FirstVet vets can help you decide whether a visit to your vet is necessary, or if your pet can be treated from home. During your video call with your FirstVet vet, you will get advice, simple treatment recommendations or a referral to a local veterinary clinic for more serious issues. FirstVet can help you and your pet avoid unnecessary trips to the vet.

Louise Cox O Shea

Dr Louise Cox-O’Shea

I qualified from Liverpool University in 2004 and have been in clinical practice ever since. I initially started as a mixed animal vet but, after a few years in mixed practice, decided to focus on small animal practice. I enjoy the challenges and rewards that small animal practice offers and enjoy the relationship that is built up both with patients and clients. I have a particular interest in surgery and also write academic articles for point of need resources. My husband is also a vet and we have 4 small children aged 1-7 years of age, 2 dogs, a cat and a tank full of fish. My hobbies include running and all things outdoors.
Silvia De Cecco photo

Dr Silvia De Cecco

After graduating in Italy in 2010, Silvia moved to the UK to further her studies in small animal medicine and surgery. Silvia joined a referral practice in Kent as an intern before moving to Cambridge University as a Junior Clinical Scholar. While working at the University she developed a keen interest in internal medicine and diagnostic imaging. Over the past few years she has enjoyed working in first opinion small animal practice. She is currently studying towards a Certificate in Diagnostic Imaging. She has two cats, Merlino and Tito.
Veterinarian Emma Bower

Dr Emma Bower

Emma qualified from the University of Liverpool in 2007. Prior to vet school she graduated with a 1st class honours degree in Zoology. Emma worked in mixed practice for two years before becoming a locum Veterinary Surgeon. Her main areas of interest are geriatric dogs and cats, especially chronic pain in dogs and rehabilitation of dogs either due to age changes or due to trauma. She has plans to undertake further studies in canine and feline behaviour. Emma joined FirstVet UK in March 2019, and has her own pack of three dogs.
Jill Mellink Davidson

Dr Jill Mellink-Davidson

Jill qualified from Edinburgh University in 1981. She started work in equine and small animal practice, which she loved. After having her children, Jill worked primarily as a small animal clinician. Jill has a wide range of interests including surgery, soft tissue and orthopaedics, ophthalmology and medicine including geriatric medicine and welfare. She has also worked for VetsNow emergency clinics and for the Pet Blood Bank running donation sessions in the midlands. Jill is an Official Vet for Small Animal export Certification. In her spare time Jill enjoys riding (previously competing in eventing) and is a qualified dressage judge. She enjoys walking and scuba diving, recently qualifying as a Dive Leader. Jill is also an enthusiastic cook and has two grown up children. Jill joined FirstVet in June 2020.
Rachel Cox

Dr Rachel Cox

After graduating from Cambridge University in 1997 Rachel worked in a number of large and small animal practices but has focused on small animals for the last 15 years. She particularly enjoys working with older animals and is really passionate about making a veterinary consultation a positive experience. Rachel joined FirstVet in June 2020. When she is not working she spends her time walking her greyhound Maisie and ferrying her children around to various sporting events.
Alan Sweeney photo

Dr Alan Sweeney

Alan graduated from University College Dublin in 2016, and moved over to the U.K after he qualified. He originally worked in mixed animal practice for a number of years on the beautiful North Cornwall/Devon coast treating all animals great and small. He has since moved to London and started working as an emergency and critical care vet treating animals that require urgent attention, and has found this to be a challenging but very rewarding career path. He also owns a cat, called Marvin, whom he rescued about 4 years ago. Alan joined FirstVet in September 2020.


Dr Adriana Wawrzyniak

Adriana graduated in 2013 in Wrocław, Poland. Since she has developed her interests in evidence-based medicine for dogs and cats. She is currently studying towards a certificate in Evidence Based Small Animal Medicine. Adriana has worked as an emergency vet and her interest in toxicology has led her to undertake a postgraduate qualification in general toxicology. In 2019 Adriana became a RECOVER instructor, which enables her to be able to resuscitate a patient, if required. Since then she has shared her knowledge not only with owners and veterinary professionals but also with specialist Search and Rescue dog handlers. Outside of work Adriana is married, and has a child, and two rescue pets, a dog and a cat. Adriana joined FirstVet in September 2020.

Lucy King

Dr Lucy King

Lucy graduated from London's Royal Veterinary College in 2010. After a short time in general small animal practice, she went on to work for an emergency and critical care (out of hours) service for 4 years, where she honed her skills in triage and urgent care. In 2015 she moved to Australia and back into general practice alongside an emergency role. She counts herself extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to work with Australian native wildlife. Returning to the UK in 2019, Lucy continued her work in general practice, and is now excited to join the FirstVet team. She is currently working towards her certificate of Advanced Veterinary Practice. Lucy joined FirstVet in October 2020.

Nick Cameron photo

Dr Nicholas Cameron

Nick graduated from the University of Glasgow in 2016, having already undertaken a degree in Veterinary Bioscience from the same university. He has worked in general small animal practice since graduating. Nick has a keen interest in small animal surgery, a subject in which he is currently working to achieve an advanced practitioner certificate. When not working his life is consumed by my young growing family. Nick joined FirstVet in October 2020.

