Holly Wallaby

Holly came to us 3 weeks ago as her mother was unwell and had rejected her and pushed her out of the pouch.

Wallaby joeys are very tiny when born, smaller than a jelly bean and grow inside their mothers pouch. They do not develop any fur until they are about 5 months old so are kept constantly in the pouch until then. The pouch is the equivalent of an incubator. Joeys spend most of their time in the pouch for growth and safety, gradually emerging for longer periods of time until they are ready to be independent at about a year old. They do still squeeze into the pouch after weaning if they feel threatened or scared as this is their place of safety.

Consequently this meant that this baby joey needed a surrogate mum to bottle feed her for the next 6 months or so ! A member of our team took  on the role of ‘mum’ and fed Holly bottles 5 times a day starting at 6.30AM!!

Holly slowly started gaining weight and to nibble on grasses and tree bark as she would in the wild.

She started to follow her ‘mum’ around the garden making a cute chirrup type sound when her ‘mum’ went out of view. When all fed and her tummy was full she retired to her man-made heated pouch and sucked her little toe just like a dummy.

Holly was doing really well when out of the blue she started to become unwell, she started taking less of her bottle and became lethargic. Unfortunately Holly then started with gastrointestinal problems and despite medical and supportive treatment she continued to deteriorate.

Sadly within 24 hours of the sudden onset of her symptoms we had to make the difficult decision to let Holly go as this was the kindest thing to do for her.

Holly was only with us for a short time but made a huge impression and is sadly missed by us all.

Pet Health Plans at Haven Veterinary Group


We currently offer a Puppy and Kitten Package at Haven, but as your pet matures into adulthood as a practice we run a pet health plan which helps cover the cost of vaccinations and their flea and worming treatments.  There are many other benefits such as discounts on food, neutering and some treatments, including long term medication.

The plan is a preventative care plan designed to help spread the cost over the years.  It is paid by direct debit monthly, so allows you to budget.

This plan is not an insurance, but will give you an overall saving of approximately 10% a year.








Photography student comes to Haven Veterinary Group

Late last year we rang the Wilberforce 6th Form College and asked if a photography student fancied coming along and taking some photos of the practice ‘behind the scenes’.

Student Ellie Shepherdson expressed an interest and after meeting with her, she agreed to step outside her comfort zone and try some interior photography.

We would like to say a big thank you to Ellie Shepherdson for taking the time out of her busy schedule of project deadlines, and thought you would like to see the results. 

Violet the Weimaraner joins veterinary nurses to help rescue puppies

How about this for a good news story?


When the RSPCA Hull and East Riding Branch put out an appeal for people to hand rear eight puppies, kind hearted nurses at Haven Veterinary Group were the first to step forward.

Haven’s Practice Manager, Mandy Dobbs saw the appeal and enlisted her colleague, senior veterinary nurse Hayley Bateman to help hand rear the pups.

Hayley takes up the story: “The eight pups had been delivered by caesarean section at another veterinary practice. Unfortunately, their mum was too emaciated to nurse them, so the RSPCA put out an appeal to find people to hand rear them.

“Mandy asked me if I’d be able to help and suggested that we took four puppies each. As soon as I took them home, my home bred Weimaraner, Violet, whose own litter had been weaned eight months ago, was immediately drawn to the puppies.

“In between the three hourly feeds that I gave the puppies, Violet would groom them and within two weeks, her milk started to come back in and she was able to feed the puppies herself. Although I continued to supplement Violet’s milk with hand feeding, it soon became clear that she had full milk and was able to look after the pups herself.”

Sadly, four of the eight puppies were not strong enough to survive, but Violet’s surrogate litter of one dog and three bitches are now ready to be rehomed.

Hayley concludes: “We’re delighted to have found local homes for two of the puppies, Seth and Kaia with the Homan and Goucher families respectively. Although this story has a happy ending, as the festive season approaches, it does serve as a timely reminder that a dog is for life and not just for Christmas.”



can-dogs-eat-mushrooms_8acc39ff3a41a5beWe all want our dogs to be good eaters, but need to be aware that not everything they want to eat may be good! Dogs tend to have adventurous appetites. Also, they will investigate anything new and interesting with their mouths, much as we would with our fingers. This combination of adventurous appetites and inquisitive mouths can get them into trouble. One thing we need to be aware of when our canine companions are happily nosing around on their walks, is that they may inadvertently exposed themselves to nastiness….


Recently there have been instances of dogs encountering TOXIC MUSHROOMS on their walks in the East Yorkshire area, and unfortunately this has had serious health consequences for these animals. There is plenty of information available about these mushrooms, which are commonly encountered in urban parks, garden lawns and in the countryside. Somebody with specialist knowledge in the highly complex area of mushroom identification may be able to know edible forms from toxic forms, but it is safest to assume that any mushroom your dog may be showing interest in is best left alone.


