At Mintlaw Vet Surgery, our nurses play a very important role in the smooth running of the practice.  Currently, we have four fully qualified vet nurses, Laura, Linda, Nicky and Kirsty.  The nurses see clients for a number of free clinics, and are also responsible for admitting and discharging patients for surgery.  They see clients for minor procedures such as nail clipping, anal glands, microchipping, blood samples and suture removal.  In addition, Laura is a qualified pet arthritis counsellor.
When you bring your pet in for a scheduled operation or procedure of any kind, you will usually find it is the nurse who will see you.  The nurse will check you understand the operation your pet is about to have, the estimated costs, and answer any queries you have.  You will be given an appointment to collect your pet later in the day, and the nurse will discharge them, and discuss any post operative instructions with you.  If needed, they will make another appointment for your pet to come back and have any stitches removed.
We know that the first year of a puppy's life is full of change, and new (and experienced) owners often have lots of questions.  We offer a FREE monthly nurse appointment until your dog is a year old.  During this appointment, your puppy will be weighed to ensure they are growing properly, and a check kept on any problems or questions you have.  The nurses will give you advice on feeding, weight gain (or loss!), teething, socialisation, and once your pup is a bit older, advice on neutering.  Just as importantly, the nurse clinics allow your puppy to come to the vets once a month, get used to coming in and being 'fussed over', meaning that they will be less stressed coming to the vets later in life.
Once your puppy has been fully vaccinated, it is important that they have as many new experiences as possible.  Part of these new experiences is socialising with other puppies to learn how to meet and greet, and of course how to play!  Our nurses run puppy socialisation classes outside over the summer, where puppies can come along and meet others their age, have fun, and maybe even learn a thing or two at the same time.  In the winter, these classes are held within the surgery.  There is a small charge for these classes.
It is a fact that many of our pets have problems with their teeth.  In some cases, anaesthetic is required so your pet can have a 'dental', which may include a scale and polish, or even some extractions depending on the degree of the problem.  Following these, the nurses will invite your pet after two months for a FREE dental check, to ensure that all the good work doesn't go to waste!  If there are no problems, then further checks are carried out every six months.  They will be able to give advice on teeth cleaning and products to keep plaque at bay, and hopefully delay or prevent any further dental treatment in the future.  If you think your pet has problems with their teeth, then the nurse will be happy to advise you.
As we all know, as we get older, it is much easier to put on weight, and your pet is no different.  Whether caused by less exercise, the wrong diet, or hormonal changes caused by neutering, many pets are susceptible to weight gain as they age.  Our nurses run FREE weight clinics to address these issues. 

Following neutering, all pets are invited back for a weight check every 2 months.  This allows you to keep a check on your pet's weight and to notice any weight gain early.  The nurses will advise you on diet, which may mean a change in feeding amount, or even a change in food, to keep your pet in good body condition.

The nurses also run a weight watcher clinic for pets who may have more weight to lose.  Again, they will weigh your pet on a regular basis, and give you advice on diet.  The aim is to help your pet to reach and maintain a good body weight, which will help them to live a longer, healthier life.
If you suspect your pet may have diabetes or arthritis, then you should arrange a vet check.  If either of these is confirmed, then the nurse will take an active role in helping you manage your pets condition.  Every six months the nurse will see you for a clinic and discuss lifestyle changes and ways to help your pet.  You will still see the vet on a six monthly basis in between, and this balance of ensures your pet gets the best possible care.