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Vet student and pony

Vet students get hands-on experience

11th February 2022

This January our veterinary team hosted two students from Surrey Vet School as part of its first equine charity elective.

Jasmine Bunn and Katie McCauley have been working under the watchful eye of our Veterinary Advisor Jeremy Kemp-Symonds, as well as with the farriers, the dentist, and some of the equine care teams.

Dr Kemp-Symonds said: “Equine welfare in all areas of horse care is an important consideration and vets really need to be confident with what is and what isn’t acceptable. The student’s experience with us, and some of the other large equine welfare charities taking part, will really help them in their careers, as it’s likely they will be called to welfare cases once they qualify.

“Equally, equine welfare within a charity such as ours is very much about judging an animal’s quality of life. Euthanasia of horses is something that affects everyone and as vets we need to be confident in our decision making around that.”

Before they arrived, the students were asked to choose four areas of horse care they felt would be beneficial to them.

Jasmine chose, dentistry, radiography, gastro-nasal tubing and taking blood samples.

She said: “It’s been great to see so many horses and put into practice what I’ve learnt in the classroom over the past four years. Taking x-rays and inserting gastric-nasal tubes was something I really hadn’t been able to do but, since being at Bransby Horses I’ve been able to get hands-on experience of this and much more.

“I’ve really enjoyed being at Bransby Horses and the team here have been so helpful.”

Dr Karen Moore, Veterinary Teaching Fellow at Surrey University has been the driving force behind this collaboration.

She said: “I feel passionately that the welfare of our animals and their quality of life should underpin all of our veterinary decisions. For students to have the opportunity to work with the fantastic charities involved in this elective and benefit from their years of knowledge is so valuable.

“A lot of vets can be worried about welfare work as the legislation involved often only forms a small part of the curriculum. My hope is now these students will enter the profession with a knowledge of how the law works and how to collaborate with charities to achieve the best results for the horses, ponies and donkeys under their care.”

This is the first time a veterinary university has offered an equine charity elective and it is hoped Bransby Horses will be able to offer the same opportunities to many more equine vets of the future.

To find out more about studying veterinary medicine at Surrey Vet school visit www.surrey.ac.uk