A NEW Cardiff veterinary hospital has become the first practice in Wales to be awarded gold level rabbit clinic status.
Valley Veterinary Hospital in Gwaelod y Garth has a dedicated, state-of-the art clinic just for avian and exotic patients, which includes rabbits, as well as guinea pigs, reptiles, parrots and birds of prey.
The award from the Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund (RWAF) has been granted to only a small number of practices across the UK.
Tariq Abou-Zahr, a certificate holder in Zoological Medicine, heads Valley Veterinary Hospital’s avian and exotic clinic and says the award of the gold status from the RWAF is a major achievement.
“We are proud to be the only veterinary facility in Wales to have the gold level rabbit clinic status,” he said.
“To achieve the status we had to prove we had the facilities, personnel and veterinary expertise to care for rabbits. We have a separate waiting room, dedicated ward area and walk in enclosures to provide a comfortable environment for rabbits who are with us.
“We strive to offer a first-class level of care, not just to rabbits, but to all exotic species, and will continue to work hard to improve the welfare of all animals under our care.”
Common rabbit illnesses and diseases that require treatment are dental disease, digestion problems and parasitic infections.
Valley Veterinary Hospital was officially opened last month by the Lord Mayor of Cardiff, Councillor Daniel De’Ath, at an open day where visitors had the chance to see how an empty warehouse had been transformed into a state-of-the-art veterinary hospital, providing 24-hour care, seven days a week.
Facilities include ten consult rooms, six operating theatres, a hydrotherapy unit, a physiotherapy service, dental suite, CT scanner, ultrasound, diagnostic endoscopy, keyhole surgery and two x-ray suites.
Tariq, who grew up in Cardiff before studying in Bristol, holds the RCVS Certificate of Advanced Veterinary Practice (CertAVP) in Zoological Medicine. He has also completed the European College of Zoological Medicine (ECZM-Avian) training program and is on his way to achieving a European Diploma in Zoological Medicine.
Valley Vets is part of VetPartners which has built up a strong base of small animal, equine, mixed and farm practices in the UK. Valley Vets has four existing sites in Cardiff, Ystrad Mynach, Caerphilly and Pentyrch.