Category Archives: News


Is your dog imported from outside the UK? 


Taking on a rescue dog from abroad can be a very rewarding experience and many of our clients have welcomed a new doggy best friend into their family this way. Sadly, there is sometimes a risk of imported dogs carrying diseases which are not usually found in the UK. These diseases can be very serious for your dog, and some can be passed on to humans too.  Imported dogs may be infected without showing any obvious signs of illness themselves. 

We are emailing you today about one of these diseases – Canine brucellosis. 

What is Canine brucellosis? 

Canine Brucellosis is a contagious disease (caused by Brucella canis bacteria) found in many parts of the world but, until recently, only rarely in the UK. In the last few years there has been a sharp increase in the number of cases of Brucellosis canis diagnosed in dogs across the UK, mostly in imported dogs or those in close contact with imported dogs. 

This infection can spread between dogs but also to humans and is now a notifiable disease and is reportable to APHA (the government Animal and Plant Health Agency). 

Veterinary Practices in the UK have been asked by the APHA to be on the lookout for canine brucellosis cases and to set up protocols to protect veterinary staff, owners and our UK dog population from this disease. 

The most worrying characteristic of B canis infection is that many infected dogs show no clinical signs for years but can still pass the disease to other dogs and to humans in the meantime. Your imported dog may look well and may have been part of the family for some years but could pose a risk to you, especially if it is not neutered. An infected dog can pass B canis to the veterinary staff caring for it, particularly during surgical operations and dental procedures. The only reliable way to detect the presence of B canis in an imported dog is by blood test. 

Why are Friars Moor Vets telling me this? 

We want you, our clients, to be fully informed but also, following APHA and Public Health England advice, and alongside other clinics in the UK, we are implementing a Brucella canis screening protocol.  

We are doing this primarily to protect veterinary staff who are potentially exposed to body fluids while treating your pets but also to do our bit in trying to prevent this disease from becoming endemic in the UK. In addition, if a member of your household is or becomes immunosuppressed or is an infant (with an immature immune system) it’s best to know if your pet is carrying Brucella canis. 

At present, when you phone us for appointments, our receptionists may ask if you own any imported dogs or any dogs that have lived abroad. Please be patient if you are asked this more than once. We are looking out not just for the safety of our staff but the safety of you and our UK dog population. 

How is Brucella canis diagnosed?

Brucella is diagnosed by blood tests for antibodies to the disease. Friars Moor is using the APHA recommended double antibody test (SAT and ELISA) and currently our samples are sent directly to the APHA laboratories. 

Brucellosis antibodies can take up to three months to show up in a dog after initial infection, so false negative results (when the test result is negative, but the dog does have the disease) can occur if the test is carried out too soon. Testing a dog before it leaves its home country, as many rescues have started to do, is sensible but APHA and ESCCAP still recommend that every imported dog is retested 3-6 months after arrival, and in the case of puppies a second test at 12 months old, when their immune system is considered mature. All the above especially applies when an infected dog has been brought over in a closed van with others, as all the dogs in that transport will inevitably have been exposed to aerosol-borne bacteria and viruses and potentially also to urine and faeces from their fellow traveller. Infection can also be acquired from mating with an infected imported dog or bitch and can be passed from mother to puppies. 

IF YOU HAVE AN IMPORTED DOG – what happens next: 

If you have certificate indicating a negative Brucella canis test result we shall ask to see it (it can be brought in or emailed, whichever is easier). If this test was carried out in the UK at an appropriate time after arrival, then we will accept this as evidence of your dog being free from the disease.  A negative test taken when your dog was still living in an infected country does not totally exclude the possibility of disease as it can take 3 months for antibodies to form so if your dog has not yet been tested in the UK we will ask you to test again.  

To draw the blood, our vets & nurses are required to wear PPE, we endeavour to keep this as animal friendly as possible. You are encouraged to stay with your pet and even to hold them yourself if you wish to do so as this usually helps dogs to be less worried.  Some clients prefer not to do so, and this is perfectly ok – after all, you know your dog better than we do. 

Clients may request sedative-type medication for their pet prior to the appointment. We have tried and trusted protocols for this that we already use for standard visits for some of our more nervous patients. 

The blood will be sent to the APHA laboratory and takes 1-2wks for results to be returned. At the time of writing, the cost of this blood test is £75.00. 

Testing of imported dogs is not yet legally required but, because of the risk to our staff during some treatments, if you do not have your imported dog tested, we will, sadly, be forced to request that you seek alternative veterinary care.   