If you see your dog nosing around an area where you can see mushrooms, move on to an area where these are not present. If your dog may have eaten mushrooms, and is showing any signs of concern (such as vomiting, salivating, dullness) then attend your veterinary surgery at the earliest opportunity.


To read more about TOXIC MUSHROOMS and their potential effects on our companion animals, the following websites may be of interest….







Written by Phillip Van Der Reit

Remember Remember Your Pets in November!

Here are our top ten tips to help your pet cope with firework fears:fireworks-and-dogs

  1. Make sure your dog or cat has somewhere to hide if he or she wants and has access to this place at all times.
  1. During firework season, walk dogs during daylight hours and keep cats and dogs indoors when fireworks are likely to be set off.
  1. At nightfall close windows and curtains and put on music or the television to mask and muffle the sound of fireworks.
  1. It’s fine to comfort your pet if it helps them relax, or leave them alone unless you think they will harm themselves.
  1. Don’t get cross or punish your pet, regardless of their behaviour, as it will only make them more distressed.
  1. Have your pet micro-chipped. If they do escape, frightened animals can easily get lost.
  1. If your pets live outside, partly cover cages, pens and aviaries with blankets so that one areas is well sound-proofed. Make sure that your pet is still able to look out.
  1. Provide lots of extra bedding so your pet has something to burrow in.
  1. Horses and ponies – Keep your horse in a familiar environment, in their normal routine with any companions to make them feel secure.
  1. Don’t take the risk of riding when you think fireworks may be set off.

If your pet is frightened by loud noises, don’t ignore the problem.  You should always seek advice from your vet.  We have a variety of products available such as pheromone diffusers and supplements to help calm your pet, we also have leaflets and a sound desensitising CD that you can borrow.

Flystrike in Pet Rabbits

During warm rabbit 2periods of the year (April to October) we see a number of flystrike cases in pet rabbits.  Sadly we have recently seen a few fatal cases in the practice.

What is flystrike?

Flystrike is a devastating condition caused by the fly Lucilia sericata, or a green bottle fly, the same species that infests sheep. These green bottle flies are attracted to damp fur soiled with urine or soft faeces.

Each fly can lay up to 200 eggs on the skin at the rear end of an animal which then hatch into maggots within hours and grow by feeding on flesh. The maggots can very quickly eat away large areas of tissue around the bottom, tail, scent glands, belly and back, and affected rabbits are quite literally ‘eaten alive’.

What are the symptoms are flystrike?

Initially your pet may just look quiet, so it’s important to check your rabbit’s fur daily for any signs of maggots. As the maggots grow and eat away more surface area of the skin, severe shock develops, eventually leading to collapse and death.

If you find maggots crawling in your rabbit’s fur, it is an emergency and you must call your vet immediately.

How is flystrike treated?

If veterinary help is sought early, your pet can be saved by receiving prompt treatment comprising of the removal of the maggots, clipping and cleaning of fur from debris, pain relief, topical soothing products and antibiotics. Fluid therapy, treatment of gastrointestinal complications and syringe feeding may be required in more severe cases. If extensive tissue loss has occurred a rabbit may need to be put to sleep to relieve suffering.

What can I do to prevent flystrike?

Many affected rabbits we see at Haven are generally very well looked after, but it only takes a small amount of soiling for the flies to strike. Rabbits who cannot groom themselves effectively due to long fur, obesity, arthritis or painful teeth are at greater risk.

Checking your rabbit’s bottom at least twice a day will help to detect infestation early. Haven will be able to supply you with the treatment that is needed to help prevent this happening, it can be done at one of our nurses clinics, so give either practice a call.  Hedon 898301 or Hull 376477.

We’re delighted to be hopping to it for Rabbit Awareness Week


Rabbits in the Hull and Hedon areas will enjoy a week in the spotlight as staff at an East Yorkshire veterinary group prepare for the tenth anniversary of the national event, Rabbit Awareness Week (RAW).

Haven Vet Group is getting into the spirit of the awareness week, a campaign to promote rabbit welfare, which takes place from June 18 to 26.

Small animal vet Kimberley Barrow and registered veterinary nurse Andrea Pugh are working together to lead the events which will be taking place at the practice during this week.

Rabbit owners can now book their pets in for a free bunny MOT and complimentary claw clip from June 18 to 26. This includes a nose to tail examination to check the rabbit’s health and wellbeing, and visitors can also get advice on diet, neutering, vaccination, parasite treatments, behaviour and weight.

Both the Holderness Road, Hull and Ketwell Lane, Hedon practices are also offering a 10 per cent discount for owners who’d like to book their rabbits in for a vaccination or neutering during the month of June.

