NEW! Lantra Intermediate Hoof Trimming, Three Day Course

Aimed at individuals with some experience in foot trimming as well as those requiring competency in routine hoof trimming. Covering more in depth anatomy and how lameness develops. Safe use of grinders will be introduced throughout this course and includes two practical days.

A note from the trainer – Gareth Foden

Lameness continues to be a hot topic in the dairy industry as animal health and welfare continue to be prioritised. This is no surprise when you consider how easy it is for the untrained general public to identify lameness, and therefore how badly this can reflect on the wider industry. There are now a number of accredited training courses, with ongoing auditing, all aiming to reduce the level of lameness in the national herd. We have three courses available to anybody wanting to trim cows feet. All courses now include a certificate of competence following a successful assessment at the end of each course. The use of mobility scoring also provides a great way of identifying these animals (if done appropriately), and we can train you to do this on your own farms.

Cost £750 ex VAT

See our available dates and book your place by calling our team on 01935 83682, or Click Here


Winter News From Our Rounds

North-Pete O’Malley

As we edge into winter, the conversations I’m having on farm are turning towards calf pneumonia again. Hopefully the calf housing government grant has helped some of you improve your sheds, but I wonder if housing sometimes gets too much focus when compared to calf resilience. A healthy calf that has had a good start in life is going to suffer significantly less disease compared to its counterpart when housed in the same environment. I’m talking about immunity from colostrum. We can recite the rules around quality, quantity, and timing, but how well are we identifying our farms areas of success and areas for improvement? Is it quality or quantity or timing that’s the limiting factor? Keeping a colostrum record for each calf is really helpful in guiding how best to improve your calves immunity. To make informed decisions on farm, we first need information! If you would like some colostrum recording sheets, just give me a call.

East-Claire Rudd

This month has been a busy one, among other things we have been mopping up the last of the PDs in our spring calving beef herds and carrying out whole herd Johnes screening ahead of calving. We are continuing to carry out Animal Health and Welfare Pathway visits – this is time on farm that can be claimed back by farmers currently receiving the Single Farm Payment and can be spent on a huge variety of tasks. Please see https:// uk/apply for details of how the scheme works and how to apply.

Most suckler calves are weaned now – growth rates have generally been good this year largely due to consistent grass quality and availability over the latter part of the summer and into autumn. Due to the mild wet weather over October and November though, we are seeing some heavy parasite burdens in first season grazing animals and would recommend faecal egg counts as a monitoring tool as we enter the housing season.

West-David Deane

Winter is well and truly upon us. Once the clocks went back the heavens opened, making it a very challenging beginning to the winter for all. We have been busy in the West recently, facing many emergency callouts to challenging calvings in autumn calving herds!

With spring only around the corner, now would be an ideal time to submit forage samples for testing as we prepare for lambing and calving. Knowing the quality of your forage enables you to plan to ensure your forage is meeting the nutritional demands of pregnant ewes and cows, ensuring expensive concentrate supplementation is given at appropriate levels (or even avoided in some cases).

In the past few weeks, we have seen an increase in cases of IBR. Signs of IBR include difficulty breathing, nasal/ ocular discharge, fever, inappetence, milk drop, abortions and death in severe cases. Vaccination is very effective at controlling this disease. If you are thinking about starting an IBR vaccine programme, get in touch with one of the team. For herds already vaccinating, don’t forget the boosters!

Central-Ellen Taylor

This year has flown by and all of sudden we are back into winter routine with darker nights. With Christmas not far away we have just run our annual lamb loss meetings across the regions with this year a focus on abortions as a contributor to lamb losses on farm. Looking into the new year we will have our next 0-6 youngstock meeting, focusing on optimising results from your bulling heifers. Recently, the youngstock team attended CPD on the topic of positive pressure ventilation and how this can improve housing as one of the key areas to help minimise pneumonia on farm. We are now doing visits to discuss improving ventilation in your buildings and if required measure and recommend appropriate changes to help. If you have any questions or concerns about pneumonia on farm, please get in touch to arrange a discussion with your routine vet or the 0-6 Youngstock team.

Ruminal Acidosis In Lambs

As we approach winter, with grass quality decreasing, many of you will start feeding cake to help finish lambs not yet sold. This will speed up the finishing process significantly but must be fed carefully to prevent the development of ruminal acidosis.

