Celebrating 20 Years at Elston Vets


Elston Veterinary Clinic began as an idea, in 1999, from a very strong passion for providing the best patient care possible, focusing on the care of the individual patient and their owner(s). My single motive was to be certain I had done the best job I could treating animals entrusted to my care. I wanted us to be able to give the kindness animals need, and use the most up-to-date information for their treatment. Before I even opened the doors, I knew I could only do it with the help of excellent people on my team.

Using the design of architect Gerry Kelly, the practice was built by local builder Brian Witheridge and his family. They succeeded in making a premises that has a welcoming feel, and has as much light as possible, for both clients and the team working inside it.

“smiles, great organisational skills, and tremendous adaptability”

The original team working at Elston when we opened our doors on 15 September 1999, were a lovely Canadian nurse Pam Dean, and an amazing lady Carol Moore as receptionist. With their smiles, great organisational skills, and tremendous adaptability, we welcomed our new clients and patients with great success. They were soon joined by someone with the same skills, Julie Kirby, who is still with the practice today. Through this dream team, I learned that their input was vital to the success of the practice. This valuable lesson has been retained through the years, and the practice is what it is today because of the team who have worked there.

The practice grew slowly but surely in the early years. Paper records, no website, how simple life was then! Working hard and loving the animals, we were joined in 2003 by (the now famous to our clients) Alice Babbings, working as a receptionist, who seemed to fit right in. Because of her natural aptitude with animals, she was soon roped into nursing duties, and she eventually went through the training to become a Registered Veterinary Nurse. Alice ran the nursing side brilliantly, with the help of Angela Henstridge, also an RVN, through their dedication, for many of the early years.

“I have had years of working long days and many long nights, and the team has kept me going”

Still growing and with a desire for more growth, we currently have a team of 3 vets, supported by a team of 4 nurses, 3 receptionists and an office manager. I have been impressed by and have enormous gratitude for all of the staff members who have worked at Elston over the last 20 years, including many star receptionists. I have had years of working long days and many long nights, and the team has kept me going. A veterinary practice is absolutely a team effort, and requires the team to work together, work incredibly hard, and to have immense compassion day after day. We have to love our work, and we do.

Our patients are what bring us to work every morning, and they never fail to surprise, entertain, and occasionally break our hearts. One of our very first patients the first week we opened, was a very young retriever puppy who could not pass urine; lo and behold I found that he had urinary stones blocking his urethra – something I’ve not seen again in such a young patient! He was treated successfully and grew up to have a long and healthy life.

“Our patients are what bring us to work every morning”

So many amazing pets have come through our doors, each one unique and has taught us something. The most memorable patients are the ones with difficult conditions to treat, who have owners that allow us to treat them, and who get better and so return with waggy tails (dogs) and bright faces (cats!).  Many broken bones mended, cancerous growths removed, and pets continuing to live long happy lives, have brought us great satisfaction. Saying good-bye to our patients at the end of their lives is the hardest thing we do, and we never ‘get used to it’. Bereavement training is part of our team training, and some of the most important.

Over the last 10 years, we have gone from strength to strength, and continue to build our services. We are especially proud of the top of the range technical equipment we have acquired in the last few years, including our Class 4 MLS Laser, a Sonoscape Ultrasound, and an xray processing unit called a DR. These units allow us to diagnose much more quickly, and in the case of the Laser, treat certain conditions with new technology. Neither the Laser nor the DR unit existed in 1999!

We are intending to keep adding to the services we can provide for your pets; we embrace the new and welcome any advances in working towards keeping your pets more comfortable and happy.

Our lovely clients are of course the reason we are still here. Being able to treat your animals has been a privilege for the past 20 years.  Life may have become more complicated in 2019 than it was in 1999, with more options for treatment, more specialists to consider, but our caring clients have not changed. We are so grateful for your trust in us, and the ongoing opportunity to do good for your pets!

Thank you Clients of Elston Vets

We hope you will be able to join us at our celebration of 20 years –

29 November 2019

7 pm Shrewton Village Hall

A party!  With….Food and drink, entertainment, and a chance to come together.

See you there!