Jurgita Norvaisaite 2

Dr Jurgita Norvaisaite

After graduating Veterinary Medicine in 2014 from the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Jurgita moved to the UK to pursue her veterinary career. She started working as a vet treating small animals and horses, but in 2017, decided to focus on small animals. Jurgita enjoys all aspects of veterinary medicine and has a keen interest in soft tissue surgery. For this reason, and after becoming a partner at a small animal surgery, Jurgita decided to undertake a certificate in this field. Jurgita has two horses, Pumpuras and West, who she brought all the way from Lithuania. She also has a Tamaskan dog, Apache, and a Bengal cat, Fergie, who keep her busy on her days off. Jurgita loves spending time training them to do all the crazy tricks, and just recently Apache learnt how to ride a horse. In addition, she loves being outdoors, mountain hiking and camping accompanied by Apache and Fergie, who loves exploring new places. Jurgita loves travelling to different countries, meeting new people and getting to know new cultures. She can’t wait to meet you all!

Rachel Harris photo

Dr Rachel Harris

Rachel graduated from the University of Liverpool in 2006, also gaining a BSc in Veterinary Conservation Medicine alongside her Veterinary degree. She has since worked exclusively in small animal practice in the South of England, and is interested in all aspects of small animal medicine, ultrasonography and other diagnostics. Rachel currently works as a locum vet providing much needed holiday cover for other vets in practice. She lives with her husband and two small children, and her cat Sylvester who was a rescued stray. She looks forward to meeting your furry friends! Rachel joined FirstVet in October 2020.

Serena Musto

Dr Serena Musto

Serena Musto was born in Italy and has been working as a small animal veterinary surgeon for the past twelve years. What she enjoys the most about her job is teaching clients and discussing with colleagues about preventive care: “How do we best look after our furry mates considering the different stages of life?” She enjoys helping and supporting owners and their pets in making the right decisions during difficult or stressful moments with confidence, kindness and compassion. Serena has a special interest and has gained extensive experience in small animal medicine by working in several practices, hospitals and referral centres, in Spain and the UK. She completed a General Practitioner Certificate in small animal medicine in 2012. When it comes to how to interact with our pets, Serena started to practice and then teach staff and clients low-stress techniques to help reduce anxiety and fear-induced behaviours. Her aim is to give our pets what they need and deserve, by thinking from their perspective. They deserve a positive experience each time we interact with them. When she is not working, Serena enjoys cooking, baking, reading, gardening, learning new things and going out for walks.

Mandy Knight photo

Dr Mandy Knight

Mandy graduated from Murdoch University in Western Australia in 1994 and after her first position in country Victoria, came to the UK in 1996 and never quite left. She has always worked in companion animal practice and has a particular soft spot for cats, completing the GP Certificate in Feline Practice in 2010. She enjoys surgery and dentistry and considers herself a General Practitioner. Since selling the successful veterinary practice she founded 4 years ago, she has spent her time travelling and volunteering in between locum work. She lives with her lovely terrier-cross Ben who loves having her at home more, and Tess the cat who is OK with that too. Mandy joined FirstVet in November 2020.

Anita Guo

Dr Anita Guo

Anita grew up in sunny Australia and graduated from the University of Sydney in 2009. Anita started out working in first opinion practice in Newcastle and Sydney. She has worked in some of the leading specialist and referral hospitals in Sydney, including Animal Referral Hospital (medicine internship) and University of Sydney Veterinary Teaching Hospital (rotating internship). She has also worked as an emergency clinician for several years. Whilst working full time, she graduated with a Masters in Veterinary Clinical Studies with Murdoch University in 2015. She moved to the UK three years ago to travel extensively in Europe. Anita returned to teaching veterinary students at the Royal Veterinary College (Beaumont Sainsbury Animal Hospital) in between 2017 and 2019. She has since moved back to first opinion private practice, working as a locum in London. Anita particularly loves small animal internal medicine and emergency medicine but has a growing fondness for pain medicine having recently learnt how to do acupuncture. Anita lives with her husband and rescued exotic shorthair cat, Norman, who only has one eye. Outside of work, she enjoys cooking, reading, travel, and spending time with friends and family. Anita joined FirstVet in November 2020.

Victoria Philips photo

Dr Victoria Phillips

Victoria has been a veterinary surgeon since graduating from Liverpool in 2006. Most of her career so far has been focused on working with dogs and cats, and she obtained a certificate in Small Animal Medicine and Critical Care in 2014. Having worked in a busy 24h hospital for many years, Victoria has experience dealing with most types of emergencies as well as routine cases, she has also travelled to over 65 countries and volunteered in places like Ecuador, India and Thailand. Victoria joined FirstVet in December 2020.

Odile Sicouri photo

Dr Odile Sicouri

Odile graduated as a vet from university in Western Australia in 1993. In her early years she worked at the university vet school, both as a clinician in the Small Animal Teaching Hospital and as a tutor in animal ethics and welfare. After moving to the UK in 2004, Odile worked in a holistic practice in central London for 13 years and since then has locumed in multiple small animal practices and emergency 24 hour hospitals. Odile is passionate about education and to try to help empower owners when it comes to looking after their furry friends. Odile is currently studying to become a yoga therapist, specialising in both mental and physical health conditions. She hopes to use this training to support her colleagues and clients in tackling the many life challenges we face, in an ever changing world. In her spare time, Odile tries to embrace the cultural landscape of London, travelling when she can and spending time with her rescue cat, Leonard, who has been one of her best teachers. Odile joined FirstVet in February 2021.