Ruminal acidosis commonly occurs following the sudden ingestion of large amounts of carbohydrate rich feeds (cereals), such as when concentrate feeds are introduced too quickly or lambs are turned out onto grain stubbles. The increased acidity in the rumen kills the normal ‘resident’ bacteria. The bacteria which can handle this environment then produce even more acid. Acid is then drawn into the bloodstream resulting in metabolic acidosis. Water is also drawn into the rumen from the animal’s reserves resulting in dehydration. To make matters worse, the damage to the rumen caused by acidosis leads to bacteria and toxins entering the bloodstream.

The signs you will see in your animals vary in severity depending on amounts ingested, feed type, breed (hill breeds at increased risk) and the rate of introduction of the feed.

In mild cases of ruminal acidosis, lambs may show the following: dullness, reduced appetite, and diarrhoea. In more severe cases, animals will be depressed, refuse to eat, weak, reluctant to move/ unable to rise, teeth grinding (pain), scouring and may appear bloated due to an enlarged rumen. Severe cases will be seen panting to lower acid levels, which may easily be mistaken as a sign of pneumonia.

In mild cases, removing cake from the diet completely and providing good quality hay to stimulate rumen function may be sufficient. In more severe cases, veterinary advice should be sought. These cases tend to require oral fluids containing antacids, pain relief, antibiotics, and vitamin B1. Mortality can be high in such cases, even with treatment.

To prevent ruminal acidosis, cake should be introduced slowly. Lambs can be started on 50-100g per head/day. Feed rates can be increased by 50g every 3-4 days once all animals are seen eating and all cake is eaten within 5 minutes. Lambs must have constant access to good quality roughage (grass/hay etc), as this stimulates saliva production which helps neutralize acid.

Written By David Deane, Veterinary Surgeon

Tick Borne Fever

Tick Borne fever, as the name suggests, is transmitted by ticks between sheep and can cause a varying degree of clinical signs and consequences on farm. It is caused by a ricketsial bacteria Anaplasma phagocytophilum.

Typically one of the most common effects first noticed is abortion in ewes, but it can also cause immunosuppression leading to variable presentations on farm. Clinical signs can just be a transient increase in temperature in non-pregnant ewes, with a reduced appetite and depression. Other common presentations can include an exacerbation of respiratory issues on farm, an increase in joint ill cases in lambs and overall reduced immunity. Co-infections with other tick borne diseases such as Tick Pyaemia and Louping Ill can also occur.

Abortion typically occurs when naive pregnant ewes, that have not previously been exposed to Tick Borne Fever, are infected. This can lead to very high abortion rates. Diagnosis of Tick Borne Fever is by blood sample, either to identify the parasites visually on a blood smear or through antibody response to the disease.

Control of Tick Borne Fever is best achieved through use of topical insecticides to minimise exposure to ticks on farm. Anaplasma phagocytophilum will also respond to oxytetracycline but it is important to have a confirmed diagnosis prior to treatment particularly in cases of an abortion outbreak. Tick borne diseases will become increasingly important with the warmer weather over the coming years.

Speak to one of our RAMAs or feel free to discuss with one of team sheep about how to minimise risk on farm.

Written By Ellen Taylor, Veterinary Surgeon

Spotlight On Nutrition At Synergy Farm Health

Members of the vet team at Synergy are well versed in dealing with diets and wider cattle nutrition, from optimizing a grass based paddock system to trouble shooting fully housed TMR formulations. Some of our vets are real nutrition enthusiasts and love the smell of silage and TMR so much they have even written publications on it and lecture nationally on the subject! Suboptimal nutrition can lead to many problems, some of these being very obvious such as displaced stomachs (LDA/RDA), metritis and milk fevers. Most however are far less obvious, and often far more costly: leading to poor fertility, disappointing milk yields/solids and poor health and immunity. Getting nutrition right is therefore pivotal in running a successful and sustainable farming enterprise. Key to the unique position of your vet is their ability to provide you with truly independent nutritional advice, whilst also having the benefit of knowing your system and cows inside out. At Synergy we are also fortunate to be able to call upon the expertise of our Vet Tech team providing key information on mobility, foot health and body condition scoring. Getting the best outcome usually relies on a true team approach, and we are very happy to offer our on farm expertise alongside other advisors such as nutritionists and feed reps as part of a team approach.