 We would like to state that if your dog returns a positive test we would (at the time of writing) still undertake to provide veterinary care 

  – but with specific staff safety measures in place which would be explained to you, and from a reduced pool of veterinary staff. In addition, we would not be able to offer certain higher-risk procedures such as scaling and polishing of teeth. We have several years’ experience of treating a few patients already known to be B canis positive, so we have established protocols in place. 


If you have an imported dog that has not been tested for Brucella canis since importation to the UK (or that has been mated with or born to a non-UK-tested dog) then please get in touch as soon as possible and we will get them booked in for testing.  

Tests are currently £75, including drawing the blood sample but this is likely to rise to £160 in the near future. With this in mind, we are currently planning an amnesty-type screening weekend to try to complete as many test as possible for our clients before any price rise. 

Our directors are always happy to chat if you have any further questions. 

There has been some considerable misinformation about B canis on social media so we would suggest that you also take a look at the links below for more accurate information: 

 World Zoonoses Day – How you can help protect our dogs from Brucella canis – Government Vets ( 

Currently, we are only accepting new registrations of imported dogs from our existing clients. This is because we have found the numbers of imported dogs already on our list to be far more than what we expected them to be, and we need complete testing on our existing patients before we take on any new imported dogs. 



Important Information Regarding Our Out-Of-Hours Provision with effect 4th May.

Keeping Out-Of-Hours Emergency Veterinary Care Local & Independent

Friars Moor Vets are pleased to announce that we will be sharing out-of-hours cover with Longmead Vets for an initial trial period, starting at the beginning of May 2024.

This arrangement will be for out-of-hours emergency care only and will not impact on weekday daytime care.

What will this mean for you and your pet?

We hope that you will notice little or no difference from our current arrangements:

1) Saturday morning surgeries at our Sturminster Newton branch will remain unchanged except that we will now have two vets on duty. Nurse appointments will be available at our Shaftesbury branch for nail clips, post-op checks, second vaccinations and some routine injections.

2) If you need advice or emergency care for your pet out of hours please call the surgery and speak to our out of hours nurse as you would currently.

If you need an appointment, the nurse or the vet will arrange this. If a Friars Moor vet is on-call you will come to Sturminster Newton as usual. If a Longmead vet is on-call you will be asked to go to their surgery in Shaftesbury. Our emergency nursing team have 24 hour access to your pet’s clinical records so can transfer them (with your permission) to Longmead if their vet is on-call.

3) We at Friars Moor have our own in-house out of hours nursing team on duty 365 days a year so if your pet is already hospitalised at Sturminster they will remain with us and be cared for by our own nursing team. This ensures continuity of care as the treatment plan set up for them during the day can be followed without interruption. All patients will still be under the supervision of the vet on-call as well as the nurse. The vet will monitor all treatment plans and will attend the practice as necessary, in line with our current practice.

4) In a very few cases it may become necessary to transfer a patient between practices, but prior permission from the client would always be obtained.

Both Friars Moor and Longmead Vets are proud to remain independently owned and run with no corporate involvement. We are determined to keep out of hours care for your pets local and not send you to a centralised out of hours facility (run by a corporate organisation) which some practices now use.

By sharing on-call duties we hope to be able to keep independent local veterinary care just that – LOCAL and INDEPENDENT.

If you would like any clarification a member of the management team will be happy to talk to you.

Celebrating our amazing clients!


We are extremely proud to have one of the very first veterinary nurses as one of our clients with us here at Friars Moor Vets!

This is Marion, posing with her dog Midge, and the medal that she was awarded for achieving the highest marks in her year when she qualified, she was number 88 to qualify, wow!

She was a RANA (Registered Animal Nursing Auxiliaries) and was able to change her title to Veterinary Nurse in 1984. Not only this but she has a BSc(Hons) in Biological Sciences, she is a Tellington TTouch Practitioner, an ACE Associate Tutor, a WSDA Scentwork Instructor a DTC Approved Trainer, and of course a veterinary nurse!

Marion is still very active within the industry and stays involved in dog behaviour and welfare circles and is looking to work alongside other Trainers and Behaviourists as she is very keen on the idea that just like humans, dogs won’t relate to every person they come across. For example – if we weren’t to get along with our counsellor or doctor we wouldn’t continue going to them and we would find someone else, dogs don’t have this choice and we have to make it for them, but we can only do that by working together and referring dogs to one another to see if the dogs needs lie better with another Trainer or Behaviourist.

