in 1987, having outgrown its Rusper premises. A decade later, in 1997, advancements in animal care meant that Seers Croft needed a new home, and a perfect site was found for the current purpose built unit on the other side of the A264.

Still, the site has needed to be expanded, with new buildings including stables and a log cabin for the Hydrotherapy Centre, with all of these specialist facilities supported by qualified staff. The surgery now has seven full-time and one part-time veterinary surgeon, which means Seers Croft can usually offer anyone an appointment for the same day.

The Veterinary Surgery has a special interest in cardiology and respiratory medicine. Dan Andrews holds the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons certification in Veterinary Cardiology. Cardiovascular and respiratory disorders can be investigated and treated with the aid of state of the art equipment.

Sarah Williams, Practice Manager, said: “The practice is well equipped to allow an accurate diagnosis to be made. Many of the blood tests are performed in the practice laboratory meaning results can be available within a few hours. The practice has a state of the art ultrasound scanner, which is extremely useful to aid diagnosis of pregnancy, cardiac disease and abdominal disease. Ultrasound also allows some minor procedures to be completed by "key-hole" technique, reducing the anaesthetic time and speeding recovery for the patient.

“Endoscopy is also available, which enables the vet to look inside various body cavities through a fibre-optic camera, and we also has several heated vivarium with ultra violet lighting for hospitalised reptiles. We are open for surgery on Monday to Friday at 8am-7pm, and we have a Saturday morning surgery. There is plenty of car park space here too.”

Clients are welcome to bring their animals to the surgery if they're ill or just want advice. Seers Croft also runs a night clinic emergency service from their premises, covering for many practices within the area. This means the surgery never closes and has a vet permanently on site to cover for all emergencies. It is also one of the few veterinary surgeries with its own hydrotherapy centre, which helps animals recover muscle and joint function after an operation, controls obesity, aids arthriticdogs and in some casesjust keeps animals fit and having fun!

The centre is run by a team of hydro therapists under veterinary supervision. Rosie Smith, seen with the St Bernard at the centre, said: “We believe hydrotherapy should be fun as well as therapeutic. The pool is at floor level which means that dogs can walk down our gently sloping ramp, without the aid of winches or hoists.”

All animals are accompanied in the pool by an experienced hydrotherapist to ensure the patient’s safety. Temperature, pulse and respiration rates are carefully monitored, both before and after each swim, and records kept so that trends may be monitored. Seers Croft staff say that they are able to use the pool long before they would consider taking animals for a walk during a recovery process.

As with any other veterinary surgery, cats, dogs and other domestic animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs form a large percentage of the patients seen at the surgery. But not all of the pets visiting require treatment.
Sarah added: “Sometimes they come to be weighed, for dietary advice, for flea treatments, or just for a biscuit!
“For fun we organise weekly puppy parties for our new puppies. These involve a talk given by a vet or nurse on general well-being and preventative care; giving tips and advice on problems that you may encounter with your new dog.

“All animals receive a clinical examination at their yearly vaccinations. This not only gives the clinician the chance to spot potential problems before symptoms are produced, but also gives the opportunity to allow owners to ask any questions."

Seers Croft is located in the beautiful rural surroundings off Tower Road in Faygate (Faygate to Colgate road) and is signposted from the A264. For more information call 01293 851122 or visit the website at www.seerscroft.co.uk