Sue Dorey photo 1

Dr Sue Dorey

Sue qualified from Bristol University in the UK in 1984. She has over 36 years of experience caring for small animal pets and loves meeting new clients and their animals. Over the years she developed a particular interest in feline medicine and surgery and is at present studying the ISFM Advanced Feline Behaviour course. For the last ten years she has been mainly working in a cat clinic, the last two being Clinical Director. Sue also loves meeting other pet species. She has worked for the local R.S.P.C.A and another local general small animal practice, after moving South. Prior to this, Sue worked in clinics in London, including six years at a busy veterinary hospital seeing many emergency cases. She also worked for a spell at the S.P.C.A clinic in the Fiji Islands. Her spare time is spent kayaking and sea swimming in her local area, and making a fuss of her own cat, Colin. Sue joined FirstVet in February 2021.

firstvet vet

Dr Laura Stapleton

Laura qualified from Murdoch University in Western Australia in 2008. Since then, she has worked in first opinion small animal practice throughout the UK. Laura enjoys all aspects of medicine cases. She has a particular interest in pathology and dermatology, and has recently completed a Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice with a focus on dermatology. Outside of work, Laura loves to travel and is an ardent foodie. She is kept entertained by her three-legged guinea pig, Peggy, and enjoys getting lost in the countryside with her Border Collie, Freya. Laura joined FirstVet in April 2021.

firstvet vet

Dr Inês Nunes

Inês graduated in 2017, in Portugal. Her first interest was in parasitology and wildlife, both the subjects of her Master Degree. She started working in small animal practice shortly after graduation and continued to do so after moving to the UK in 2018. In 2019 she completed an acupuncture course and has been doing some work in this field too, mainly treating chronic pain. Inês strongly believes in bonding with her patients and she greatly values the relationship between owner and vet as an important part of any treatment. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, gardening, learning new things no matter how big or small and spending time with her family and her four rescues. Inês joined FirstVet in March 2021.

firstvet vet

Dr Jenny Sanders

Jenny qualified from the Royal Veterinary College in London in 2008 and has been working in first opinion small animal practice ever since. Jenny has worked in practices in Australia, Dubai and in various clinics within the UK. She has particular interest in feline medicine, oncology, dentistry and pain management. Jenny is passionate about helping owners to make the best, well informed decisions for their pets to be the healthiest and happiest they can be. Jenny joined FirstVet in April 2021.

Niquet Goldson photo

Dr Niquet Goldson

Niquet hails from the beautiful island of Jamaica. She qualified in 2010 from the University of the West Indies SVM in Trinidad. Since then has lived and worked in four countries, including the UK. Niquet has a keen interest in small animal emergency practice and this motivated her to begin a Post Graduate Certificate in Small Animal Emergency Practice, which she is currently doing. In her free time she loves a cuddle with her rescue babies, dogs, Enchi and Ava, and cat, Kenya. Niquet joined FirstVet in May 2021.

firstvet vet

Dr Maybelle Loh

Maybelle graduated from the University of Edinburgh Vet School in 2015. She is originally from Singapore but has since made the UK her home. Prior to studying veterinary medicine she also graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences (cellular and molecular biology). Maybelle has worked in small animal practice since graduation. She is particularly interested in internal medicine, geriatric medicine and pain management. During her free time, Maybelle is kept busy by her young family and a cat, called Peanut, whom she adopted a month into starting her first job! Maybelle joined FirstVet in May 2021. She looks forward to meeting you and your ‘paw-some’ family member to help them the best she can.

firstvet vet

Dr Henrietta Argent

Since graduating from the Royal Veterinary College in 2016, Henrietta has worked in small animal practices around London both full-time and as a locum. She has also worked for some small animal charities and has always had a love of exotic animals! In order to further her veterinary knowledge, Henrietta undertook a small animal rotating internship at the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals at the Royal Veterinary College from June 2019 to June 2020. During this time, she also completed a post-graduate diploma in veterinary clinical practice. As part of the internship, Henrietta undertook emergency phone consults during the Coronavirus pandemic. In my spare time she loves to bake, read and walk her three dogs. Henrietta joined FirstVet in May 2021.

firstvet vet

Dr Cindy Blick

Cindy graduated from Murdoch University in sunny Western Australia back in 1999. She worked nights at a busy 24 hour Emergency Veterinary Hospital while studying, and for 2 years after graduation. Cindy then headed to the UK on a working holiday so she could “get the travel bug out of her system” before settling down in Australia. Three visas later, she still has the travel bug, and has settled permanently in the UK! She has worked as a small animal vet in the North, South, East and West of England, as well as in Northern Ireland. Cindy now lives in Lancashire with her black cat Rameses III, who came in as a stray hit-by-car, and stole her heart. When she is not working as a vet, Cindy likes to play the cello, or travel the world. Her veterinary interests have led her to volunteer with sea lions in Australia, sled dogs in Alaska, young national vets in Mongolia, a dog shelter in Romania and the SPCA in Fiji. Cindy joined FirstVet in May 2021.

