Ashwood boasts a diverse team of vets with different interests and specialisms, but all of us share a tremendous love for animals and we promise to treat your pet as if they were our own.
Dr Patrick McKee, BSc BVetMed MRCVS
I knew I would be a vet the moment my wonderful collie/retriever cross Apple came out of Margaret’s surgery that afternoon, the wound in her chest repaired and the worry and anxiety of the accident now in the past. The care with which she was treated and the wonder of an open wound precision repaired stayed with me from that day. When Rebecca and I opened Ashwood in 2009 we knew it was this type of care and professionalism which we would provide for family pets. When you come with your pet to see us, you are part of our family and it is this ethos that underpins Ashwood and which I love.
Dr Sophie Cuene-Grandidier, MA VetMB MRCVS
When I was just 7 years old, my mum bought me some riding lessons. I loved it. Previously I had been a little afraid of animals but that year I got my first pet, Pepsi the hamster and a little later, my own horse, cats and border terriers Jack and Ella. I still have my gorgeous horse, Roxie, and though she’s past her peak, I’ve got many happy memories of jumping events and we still get out and about occasionally. Back when I was 11, I was fascinated by the TV program “Vet School” and it was then that I decided “I could be a vet!” It became a life ambition, and that’s how my journey to Ashwood began.
Dr Ellen O'Neill-Munro, MA VetMB MRCVS
When I was little I was obsessed with Agatha Christie and always wanted to be a private detective, but my other passion was animals. When I spent some time with my local vet I realised, to my delight, that this was how I could combine both my love of animals and my passion for solving problems. I applied for veterinary medicine at the University of Cambridge and was over the moon when I got the letter confirming I'd been offered a place. Halfway through my veterinary degree, my family moved home from Kent to Belfast, and it was then that I first came to see practice at Ashwood. From my first day there I knew that this was the sort of practice I'd like to work at when I graduated, so you can imagine how happy I was when Patrick offered me a position as a vet. I joined the team at Ashwood in August 2017. At home, I have five dogs and, being a keen knitter, have made made-to-measure jumpers for all of them, as well as a bow tie for my cat!
Dr Rebecca McKee, BVetMed MRCVS
Flopsy had been my beautiful pet rabbit since my sixth birthday. She was only three when she suddenly stopped moving one day; I didn’t know at the time that she had a tumor inside. I was devastated when she passed away and I decided that day that I wanted to be able to fix animals. My first day of work experience was when I was at high school. It was at our local vets. It turned out to be a day of surgery, operating on a dog with a damaged eye (the other student who was with me fainted, went home and never came back!) but I loved every minute of it. I could see past the wound, to the result of the surgery and my mind was made up. The vet had transformed damage and pain into restoration and healing. Helping injured animals felt amazing. I wanted to be a vet. Now, every single day with a super team around us, we help pets and people; and our whole team cares. I’m loving it and we haven’t looked back.
Dr Niall Thompson, MVB MRCVS
For as long as I can remember I always wanted to have pets. It took such a long time convincing my parents, but eventually at 7 years old I was allowed to get... a goldfish named Jerry! Spending most weekends helping on my grandparents' farm, I often saw the vet come out to treat all sorts of animals. I decided at the age of 14 that I too would be a vet, and that once that dream was realised I would get my first dog. While studying at University College Dublin, I did a lot of work experience in Ashwood Vets and loved it. The staff were friendly and the animals were looked after to the highest standard. I remember saying to Ruth (my then girlfriend, now wife!) 'I would love to work there someday.' It's been a long road but now I've got the dog (a beautiful terrier called Penny) and the job!
Dr Margaret Parsons, BA MVB PhD MRCVS
I've always been besotted with dogs, large and small. Cheeky terriers are a special favourite! Our first family pet, apart from Coie the budgie, was a beautiful black cocker spaniel called Tango. I challenged my father's belief that dogs should live outside and Tango was soon established in a comfy basket by the stove! One afternoon on a picnic with friends, a terrier scratched Tango just above the eye and I was furious, stomping home. That was the moment I knew I wanted to be able to heal and care for animals. As a student, I "saw practice" for six months with Mr Tom Geary, a vet who would go to extraordinary lengths for animals in his care. I remember him spending time arranging a sick cow with a good bed, water and selecting the best hay when the farmer was too busy to do it himself. Going the extra mile is something that has stuck with me ever since, and that same approach lives on at Ashwood.