Our nutrition service also offers:

  • In house lab at Rampisham offer ing a quick turnaround for analysis of sliage dry matter. We also have access to external referral labs for more in depth analysis of water sources, silages and many other feed components.
  • We have access to advanced computer software allowing us to trouble shoot TMR formulations to assist your nutritional advisor on farm.
  • A holistic approach to nutrition. How you feed is often just as crucial as what you feed, and as vets we are ideally placed to evaluate storage, mixing and feeding out management factors on farm.
  • Advise on trace element sampling and suitable supplementation options suitable to your system.
  • Access to a range of objective cow measures such as metabolic profiling, faecal consistency scoring, urinary and rumen pH sampling and liver biopsy.

Have you ever wondered if your carefully calculated diet is actually working for your cows? The discrepancy between what you think you feed, what they actually eat and what they in the end digest can be hard to sometimes appreciate, but your routine vet is there to help.

Foot Trimming Tools and Maintenance

Over the years I have been asked many times what equipment I use, what equipment would I recommend, how do I sharpen my knives etc, so I thought I’d explain some of my preferences.

There are many knives on the market, costing from a few pounds to £40+. Over the years I have used both cheaper and more expensive knives, but what do I prefer?? Cheaper knives tend to be made from a harder metal, whereas more expensive knives tend to be made from soft metal. Harder metals can be harder to sharpen, so will need sharpening more often and wear quickly. The handles are soft wood, soaking up water and causing them to disintegrate before snapping. Midrange knives (and the more expensive knives )are made from a softer metal with hard wood or plastic handles. Is it worth the expense? Do the knives wear quickly being a soft metal? The answer is no. We don’t technically sharpen our knives, we buff our knives. Sharpening the knives on a sand band or sharpening wheel will wear knives quickly by removing metal, buffing the knives smooths out the metal to a sharp point. I personally use Tech TV knives (red and green pictured) and Agri Toro (also pictured). Both are midrange knives that have lasted a year, only needing to be sharpened a hand full of times just to correct the angle of the blade. Always remember to only sharpen one side of the blade and buff the blade to remove the burr.

Snips play a big part in foot trimming, from removing toe length, to helping remove blocks. Pictured are two pairs of snips, left is a cheaper pair that has short handles and a thick snip edge. The edge makes it harder for the snips to slice through hoof and less leverage with short handles. Pictured right are a pair of midrange snips that have longer handles for more leverage and a finer snip edge.

Hoof Testers:
We can all recall the lame cow we trimmed but couldn’t find a lesion. Hoof testers are a great tool to apply pressure around the foot to find a reaction. From simple bruising, to a hidden white line problem, hoof testers can help identify a painful focus. If the cow doesn’t react, you will have peace of mind that the foot isn’t the issue.

Grinding Discs:
Before I start talking about grinding discs, I would always recommend attending a grinder course before using one on a cow. I use two types of grinding disc, a Wopa 6 bladed disc and a Trim Tec 6 bladed disc. The Wopa disc is great for anyone starting off using a grinder as the blades are less aggressive. A 3 bladed disc is also available for the less experienced trimmer. The Trim Tec blades are thicker and more aggressive, but last longer on those longer days. The blades for both discs are four sided, but I personally only turn two blades each time. If more than two blades are turned, the disc will be too aggressive, not only resulting in over trimming, but kickback of the grinder resulting in injury.

Winter Bumper Newsletter 2023

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to stay ahead with our quarterly bumper newsletter, including Dairy, Beef, Sheep and Dispensary News.

Tom Woolacott

Tom Woolacott BVetMed PGDipVCP MRCVS

Tom graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2020 and joined Synergy full time after completing the RVC/Synergy Farm Health internship. Tom is interested in all aspects of farm animal practice and is Somerset born and bred therefore enjoys working in an area ge knows and loves.


Imogen Rogers BVetMed PGDip MRCVS

Imogen graduated in 2019, and then completed the well established RVC/Synergy Farm Health internship. Imogen has a particular interest in sheep medicine, smallholder education and youngstock.

Louise Silk

Louise Silk MA VetMB MRCVS

Louise graduated in 2007 and has spent her whole career working in farm animal practice in Dorset and Wiltshire. Louise has a particular interest in flock health and suckler herd production. Louise enjoys delivering farmer training as well as facilitating discussion group meetings, particularly for the suckler herds of Salisbury plain.