firstvet vet

Dr Cathy Thomson

Cathy qualified from the University of Liverpool in summer 2002, and immediately went to Thailand to participate in a stray dog neutering and wildlife conservation project. This meant that her first official patient after becoming a qualified vet was a sun bear! After returning, and spending a year in practice in the West Midlands, she has been working in small animal practice in the south-east of England since 2004. She was nominated for Petplan Vet of the Year on several occasions from 2013 onwards, and was a member of the winning veterinary practice team for Petplan Practice of the Year in 2018. She was also south-east Chair and trustee of a veterinary charity (BSAVA), which organises CPD - Continuing Education - for vets. In her leisure time she is at the beck and call of her four rescue cats, and enjoys walking, Pilates, gardening, and catching up with friends. Cathy joined FirstVet in May 2021.

firstvet vet

Dr Natasha Williams

Natasha qualified from the Royal Veterinary College, London in 2015. She went on to complete their Small Animal Rotating Internship in the university hospital for 12 months, before entering first opinion small animal practice in London. Natasha then moved to North Wales to continue working in small animal practice, both first opinion and emergency work. She has started a Certificate with the University of Liverpool in Dermatology, and also particularly enjoys soft tissue surgery and dentistry. Natasha joined FirstVet in May 2021.

firstvet vet

Dr Mila Iesanu

Mila graduated as a vet in 2017 in Ghent, Belgium. A few months later she moved to Scotland where she works as a small animal vet in Edinburgh and its surroundings. Her favourite part of being a vet is the chance to witness the bond between pets and their humans and the richness this unique relationship brings to our lives. Consulting online adds the extra joy of seeing pets fully at ease in their own home. Mila joined FirstVet in May 2021. Besides consulting, she applied her unusual combination of a veterinary and a linguistics degree to writing and editing a number of FirstVet website articles.

firstvet vet

Dr Kirra Balmanno

Kirra graduated from the University of Queensland in 2013 and began her career in a small animal clinic in Melbourne, Australia. Her lust for adventure and passion for ultra/mountain running had her buy a one-way ticket to the UK in 2016 where she shared her time between her London-based veterinary locum company and the mountains, especially the Swiss Alps and the Himalayas of Nepal. Along with being a passionate veterinarian, she loves to explore the world through endurance running and competes at an international level. Kirra loves that FirstVet allows her to live her dreams of extending her knowledge and skills to help animals and pet owners while also allowing her to get outside and explore!

firstvet vet

Dr Luis Sousa

Luis graduated with a Masters Degree in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Porto in 2018 after a research project in collaboration with Swansea University. He has been living in Wales ever since, from busy hospital practice to more quiet branch work, always exploring and improving his interest in medicine. Luis speaks English and Portuguese, and he promises he is working on his Welsh. In his spare time you can find him in the kitchen, brewing, or still in front of his laptop. Luis joined FirstVet in May 2021.

firstvet vet

Dr Liz Jolley

Liz graduated from the University of Bristol in 2015 and has been in clinical practice ever since. Her goal was always to become a general practitioner allowing her to do a little bit of everything. Liz has been fortunate to work with some fantastic specialists in medicine, surgery, imaging and emergency care over the years. Though she loves all aspects of the job, Liz is particularly interested in canine epilepsy and avian medicine. In her spare time, she enjoys being out in the countryside or at home with her pet dogs, cats, chickens, turkeys, ducks, pigeons and fish. Liz joined FirstVet in May 2021.

firstvet vet

Dr Miriam de Feu

Miriam graduated veterinary medicine from University College Dublin prior to studying veterinary medicine she completed an undergraduate degree in agricultural science, specialising in Animal Science. Miriam was awarded a walsh fellowship scholarship to complete her research masters in embryology and nutrition in dairy cows in conjunction with Teagasc. She has been practicing as a veterinarian in the UK since 2015 working as an equine, mixed and small animal practitioner. Miriam is currently completing a small animal medicine certificate with the university of Liverpool. At home Miriam enjoys looking after her six horses and seven rescued cats as well as hiking and taking part in marathons and triathlons. Miriam joined FirstVet in May 2021.

firstvet vet

Dr Elena Muzzoni

Elena completed her veterinary medicine degree at the University of Parma, Italy in 2003. Since then she has been dedicated to small animal medicine and developed a keen interest in dermatology, oncology and gastroenterology. In 2011 she completed a PhD in Immunology with a dissertation about the side effects of chemotherapy. During this period she worked in the Pathology Department at the University of Parma, diving deep into the field of cytology. Elena can give owner’s information about lumps that are commonly found on pets, and whether it is benign or malignant by looking at samples under the microscope. Cytology skills help her to implement her knowledge in dermatology and oncology too. Since September 2004 Elena has been working in Italy as clinician, in both first opinion and referral practices. In June 2015 she moved to England to learn English and new vet skills. Elena currently works in a busy first opinion practice in the North East area. In the near future she is planning to obtain a certificate in canine and feline nutrition to be able to give advice regarding the best way to feed your pet. She can not wait to offer her experience to help your little fur friends. In her spare time she loves walking on the Moor, reading books and spending time with her lovely crazy rabbit, Gino Pino. Elena joined FirstVet in May 2021.

firstvet vet

Dr Viktoria Tsari

Viktoria has been a practicing small animal vet in the UK for eight years. Viktoria completed a AFAVP and BSAP at the Royal Veterinary College and is currently finishing a PgCert in small animal surgery with Improve International at Harper's University. She is passionate about surgery and has an increasing interest in soft tissue surgery. Independent hospitals and leading corporate clinics offered Viktoria a lot of internal medicine experience as well as surgical. She is currently working as a locum vet in the London area and enjoying a new form of vet-client communication in veterinary telemedicine. Viktoria joined FirstVet in May 2021.