Andrea said: “Sadly, rabbits can be overlooked as pets. Most dog and cat owners would notice straight away if their pet was not eating or unwell, but rabbits sometimes do not receive the care they need.

“Generally, we tend to see a lot of dental issues, such as overgrown teeth. Rabbits also need to be let out of their hutches to get exercise – in the wild, they are free to run around in areas equivalent to three football pitches, so this is really important. They are complex animals, perhaps more complex than people realise, and seriously need looking after.”

Cage hygiene is also something Andrea is keen to make rabbit owners aware of.

“Rabbits are susceptible to fly strike which occurs when the rabbit is not kept adequately clean at the rear. This attracts flies that can get in and when the maggots hatch, they eat the flesh. We have seen some shocking cases of this.”

She has compiled a fact sheet to hand out to all owners who make appointments for a rabbit examination at either of the practices.

According to the RAW website, rabbits are the fourth most popular pet in the UK with 8,000 rabbits being kept as pets.

This year’s campaign is focusing on companionship for rabbits, with the hashtag #BuddiesforBunnies taking a focus.

“Companionship for rabbits is a good thing, but owners need to know how to introduce a new rabbit in the best way possible, and this is also something we can advise on,” Andrea adds.

For more details and to book your free bunny MOT and complimentary claw clip, vaccination and neutering, call the Holderness Road practice on 01482 376477 and the Hedon practice on 01482 898301.

We’re delighted to welcome new RVN, Andrea Pugh to our practice

Andrea Pugh RVN rWe’re pleased to announce that Mrs Andrea Pugh has joined the team at Haven Veterinary Group as a full-time RVN and clinical coach to the trainee veterinary nurses and will work out of both the Hull and Hedon practices.

Mrs Pugh started her career as a receptionist at a veterinary practice in Bridlington before beginning her veterinary nursing training in 2013 at The College of Animal Welfare in Tingley near Leeds.

After completing the two-year course and qualifying as a registered veterinary nurse, Mrs Pugh continued to work in Bridlington where she still lives.

At Haven Veterinary Group she said she wants to make more people aware of the services veterinary nurses offer.

“I’m delighted to join the team at Haven.  It’s been a while since we have had a practising RVN at the Holderness Road branch, and we’d like to remind people that I am here for them to chat with should they have any issues with their pets. The RVN role is similar to that of a Nurse Practitioner at a Doctor’s surgery and I can make referrals to the vet where necessary.”

Mrs Pugh also offers weight management and adolescent clinics for puppies and kittens, senior clinics, second vaccinations, nail clippings and anal gland expressions, among other services.

She is one of the practice’s two clinical coaches for any students training to be a RVN.

Haven Vet Group owner and principal vet Jim Morris said: “Andrea is an excellent addition to the team at both practices.

“We have recently invested significantly in our Holderness Road practice, and we’re keen to continue to offer much-needed extended services like weight management clinics and excellent levels of care for all our patients.”

Long serving staff notch up over 250 years of service

Long serving staff enjoy afternoon tea at the Holiday Inn at Hull MarinaA dedicated team of 10 staff has clocked up a collective 257 years of service as Haven Veterinary Group celebrates the achievements of its long serving employees.

Members of staff at the Hull veterinary practice, which operates branches in Holderness Road and on Ketwell Lane, Hedon, marked the occasion with afternoon tea at the Holiday Inn on Hull Marina.

Sheila Clayton, who first joined the Hull practice in 1974 as a veterinary nurse, is the longest serving member of staff with a total of 42 years with the group.

She said: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time in different roles with the practice. We’ve certainly grown – at first there was only one other veterinary nurse who used to look after reception with me.

“It’s amazing how things have changed over the years – when I joined we used to be a walk-in surgery and now we’re constantly filling our vets’ diaries with appointments.”

Other long serving members of staff include cleaner Jo Brentano; vet Do Pickering, branch administrator Anne Docherty and receptionists Gail Dungworth, Sandra Atkinson, Judy Farnes, Cheryl Broderick and the second longest-serving staff member Carol Burnham.

Haven Vet Group owner and principal vet Jim Morris, who is also celebrating 25 years of service, treated the group to the afternoon tea for the occasion.

He said: “It’s moments like this that make my job special and I’m very proud to be supported by such a great and loyal team.

“I wanted to do something to celebrate our collective long service, and show my appreciation because this is a real milestone for the group.”

Haven Veterinary Group was formed in 1907 by Mr Dugdill who set up a practice in the Holderness area.

Over the years the group relocated to Hedon then expanded with the opening of the branch in Holderness Road. Haven Veterinary Group now employs 32 people including seven vets.