Graeme McPherson BVSc DBR MRCVS

Graeme graduated in 1994 and worked in his native Australia before moving to the UK as a farm animal vet, first in Oxfordshire and now at Synergy Farm Health. Graeme is a qualified AHDB mastitis control plan deliverer and completed his Diploma in Bovine Reproduction in 2020. Graeme has varied clinical interests relating to dairy herd health and productivity, as well as considerable experience in camelid medicine.  Graeme is the North Regional Lead vet and a shareholder in the practice. 


Rachel Hayton BSc (Vet Sci) BVM&S Cert CHP MRCVS

Advanced Practitioner in Cattle Health and Production

Rachel graduated in 1993 and obtained her Certificate in Cattle Health and Production in 1998.  Rachel joined Southfield Veterinary Centre in 1995 which became Synergy Farm Health in 2009.   Rachel focuses on performing routine fertility visits for dairy clients, looking after all aspects of herd health.  Rachel is also one of Synergy’s lead mastitis vets, enjoying carrying out mastitis investigations into challenging situations on farm.  She is a trained AHDB Mastitis Control Plan deliverer.  Rachel became a shareholder in the practice in 2018.


Alastair Hayton BVMS DCHP MRCVS

RCVS Recognised Specialist in Cattle Health and Production


Alastair qualified in 1993 and has worked in farm animal practice in the south west throughout his career.  Alastair gained the RCVS Diploma in Cattle Health and Production in 2003 and became an RCVS specialist in 2011. He is a member of the Nottingham University Dairy Herd Health Group and in 2015 was voted Farmers Weekly Farm Advisor of the Year.  Alastair’s areas of particular interest include nutrition, mastitis, camelid medicine and organic dairy production. Alastair performs a large amount of consultancy work throughout the veterinary and food production sectors, including expert witness legal work.  Alastair is the veterinary consultant to one of the UK’s largest supermarket milk pools. 
Alastair is heavily involved in the research and development of the novel Enferplex bTB test through Surefarm Ltd.

Charlotte Debbaut DVM MRCVS

Charlotte qualified in 2012 in her native Belgium and has spent most of her career working in various farm animal practices across the UK. Charlotte joined Synergy Farm Health in 2020. She is especially interested in dairy cow medicine, including youngstock health and productivity. Charlotte is also a CowSignals Master trainer.


Tom Angel BVetMed MRCVS

Tom graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2019 and joined Synergy full time after completing the RVC/Synergy Farm Health internship. In 2022, Tom started studying for the European Diploma in Bovine Health Management and a Masters of Veterinary Medicine in association with the RVC, where his time is split between clinical work, research, and teaching undergraduate students. Tom is interested in all aspects of farm animal practice, but his particular areas of interest and research are in dairy transition management and calf health. 


Ed Powell-Jackson MA VetMB MRCVS

Ed qualified in 2006 and has spent his whole career working in farm animal practice at Synergy Farm Health, and prior to that at Kingfisher Veterinary Practice. Ed is interested in all aspects of bovine health, in particular infectious disease control and robotic dairy units, and provides veterinary care to some of the highest performing robotic dairy herds in the UK.  Ed runs Synergy’s discussion group for dairy farmers on the Blackdown Hills and is also a qualified AHDB mastitis control plan deliverer.  Ed became a shareholder in the practice in 2013.  In addition to his clinical work Ed has various other senior roles at Synergy, including spending a number of years as west regional lead, whilst now having responsibilities in finance and leading the marketing of the practice.


Tom Shardlow BVSc MRCVS

Tom graduated in 2007 and has spent the majority of his career working in farm animal practice in Dorset. Tom is particularly interested in youngstock health and improving dairy heifer performance, and as the leader of our Youngstock team advises farmers on building design, preventive healthcare and nutrition across the practice. Tom became a shareholder in the practice in 2018.



Esme qualified in 2009 and has worked in farm animal practice throughout her career, both in the UK and in New Zealand.  Esme has particular interests in bovine fertility and completed the prestigious Diploma in Bovine Reproduction in 2020.  She is also interested in dairy youngstock and calf rearing and delivers consultancy in this area to a number of clients.  Esme became a shareholder in the practice in 2019.


Alasdair Moffett BVMS MSc MRCVS

Alasdair qualified in 2008 and has worked in farm animal veterinary practices within the UK, and in New Zealand. He recently completed a diploma in International Animal Health, where he focused on disease costing and modeling (particularly bovine TB) and a ‘One Health’ approach to antimicrobial resistance. Alasdair is particularly motivated by striving to improve efficiency in the medium sized family dairy enterprises of the practice. Alasdair became a shareholder in the practice in 2019.