firstvet vet

Dr Maggie Doherty

Maggie completed her veterinary degree with Honours at the University of Wroclaw, Poland in 2003. Immediately following graduation, Maggie pursued a career in the UK, working with a number of quality first opinion, hospital and emergency veterinary providers. Her interests are small animal general internal medicine, soft tissue surgery, diagnostics and critical care patients. Maggie completed a postgraduate Certificate in Small Animal Medicine in 2018 and achieved Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Advanced Practitioner status in 2021. Maggie has run her own highly successful surgery in the UK. Maggie has developed a broad network in the veterinary profession and is well respected by both clients and colleagues for her dedication to welfare and patient outcomes. Maggie joined FirstVet in May 2021.

firstvet vet

Dr Ioana Junquera

Ioana graduated in 2004 from the University of León, Spain. Since then she has practiced veterinary medicine in a wide variety of situations, from wildlife centres in Spain, to volunteering with street dogs in the Indian Himalayas. Ioana has been working as a vet in the UK for the last 17 years. Ioana has a keen interest in exotic species, and also enjoys abdominal ultrasonography and soft tissue surgery. In her free time, she likes watching movies, travelling and exploring new places with her daughter. They live with Tashi the cat, Ramón the tortoise, and seven fish. Ioana joined FirstVet in June 2021.

firstvet vet rebekah

Dr Rebekah Dudek

Rebekah graduated from the Royal Veterinary College, London in 2007. After initially working as an exotics vet across Southern Africa where lions and elephants were frequently her patients of the day, she returned to the UK where she has worked in both general practice and referral hospitals for the last 11 years. Focussing her time now in small animal medicine she has developed a keen interest in the fields of Emergency and Critical Care, Neurology and Dermatology. She loves the variety of cases and creatures that veterinary work brings and is dedicated to providing the best standards of care for both her patients, and clients alike. Rebekah joined FirstVet in June 2021.

firstvet vet

Dr Cecilia Vieira

Cecilia graduated in Lisbon, Portugal in 2005. Soon after her qualification she moved to the UK where she works with companion animals. She holds a Certificate in Diagnostic Imaging and has worked in the Midlands and the South East, both in small practices and busy 24-hour hospitals over the last 15 years. She was also a consultant for an RSPCA shelter. Cecilia has a keen interest in diagnostics and internal medicine of cats and dogs and loves helping pets and owners reach the best outcome possible. In her spare time, she enjoys travelling with her young family, yoga and playing the piano. Cecilia joined FirstVet in June 2021.

Screenshot 20210702 162137 Facebook

Dr Carina Rocha

Carina qualified from the University of Tras-os-Montes e Alto Douro, North of Portugal in 2010. Since then, she has been working in small animal general practice. She has a wide range of interests, including internal medicine, feline medicine, and ultrasonography. Carina is also an Official Vet (OV) for Small Animal Export Certification. Carina regularly volunteers as a veterinary surgeon in Cape Verde islands, Africa. She speaks Portuguese, Spanish, a bit of French and of course English. In her spare time, she likes to spend time travelling and reading. Carina joined FirstVet June 2021.

firstvet vet

Dr Blaise Callan

Blaise graduated from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Košice in 2016 and has been working as a small animal veterinarian in the UK for the last 5 years. She has a passion for shelter medicine and has done volunteer work at shelters in Nicaragua, Nepal and Thailand. She has a special interest in dermatology and passing on her tips and tricks for keeping skin happy and healthy. Blaise has two dogs of her own that she has adopted from Romania and a very special cat that she rescued here in the UK. When she’s not working hard to help keep pets healthy, she enjoys hiking, camping and yoga. Blaise joined FirstVet in July 2021.

Jelena FirstVet vet

Dr Jelena Pearce

Jelena qualified from the University of Liverpool in 2007. She spent the first few years of her career working with 'all creatures great and small' before concentrating on companion animals for the past decade. She has a passion for being a GP vet and enjoys working with her clients to ensure the best day-to-day care of their pets, with a special interest in the management of chronic conditions in older patients. She also enjoys soft tissue surgery. Her own pets mean the world to her, and she loves nothing better than walking in the Mendips or Brecon Beacons with her dogs. Jelena joined FirstVet in September 2021.

Aneta FirstVet vet

Dr Aneta Duszak-Kowal

After graduating in Lublin, Poland, in 2002 Aneta moved to the UK to study feline medicine. While working in a small animal practice, she gained a GP Certificate in Feline Medicine. Two years later, in 2010, she obtained a GP Certificate in Ophthalmology. In 2018 she passed the board exam to become a member of Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (MANZCVS Feline Chapter) and joined the Academy of Feline Practitioners (accredited by International Society of Feline Medicine). In 2020 Aneta spent several months working in a first and second opinion hospital in Falun, Sweden, which allowed her to exchange the experience with the Swedish colleagues, especially in the field of antibiotic stewardship, in which she holds a special interest. In her free time, Aneta loves reading, running and travelling with her husband and 11 year old son. Her two cats, Sally and Caramel, kindly allow the whole family to live in their house in Surrey. Aneta joined FirstVet in August 2021.

