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Border Collie Becomes Lockdown Video Star For Kentdale

7 months ago

28th April, 2021 09h27

Linnaeus Group

A pet project at a leading small animal hospital in Cumbria has proved a resounding success in maintaining treatment for sick and injured pets during lockdown.

The Linnaeus-owned Kentdale Referrals, in Milnthorpe, recruited five-year-old border collie Nell to star in physiotherapy demonstrations during video consultations with owners.

Nell is the pet of Kentdale’s expert veterinary physiotherapist Eugenie Wilcocks, who has helped provide the perfect solution to support the specialist-led referral centre in continuing to provide much-needed video consults in lieu of clients and patients not being able to enter the hospital during lockdown.

Eugenie, a member of the National Association of Veterinary Physiotherapists (NAVP) and Register of Animal Musculoskeletal Practitioners (RAMP), said: “We introduced video consultations to ensure that we could continue to provide a physiotherapeutic service to our patients during lockdown.

“I quickly realised that the ‘hands on’ massage and exercise demonstrations which I would normally perform on patients, to help owners fully understand how to perform these on their pets at home, would be difficult to achieve during virtual consultations.

“As Nell was used to being massaged and loves any extra fuss, the idea of bring Nell in to our Kentdale team as my ‘demonstration dog’ was the perfect solution through which to provide virtual demonstrations to our pet owners.  

“It worked really well. Nell enjoyed the massage demonstrations and loved partaking in the exercises, as they are all treat-based to encourage accurate movement and reward correct execution.

“Having Nell as part of the virtual consultation has been a lovely ice-breaker and provided a fantastic visual aid, although there were a few teething problems with clients occasionally struggling to see exactly where I was placing my hands as her black coat looked very 2D on screen!

“Perfecting the laptop camera angles was tricky in the beginning and sometimes owners could only see a dangling back leg or half of both our heads.

“Whilst a very cooperative ‘colleague’, every now and then after a long day at work Nell would sometimes lose interest and go ‘on strike’ or, worst of all, fall asleep on her back with her legs in the air behind me!”

Whilst filming with a pet as your co-host may have had its teething issues for Eugenie the video consultations have proved popular with Kentdale clients and so Nell’s online career looks set to continue providing video demonstrations for pet owners, beyond lockdown restrictions.

Eugenie graduated with a BSc (Hons) degree in veterinary physiotherapy from Harper Adams University. Her passion for working with animals, coupled with a keen scientific interest, led her to train as a veterinary physiotherapist and into a career focused on improving animal health, welfare and performance.

She joined Kentdale Referrals in July 2019, providing a wide range of therapies to treat multiple orthopaedic and neurological conditions.

These include manual therapy, myofascial and trigger point release, Class 4 laser therapy, Therapeutic Ultrasound, Shockwave therapy, TENS and NMEs therapy, Photizo therapy, joint mobilisation and stretching, and creating home exercise programmes consisting of remedial exercises. Eugenie is also a keen advocate of hydrotherapy.

Kentdale Referrals is a specialist-led practice offering expert services in diagnostic imaging, arthroscopy, laparoscopy, anaesthesia, infection control, orthopaedic surgery, spinal surgery, soft tissue surgery and physiotherapy.

For more information, visit or search for Kentdale Referrals on social media.

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