Veterinary surgeon - Seb Prior

We visited Harmsworth Animal Hospital in London to speak with vet surgeon Seb Prior.

Vet surgeon Seb Prior with husky puppy © Joe Murphy/RSPCA photolibrary

The hospital has approximately eight vets, 30 nurses and usually about 100 in-patients at any one time. It's a big place which means they can deal with a wide variety of cases.

Harmsworth is a walk-in clinic - what kind of things do people walk in with?

Anything can come through that door! I see a massive variety, you just wouldn't believe it. We get all the general pet care stuff like puppy vaccinations and neutering and, because of our location, I spend a lot of time dealing with animals who have been hit by cars.

They can come through the doors with really quite horrific injuries. It can be quite depressing, but it can also be very rewarding if you can fix them.

So what does a veterinary surgeon's day look like?

Vet surgeon Seb Prior with guinea pig © Joe Murphy/RSPCA photolibrary

I spend half my day consulting and half in theatre, which is a nice balance. We also have two branch clinics where I consult a couple of times a week which means we're able to get out and reach people.

The job is hugely people-orientated and being able to talk to people and allay their concerns is a key part of it. You can be the best surgeon in the world but if you can't talk to the clients that's a massive problem. You also need to have patience and a certain amount of empathy for the people and the animals.

What are your favourite parts of your job?

Seeing the bond people have with their animals and being able to help animals get better. I'm also really interested in orthopedics (mending broken bones). We have a fantastic orthopedics clinic here - it's like lego for grown ups! 

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