Jo FirstVet behaviourist

Jo Whitehead - Registered Clinical Animal Behaviourist

Jo is a Registered Clinical Animal Behaviourist (CAB / ABTC) and a full member of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC). She has worked with and studied cats, dogs and a variety of other animals. Jo has been actively involved in animal behaviour and welfare research for over 17 years. Having begun her training as a veterinary nurse with the PDSA, she then went on to gain her PhD in Biology (Animal Behaviour and Physiology) from York University in 2002. In 2016 she did further studies with Newcastle University on their MSc in Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare. Jo has been running a successful behaviour consultancy service since 2014. She is a keen advocate of positive training methods and strongly believes that flexibility, adaptability and understanding are key to helping people achieve a happy and positive relationship with their pets. Jo is looking forward to meeting you and your pets.

Joan Burke photo

Dr Joan Burke

Joan graduated from Warsaw University of Life Sciences in 2016. Originally from the west of Ireland, she has practiced as a small animal veterinary surgeon in the UK since 2016. Joan works in both first opinion practice and 24-hour emergency critical hospital care. She completed her RCVS Advanced Practitioner Qualification with focus on small animal Dermatology in 2020, but also enjoys other aspects of veterinary medicine including ophthalmology, soft tissue surgery and oncology. Joan is also an Official Vet for Small Animal Export Certification. Joan spends the majority of her spare time exploring the UK countryside with her two Irish Setters and when life allows for it, she enjoys travelling to experience new cultures and places. Joan joined FirstVet in August 2020 and is excited to help pet owners in a new innovative way.

Sally Ashbridge photo

Dr Sally Ashbridge

Sally qualified as a vet from the University of Cambridge in 1989, having graduated with a BSc in Physiology from the University of Liverpool beforehand. In 2015 she gained a Masters degree in Applied Animal Behaviour & Welfare from Newcastle University. This has opened up a whole new dimension to practising as a vet, making it even more rewarding. Sally likes all aspects of small animal medicine, but particularly enjoys using her experience of working for a specialist veterinary behaviour practice to help people understand their dogs better and to manage quality of life in older pets. Away from work, Sally enjoys cycling, walking and camping in the mountains with friends and family. She is looking forward to working with the team at FirstVet to help more pets and their families. Sally joined FirstVet in September 2021.

Rachel Sant

Dr Rachel Sant

Rachel qualified from the Royal Veterinary College, University of London in 1992. She has worked in multiple practices in the South of England, and spent 19 years working in Kent before moving to Devon with her husband and Willow, the tabby cat, in 2019. Rachel has a special interest and further qualifications in dermatology and feline medicine. In her spare time Rachel enjoys yoga and playing tennis. Rachel Sant joined FirstVet in October 2021.

Hannah James photo

Dr Hannah James

Hannah graduated from University of Glasgow in 2012 and has worked in multiple practices across the UK. She achieved a certificate in small animal surgery in 2017. Hannah has a particular interest in soft tissue and laparoscopic surgery. Outside of work she likes to explore the countryside with her family and cocker spaniel. Hannah joined FirstVet in October 2021.

Michelle Berkert photo

Dr Michelle Beckert

Michelle achieved an undergraduate degree in neuroscience from Smith College in the USA before attending the Royal Veterinary College in London. She qualified in 2009 and completed the rotating Internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at Dick White Referrals in 2011. Michelle always knew she would work with small animals and has developed a keen interest in Internal Medicine and Diagnostic Imaging. She lives in beautiful North Norfolk with her partner and their dog, Bonzo, who is the most popular member of the household! She finds the connection between an owner and patient paramount and the relationship between a vet and their client in service to this. Michelle joined FirstVet in October 2021.

Simoné Weideman photo

Dr Simoné Weideman

Simoné qualified from the University of Pretoria in South Africa in 2007. She worked in small animal clinical practice in South Africa for 7 years before braving the move across the equator... and her first Yorkshire winter. She has continued working as a small animal clinician and, in her spare time, she is trying to master the art of archery. Preventative healthcare is something she feels strongly about as it forms the cornerstone of ensuring optimal health and well being for all our pets through the different life stages. Simoné joined FirstVet in October 2021.

Lucinda Dovey

Dr Lucinda Dovey

Lu graduated from Liverpool in 2007, having previously gained a Zoology degree there. After a short time in mixed practice, the last 13 years have been spent in Small Animal practice. Lu has an interest in both medicine and surgery and also acupuncture. She particularly enjoys looking after the clients and interacting with the pets. Lu lives in Wiltshire with her husband and two little boys who keep her busy! Over the years they have had a cat, four dogs, exotic pheasants, chickens, hamsters, fish, guinea pigs and a rabbit. With their love of animals and the outdoors, one day they hope to have their dream of a small holding! Lu enjoys spending her spare time at their allotment, in the countryside, at the beach and keeping fit. Lu joined FirstVet in October 2021.

Sabrina Ramsey photo

Dr Sabrina Ramsey

Sabrina qualified from the University of Liverpool in 2014. Since then she has worked both within private practice and the charity sector. Sabrina currently works in a busy small animal practice in Clacton on Sea. She enjoys all elements of internal medicine and has a keen interest in animal behaviour. She is currently undertaking a degree in canine aggression. Outside of work Sabrina enjoys walking by the coast, dancing, sketching and reading. She has a spoiled black and white rescue cat called Jefferson. Sabrina’s family have also recently rescued a husky; he is lovely but certainly keeps her on her toes! Sabrina joined FirstVet in October 2021.

