We recently spoke to Christel Caderius van Veen BVSc MRCVS from VetMobile UK to find out a bit more about the practice and the services they offer.
Hi Christel, tell us a little bit about yourself and your team.
I qualified from Bristol in 2002 and until 2020 worked at Castle vets in Reading, being part of the big team there. My main interests were pain management with a focus on acupuncture, and imaging with a heavy lean towards ultrasound, along with a passion for medicine/diagnostics. I was also a handy surgeon at times!
I’m a very dedicated amateur dressage rider, having ridden to Intermediate 1 level previously, I’m now aiming for Grand Prix one day in the distant future on a mare I bred myself.
Sarah comes to this quite fresh as a veterinary assistant, as she was a journalist prior to having a career break to start a family. Her grandfather was a vet and she has always had a keen interest in animals, and has quite a few pets! Sarah is very outdoorsy and the family love active holidays and being exercised by their dogs! She has really grown into the role and made it her own, and is a trusted ally and sounding board.
How new is the practice?
Brand new! We started on the road in January 2021. I had spent the previous six months getting organised to start up, and was doing some home visits for acupuncture after leaving Castle in November before we started for real.
What gave you the idea to start VetMobile?
I used to have a little side hustle about 12 years ago, doing home visit acupuncture – it was supposed to be horses but ended up being dogs. This lasted a few years, and eventually petered out as I had less spare time, but whilst doing this people used to ask if this or that could be done at the same time, and I realised there was quite a bit you could do at home with pets and they would be more relaxed in many cases. Fast forward to recent years and the corporate buyout of Castle changed how I felt at work, and over a year or two the idea to go mobile became a real thing.
Where can pet owners find you?
Head to our website for info on home visits and our regular pop up clinics, there is a map which shows where we cover: it’s a smallish area as we would like to spend less time driving than we do with the pets, though we will go slightly further afield for euthanasia whilst regular vets are not home visiting, and litters of puppies and kittens first vaccines etc (as it’s nicer and may be safer for them to have this done away from a clinic where the sick pets go). We post regular updates on availability, etc. via our social media posts but do try and keep the website updated fully too. Keeping an eye on our Facebook is the best way to see what we are up to! The website has loads of info about our services.
What services do you offer?
Pretty much anything except hospitalisation, proper surgery (we will do minor wound stitch ups etc) and X-rays! We have a blood machine and an ultrasound scanner on board, can culture ear skin and urine samples to check for infection, and have an external lab to send samples to if needed.
Think of us like the GP surgery – able to offer quite a rounded service but for the big stuff you’d go to the hospital. We are quite happy to send notes to local vets or referral centres as needed. Working with local practices is ideal, as then the clients get the best of all worlds.
What is the best way for pet owners to get in touch?
Registered owners tend to call, email, text or WhatsApp for the most rapid responses. One of the unusual things about our service is they get straight to the vet for advice which in many cases means we can help from a distance. We regularly take calls from people and talk to them about their pets. We can only see registered clients, though we do understand that sometimes we need to register someone quickly and we will do our best. There is a registration form on the website, we do ask that people check the map to ensure we can come to them, as many people from out of area register and then we have to let them down… if they have any questions they can just call, and we will do our best to chat – but obviously not if we are with someone!
Visit www.vetmobile.co.uk for more information.