Everyone at our practice is committed to providing you with the very best in pet healthcare. Our devotion and dedication to caring for animals is evident in and outside of work and so our veterinary team bring a wealth of experience to the practice. They have individually obtained high standards of professional qualifications making them all best placed to contribute to the Braemar Veterinary standard we pride ourselves in delivering.

Shane Murray 

Kate Fitzpatrick 

Danielle Magill 

Owner of the Practice - Shane qualified from Glasgow University as a vet in 1997. He opened the doors of Braemar Veterinary Clinic in September 2005. He has practiced in England and Australia and thoroughly enjoys the thrills and challenges that come with running a veterinary practice. In his spare time, of which he doesn’t have much, he takes pleasure in the odd game of golf, reading, and jogging. He has a cat called Sue who resides at the clinic and keeps an eye on things.

Full-time Vet - Kate qualified in Edinburgh University in 1999 and came to star working in mixed animal practice before coming to Braemar in 2007.   Kate lives in Bangor with her daughter Ella and has two cats Monkey and Baggy who are regulars here at the Braemar cattery when Kate’s off on holidays.  Kate and Ella enjoy winter skiing and summer sailing.  In 2015 she was nominated for Vet of the Year in the prestigious Pet Plan Awards.

Danielle qualified from University College Dublin in 2005 and came to Braemar after working for six years in a mixed animal practice.  Danielle enjoys walking on the beaches close to her home with her Golden Labrador called Doris.  Last year she passed her small animal exams and is now Danielle Magill GP Cert (SAM) MRCVS.  Congratulations Danielle !

Judith Evans 

Lesley O’Neill 

Roisin McClenaghan 

Judith came to the Practice in 2013 following many years working in the health industry and a lifetime shared with animals.   The opportunity to work in a veterinary practice fits well with her passion for all things four legged!  She shares her home with a small menagerie of children, ponies dogs and cats and comes to work for a rest!

Lesley qualified as a veterinary nurse in 2008 at Greenmount College and has been working in mixed practice in Northern Ireland before coming to Braemar.  In 2015 Lesley was awarded the coveted Hills Veterinary Nurse of the Year.  Lesley has a particular interest in all things feline and loves caring for all the cats in our cattery.  When she’s not at Braemar you will find Lesley taking care of her horse Ben or chillaxing with her cats and little terrier Sally

Dog loving lady Roisin, qualified as a Veterinary Nurse at Greenmount College and has worked in veterinary practices in England and Northern Ireland, and is an experienced horse rider. She can’t imagine life without animals, and according to her mum, Roisi¬n has loved animals from childhood & has always had a house full of pets. The owner of doggies, Cara, Scrappy and specs, Roisin spends her free time gardening, playing football and walking her dog

It is not too far in the past that "ferreting" was a popular country occupation. In rabbit infested areas the use of nets and working ferrets gave the younger generation hours of harmless fun and often a tasty meal for the family afterwards. As habits and trends change the pet ferret population has diminished significantly. So of course has the rabbit population since Myxamatosis swept the UK.

The ferret is descended from the wild European polecat but many generations of breeding in a domestic environment has made the ferret into a very intelligent and rewarding pet that will provide hours and hours of fun. They come in a variety of colours from pure white (albino) to polecat. Like all animals they will develop trust in their owners if handled in a friendly and sympathetic way and are given clean and comfortable living quarters together with a suitable diet. They are not vicious animals but must be handled carefully and there are times (particularly during the breeding season) when ferrets like some privacy.

Regular handling from an early age establishes confidence and ferrets will learn very quickly. They can even be trained to walk on a lead and will live to about 10 years of age.

Like all intelligent furry animals they should not be spoilt and children should not be encouraged to let their ferrets roam unattended in the house. Ferrets are experts at hiding away in a dark corner or finding interesting areas to explore. Their sharp claws will quickly take them up the curtains and there is nothing more that a young ferret will enjoy than playing hide and seek. Being very small they can easily disappear for hours into a bed or down the back of a sofa.

What About The Odour?

Ferrets do have a distinctive odour and the male of the species particularly so! However, clean bedding at all times and attention to hygiene will greatly reduce any unpleasant smell. Keeping their fur clean and free of any fleas should be a daily routine.

Housing

Their cage should be stoutly built about 4 feet by 2 feet, a depth of 2 feet and have a private nesting/sleeping area out of view. It should have a roof that is waterproof and legs to keep it about 3 feet off the ground. It should be in a sheltered spot. A nesting area is particularly important for any breeding ferret as they are very sensitive to having their young disturbed at an early age. Ferrets will be healthier if kept outside with plenty of fresh air and with warm bedding will be happy during the winter months. Like any other animal they hate damp conditions.

Exercise

Ferrets are very active and need time spent on a daily basis. They cannot be left like a hamster or a guinea pig unattended for any period of time. They like to be on the move, are very inquisitive and of course their natural instinct is to hunt and "ferret about". If you are not prepared to spend time and take a great interest, ferrets are not for you! The time spent is amply rewarded as ferrets are affectionate, sociable, clever and fun. Lack of exercise and being confined to a small space for long periods of time is probably the cause of bad temper, nervousness and the reason why a ferret might not be averse to the odd painful bite. They are intelligent animals who do not like being neglected. With the right introduction they will happily interact with other family pets such as cats and dogs.

Diet

Ferrets are natural carnivores and there is nothing they love better than to get their face embedded in a piece of raw meat. Tinned specialist pet foods are fine and also cereal biscuits help to keep their teeth and gums healthy. Under no circumstances should ferrets be introduced to sweet foods as tooth decay will result. Plenty of fresh clean water should be available at all times. A simple diet and regular meal times with plenty of exercise forms the basis of good health.

Neutering

If single ferrets are kept and there is no wish to breed in the future then it is wise to have a ferret neutered. This will also prevent unwanted reproductive diseases associated with the female developing later on and it will also reduce the tendency of the male to produce odours.