Danielle Mac Gill photo

Dr Danielle MacGill

Danielle graduated from Glasgow university in 2017. She then moved south to the small rural town of Barnard Castle to work, initially in a mixed but mainly small animal practice. After two and a half years she then moved up to Morpeth and now works in a first opinion small animal practice in Newcastle. She has a keen interest in surgery and emergency medicine as well as ophthalmology and is currently working towards her CertAVP in small animal surgery with the university of Liverpool. In her spare time Danielle can be found running or walking her lurcher through the Northumberland countryside, or spending time with her three cats and her little old rescue African pygmy hedgehog. Danielle joined First Vet in October 2021.

Peter Higgins photo

Dr Peter Higgins

Peter has been a vet for over 30 years. He hails from Australia and has worked in a variety of practices. Before moving to the UK, Peter was a tutor in the School of Veterinary Science at The University of Sydney teaching, and demonstrating to veterinary students. He has written two books on pet care He has his own pet YouTube channel and has appeared regularly in Australian media talking or writing about animal care. Peter has lived with a menagerie of animals during his time including rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, ducks, chickens, dogs and cats of course, and horses. He even had an ant farm… until the day of the great escape. Since moving to the UK, he has worked in a variety of companion animal clinics in London. Peter is also an Official Veterinarian for the Animal and Plant Health Agency of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. In Australia Peter also worked at two charity clinics which provided veterinary services for homeless and other disadvantaged people and their pets. As well as dogs and cats, Peter has worked with and treated a wide variety of animals including tortoises, snakes, hamsters, rabbits, guinea pigs, gerbils, and of course koalas and kangaroos. He is a Fellow of the Zoological Society of London and currently a Trustee of the Society. Outside of veterinary medicine and surgery Peter is an avid sports fan and in particular rugby union, cricket, and athletics. Currently Peter has two German Pinschers called Heidi and Kaiser and a cat called Tilly. Don’t forget to say “G’day” if you are talking to Peter at FirstVet.

Joe Clarke photo

Dr Joseph Clarke

Originally from the North East of England, Joe made the trip further North to Edinburgh University for his veterinary studies. Here, he met his wife, who is also a vet, before moving back to Newcastle. Since then Joe has worked in small animal practice for seven years before our recent move to London. Joe is determined to ensure that owners can enjoy a healthy and happy bond with their pet, through ongoing reassurance, clinical care and advice. Joe now has a family of five, with two black cats (Nobu & Shimokitazawa) & a red footed tortoise (Ho Wan, or “Lucky One” in Cantonese!). Joe’s in-laws live in Hong Kong. He and his wife enjoy travelling to be with them, hiking and cold water swimming. Joe is also studying for a MSc in Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine on a part time basis, furthering his passion for understanding the interconnections between human, animal and environmental health. Joe joined FirstVet in November 2021.

Janet Bain photo

Dr Janet Bain

Janet returned to the UK after graduating as a Veterinary Surgeon from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Košice, Slovakia in 2017. She has worked in both general practice and emergency and critical care, as well as completing a rotating internship at a referral hospital. She is currently undergoing the examination process to become qualified in the United States. Janet has a Persian cat named Cindy, who grew up travelling between Slovakia and Austria but now enjoys long naps on the windowsill. She is looking forward to helping pets and their owners in a stress free environment. Janet joined FirstVet in November 2021.

Sarah Philips photo

Dr Sarah Phillips

Sarah graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2009 after first completing a BSc honours degree in Animal Science. Since graduation she has been working entirely within small animal first opinion private practice. Sarah is currently a part time locum for an independent practice in the Midlands. She enjoys all aspects of practice life but has real interests in dermatology and reproductive medicine. Sarah is currently undertaking a certificate and further studies in Small Animal Internal Medicine. When not working, she is kept busy with her four young children and menagerie of her own pets. Sarah adores dogs, has quite a few of her own and owns a small flock of hens. She looks forward to meeting you and your amazing animals! Sarah joined FirstVet in December 2021.

Screenshot 2021 12 13 at 14 57 24

Dr Emma Foster

Emma graduated from The University of Edinburgh in 2015. She started her career in London, working in several large hospitals as a companion animal day and a dedicated night vet. After a three month sabbatical, enjoying life in Europe, she returned to work in Cornwall where she currently lives and locums full time. She has a particular for all things dental, ultrasound and medical. Emma is currently studying towards a further qualification in Internal Medicine. Outside of work, she has her hands full with Inca and Winston, the dogs, and sassy Domestic Short Hair (DSH), Edwina Sheeran! She loves to cook, eat and go for long beach walks on the weekends. Emma joined FirstVet in December 2021.

Vanessa Persson

Dr Vanessa Persson

After growing up in Ireland and then on a farm in Eswatini, Vanessa graduated from the University of Glasgow 20 years ago. After 2 years in practice, she completed a Masters in Tropical Veterinary Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. Vanessa has practiced as a vet in both in the UK and South Africa. Initially she worked in mixed practice and then for the last ten years has owned and run her own small animal clinic. During her lengthy career Vanessa has learnt to appreciate the depth and importance of the bond between her clients and their pets. She endeavours to always take the time to understand her clients concerns and worries before attempting to give caring, sensible advice, or appropriate treatment. Vanessa is currently working toward a Masters in One Health at the University of Glasgow. She has a special interest in emerging zoonotic diseases and antimicrobial resistance which are both topics covered in this course. When not studying she enjoys spending time with her two young children and husband, camping, trail running and hiking. Vanessa joined FirstVet in December 2021.