If you would like to reach out to Marion you can email her here *email pending approval*

Fantastic day at the Gillingham & Shaftesbury Show

What a fantastic day we had at the Gillingham & Shaftesbury Show yesterday. Kirk, Freya, Sophie and Dan thoroughly enjoyed chatting with all our lovely visitors with lots of tea and cake devoured.

We were delighted to have raised £175.22 with the raffle draw, which will be donated to Ukrainian animal charities. We will be notifying all the lucky prize winners in the next few days, so please check your phones if you entered! We would like to thank all the people who kindly donated some fabulous prizes:

E.B Marsh’s
Woodbridge Farm
Coconut & Cotton
Virginia Hayward
The White Hart, Sturminster Newton
Honeybuns, Holwell
Daisy Delbridge, Sturminster Newton
Flamingo Paperie
Shepard’s Farm Shop
Friars Moor Vets

We look forward to seeing you again next year! 😃

Gillingham & Shaftesbury Show

Come see us at the Gillingham & Shaftesbury show on the 17th of August and take part in our raffle raising money for Ukranian animal charities!
We have had a variety of prizes donated for you to try and win; supporters include:
E.B Marsh’s
Woodbridge Farm
Coconut & Cotton
Virginia Hayward
The White Hart, Sturminster Newton
Honeybuns, Holwell
Daisy Delbridge, Sturminster Newton
Flamingo Paperie
Friars Moor Vets
Come find us on Avenue i: Plot 3 opposite the Fun, Food and Farming Tent.

Experienced Veterinary Surgeon for Saturday mornings – Blandford

We are offering an exciting opportunity to join our progressive, dedicated and friendly small animal team in the heart of the North Dorset countryside. An increase in work load and expansion of the business means we are looking for a veterinary surgeon with at least 2 years experience to join our team in this beautiful part of the country.

We are looking for a small animal vet to take sole charge for Saturday morning consultations at our Blandford branch, from 8.30am to 12.30pm. This position could suit someone with a young family and with a possibility to increase hours during the working week in the future.

We offer support for continuing education including certificates. Our vets have full clinical freedom and there is regular, open discussion of cases and ideas.

We have three well equipped, branch surgeries each with in house Idexx blood machines and DR X-ray. With a growing client base, our team of 9 vets, 12 RVN’s and our client care team work hard together to provide an excellent service to the local area.

We are keen for someone to start as soon as possible and listed below are the specifics:

  • Competitive salary with experience
  • Health Insurance
  • Professional fees
  • Supported CPD

To chat about the role or to apply for the job, please get in touch with the practice manager, Justine Turnbull via email: [email protected] or telephone: 01258 472314

Registered Veterinary Nurse

Friars Moor Veterinary practice has an exciting opportunity for a Registered Veterinary Nurse to join our forward thinking, busy first opinion veterinary practice in North Dorset with clinics in Sturminster newton, Shaftesbury and Blandford. An independent practice where further education is encouraged within the clinical team and nursing skills are well utilised.
We are looking to expand our nursing team and pride ourselves on having a very friendly ethos both within the clinical environment and socially outside of work. To continue providing a high standard of care we hold regular meetings within the team to review protocols where new ideas are welcomed. We maintain good relationships with all members of the practice and we’ve previously won the best place to work at the Blackmore Vale Business Awards.
This is a full-time position of 37.5 hours a week with 1 in 6 Saturday mornings. Monday to Friday you will be predominantly based at our Sturminster Newton Branch with 1-2 days of the week at our Blandford or Shaftesbury branch. Part time candidates are also welcome to apply for the position. We are looking for a caring, supportive, organised, and professional individual who works well as part of a team. The right candidate should have a passion for animals and be able to provide gold standard nursing care with the willingness to continue training in all aspects.
In return we will offer a rewarding career where CPD is funded and encouraged, a competitive salary of £13/hour, a friendly working environment, holiday benefits and we promote a good work life balance with no out of hours.
The successful applicant will need to hold a full driving licence and be prepared to travel to any of our three clinics.
If you are interested in this position or have any questions, we would love to hear from you.
Please email your interest to our Practice Manager [email protected]

Jubilee Bank Holiday

Wishing you all an enjoyable bank holiday for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

To mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee 2022, our Sturminster Newton branch will be open on 2nd June from 8.30 – 12pm with our Blandford and Shaftesbury branches remaining closed.

All three branches will be closed and available for emergencies only, on Friday 3rd June with our Shaftesbury branch also remaining closed on Saturday 4th June.