Gareth Foden BVetMed Cert AVP MRCVS

Gareth qualified in 2011 and is interested in a wide range of farm animal veterinary work particularly cattle lameness, fertility and surgery, and likes the practical approach to health planning on farm. Gareth is a key member of the Cattle Lameness Academy team and continues to develop a specialism in this area.  Gareth is the West region lead vet and became a shareholder in the practice in 2019.

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Clare Eames BVSc MRCVS

Clare qualified in 2001 and has had a varied career working in farm animal practice, as a consultant for ADAS and as a technical vet for Pfizer Animal Health.  Clare is particularly interested in beef and small ruminants and enjoys teaching the beef module of the RVC student rotation.

Keith Cutler

Keith Cutler BSc BVSc DipECBHM MRCVS

RCVS Recognised Specialist in Cattle Health and Production

Keith graduated in 1990 and joined Synergy Farm Health in 2020, having worked in the Salisbury area for over 25 years running the farm animal division of Endell Veterinary Group. Keith has varied clinical interests which include both dairy and suckler herd management, fertility, lameness and infectious disease control in cattle. Keith is a Diplomate of the European College of Bovine Health Management and a Director of CHeCS (Cattle Health Certification Standards) who oversee all licensed cattle health schemes in the UK.

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Tom qualified in 2011 and has spent his whole career working in farm animal practice in Somerset. He is the son of one of Synergy’s clients near Taunton and consequently has a deep understanding of both dairy farming and the wider agricultural industry.  Tom is interested in all areas of livestock productivity and herd health.

Mike Kerby


Advanced Practitioner in Bovine Reproduction

Mike qualified from Bristol in 1985 and has been in farm animal practice in the south west ever since. Mike was a partner at Delaware Veterinary Group in Castle Cary for 16 years before joining Synergy Farm Health in 2020. Mike is an honorary lecturer at Liverpool University and sits on the advisory board at Surrey University Vet School. He holds the prestigious Diploma in Bovine Reproduction from Liverpool University and has extensive experience of dairy herd health. He also has a particular enthusiasm for bovine surgery and developing the next generation of cattle vets.

Martijn 't Hoen

Martijn’t Hoen DVM CertAVP MRCVS

Martijn qualified in 2008. His entire career has been focused on farm animals, working in practices in his native Netherlands before moving to the UK in 2011. Martijn joined Synergy in 2020. Martijn is experienced in all aspect of cattle and camelid veterinary work, including bull fertility examinations and delivering AI training for farmers. He is also a CowSignals  Master trainer.

Nim Panesar

Nim Panesar BVetMed MRCVS

Nim graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2018 and spent three years working in predominantly dairy practice on the North Devon/Cornwall border. She has recently relocated to the Salisbury area to join Synergy’s expanding East team, and also to be closer to family in Berkshire. Her main clinical interest is fertility work and working to improve herd reproductive performance. She also enjoys surgical cases.  Nim is currently working towards the CertAVP in Cattle Health.

Andrew Davies

Andrew Davies BVetMed CertCHP FRCVS

Senior Director

Andrew is Senior Director of Synergy Farm Health having been Managing Director since inception in 2009 until November 2021.

His responsibilities include exploring opportunities for Business Development, working closely with the Marketing team, being involved in Medicines procurement and generally advising Senior Management. 

He is very motivated by people development and education and has been heavily involved with the development of our Internship programme and the Farm Animal Teaching rotation for final year veterinary students with the Royal Veterinary College, University of London.

Andrew is POV (Principal Official Veterinarian) of Farmcare West Ltd; on the medicines procurement Team for XLVets UK Ltd; Non-Executive Director for VDS (Veterinary Defence Society) and a Governor at Kingston Maurward College, Dorchester.

Andrew was awarded the prestigious Fellowship of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (FRCVS) in 2020 for meritorious contributions to the Veterinary Profession.

Clinically he is interested in proactive health planning programmes and calf health. He has an active interest in Responsible Use of Medicines and the steps we can take in veterinary practice in minimising any impact on AMR (anti-microbial resistance).

He received the UK Food & Farming Industry Animal Health Adviser of the year award in 2019.

In his spare time, he is a keen follower of both rugby union and football – being a passionate Welshman avidly following the national rugby team but also a lifelong supporter, for his sins, of Swansea City AFC! He is a member of a local mixed voice Choir, enjoys walking the Dorset coast and countryside with his family and their dog.