Screenshot 2022 10 31 at 15 23 05

Jo Wriglesworth

Jo began her career with a degree in psychology followed by an MSc in Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare from the University of Edinburgh in 2005. She trained as a Puppy School tutor and taught puppy classes for twelve years and was the North West area manager. Since 2006 she has been helping owners of dogs and cats in her own behaviour practice. In 2018 she moved to Dogs Trust and worked in Post Adoption support where she provided behaviour advice to over four thousand rescue dog owners. Jo joined Firstvet in 2022 and enjoys helping all kinds of behaviour cases. She specialises in puppy problems, has lots of experience working with aggression, and particularly enjoys talking to owners about their cats! She lives with her daughter, two cats and two very cheeky house rabbits!

Iris web pic

Dr Iris Williams

Iris graduated at the University in Zagreb, Croatia in 2017. She relocated to the UK the same year and she has been working in a small animal practice since then. Currently she lives and works in a small animal and exotic animal practice in Stockholm where she has been focused on anesthesiology.Her main interest is internal medicine with a focus on dermatology, cardiology and dentistry.

Dimitrios profile pic

Dr Dimitrios Psemmas

Dr. Dimitrios Psemmas

Dimitrios has been a practising veterinary surgeon since 2014.

He has been helping patients in different clinics and parts of the country, gaining considerable experience along the way. He did academic research in Dermatology and recently became a partner in a private practice. Through his research, he studied Small Animal Dermatology at a deeper level and handled second-opinion cases.

He loves playing the piano to humans and pets, writing about pet health online and volunteering as a medical translator in Translators Without Borders.

As a vet and an advocate of the positive uses of technology, he joined FirstVet to help pets and their families further.

Ioana I bio pic

Dr Ioana Ion

Ioana graduated in 2014 from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Immediately after, she joined the animal charity (Emfodo Foundation) in Romania that provided veterinary medicine for stray dogs and cats and for those whose owners had a low income. She became RCVS in 2015 and completed an internship at Vale Vets in Dursley, UK.

With a calling to work as a charity vet she returned to Romania to provide veterinary medicine for animals and owners that were less fortunate.

Having a particular interest in feline medicine she is currently working towards the General Practitioner Certificate in Feline Practice with Improve International. She is also interested in small animal internal medicine, dermatology, anaesthesia and geriatric medicine.

Jennifer Owen profile pic

Dr Jennifer Owen

Jennifer graduated from the Royal Veterinary College, London in 1993. She initially worked with both horses and small animals. After having children, Jennifer moved to working solely in small animal practice. She enjoys all aspects of veterinary practice but particularly loves seeing pet chickens alongside the dog, cats and small furries.

In her spare time, Jennifer likes to go for long walks with her Labrador Jemima and is a keen horse rider.

Rosie profile pic

Dr Rosie Maddison

Rosie graduated as a vet from the University of Bristol in 2020 and also has a first class degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare Science. Since graduating, Rosie has worked in a variety of practices around London and enjoys all aspects of first opinion work, but especially delving into behaviour cases and working with her feline patients.

When she’s not working, Rosie is often found at comedy festivals, attempting various kinds of craft, or travelling. Her rescue cat, Gazpacho, is truly the one in charge of the house!

Malu profile pic

Dr Malu Cardenas

Malu qualified in 2015 and has been working as a veterinary surgeon for small animals and exotics both in the UK and abroad. Malu’s keen interests are neurology, behaviour and wellbeing in all species.

She has a passion for communication and likes the education side of consulting, in which she gets to spread her knowledge to the real people caring for real pets.

Malu loves to spend her spare time outdoors or creating art. She is passionate about making a difference in animal welfare and has collaborated with local charities, having volunteered as an artist and as a veterinarian.

Malu is currently studying to get her MSc degree on animal behaviour and welfare at the University of Edinburgh.

Lizzie Peck profi le pic

Dr Elizabeth Peck

Lizzie qualified from Cambridge university in 2018 and completed five years in mixed practice working in Norfolk, seeing a variety of cases and species!

Currently she works in a number of small animal practices, seeing both routine and emergency cases.

Lizzie enjoys the variety that working in veterinary medicine brings, with particular interests in medicine cases and inpatient care. Lizzie joined the Firstvet team in September 2023, when not working she enjoys walking her rescue dog, horse riding and gardening.

Image 6

Rebecca Hansler

Rebecca graduated from the Royal Veterinary College, London in 2011 and, after a months volunteering in India, has been working in small animal practice.She has just completed her Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice (Small Animal Medicine) at the University of Liverpool. Rebecca enjoys internal medicine consults and is also keen on diagnostic imaging.Outside of work she enjoy spending time with her 2 children and has 2 terriers and a ginger cat at home too.

With FirstVet, the vet clinic and pet shop are only one tap away. Get fast advice, trusted care and the right pet supplies – every day, all year round.


25 Horsell Road


N5 1XL