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Tom Warboys BVetMed PGDipVCP MRCVS

Tom graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2017 and joined Synergy full time after completing the RVC/Synergy Farm Health internship. His particular interests include suckler production, preventative health and sustainability. Tom is the editor of our beef newsletter and is studying for his Masters in Sustainable and Efficient production alongside clinical work. He is also part of the RVC teaching team. 

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Pete O’Malley MA VetMB PGCertVetEd FHEA MRCVS

Pete has worked in farm animal practice in the south west since 2012, providing services to a large range of clients across the Somerset region during that time. Pete’s interests lie in optimising animal health and productivity in dairy herds through data driven decision making and training. His passion for education includes that of clients and students alike.

He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and is now studying for his Post Graduate Diploma in Veterinary Education and certificate in advanced veterinary practice. Pete leads a clinical teaching rotation at Synergy for Royal Veterinary College students and is a shareholder of the business.


Charlotte Mouland BVSc PGDipVCP MRCVS

Charlotte graduated from the University of Bristol in 2015 and joined Synergy as an RVC intern in 2016 after spending a calving season in New Zealand. Whilst enjoying all aspects of farm animal practice, Charlotte is particularly interested in flock health planning and works with a wide range of sheep flocks across the practice. She is also undertaking a post-graduate certificate in sheep health and production.



RCVS Recognised Specialist in Cattle Health and Production

Managing Director

Jon Reader qualified in 1997 and has been a farm animal vet in Somerset ever since. In 2010 Jon gained the RCVS Diploma in Cattle Health and Production and in 2013 was runner up as Farmers Weekly Farm Advisor of the Year. Jon is a member of the Nottingham Dairy Herd Health Group as well as being a member of the UK Dairy Cattle Mobility Steering Group. Jon was awarded the prestigious RCVS Fellowship in 2020 for his meritorious contributions to clinical practice. Jon has a particular interest in foot trimming, working with para professionals and using technology to assist in the recording and analysis of mobility and lameness records.

Jon is our Managing Director, and part of the senior management team.  He has specific responsibility for the financial management of the business.


Jo Masters Cert Ed RVN Operations Director

After a varied career in veterinary nursing, teaching, examining and practice management Jo joined Synergy Farm Health in 2012 when the farm animal service of Langport Veterinary Centre also transferred. Jo’s extensive experience of all sectors of veterinary practice, coupled with her farming background enables her to head our operational logistics working with our teams of clinicians and support staff to organise and implement resources, facilities, and protocols. Working with the Operations Manager Jo is responsible for staff employment and HR management as well as overseeing our teams of staff both in and out of the practice. Working with the Operational team Jo implements plans, projects and new initiatives as well as being responsible for elements of practice representation and client liaison.  Jo describes her role as ‘herding cats’ and is proud to be the first female Director of Synergy Farm Health.


Pete Siviter BVetMed MRCVS

Pete qualified in 2013 and has been based in Dorset with Synergy Farm Health ever since.  Pete has particular enthusiasm for on-farm discussions about herd health and preventative medicine, as well as enjoying emergency “fire brigade” work.  Pete also has an interest in small holdings and pigs, both domestic and commercial. 



Nicky qualified in 2012 and has spent her entire career working in farm animal practice, both in the UK and New Zealand. In 2018 she spent a year completing further study in sheep health and production at Nottingham University. Nicky enjoys improving flock health and productivity and joined Synergy in 2021 to further enhance our sheep team.

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Claire Rudd BVetMed MRCVS

Claire qualified in 2005, and has worked in Dorset for the majority of her career.  Her main clinical focus is cattle medicine, and she has particular interests in fertility and infectious disease control. 


Andre Northey DrMVet MRCVS

Andre graduated in 2005 in his native Germany, before joining Synergy Farm Health in 2012.  Andre is especially interested in bovine surgery and set up our Embryo Collection and Transfer service for cattle and alpacas. In 2020 Andre completed the well regarded Cow Signals training.  Andre delivers our four day AI course for farmers and herdsmen, as well as teaching final year students from the Royal Veterinary College. 

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Bella Lowis MA VetMB MRCVS

Bella graduated in 2010 and has spent the majority of her career working in Dorset, joining Synergy Farm Health in 2019.  Bella is experienced in all farm animal clinical procedures and has a particular interest in youngstock. 

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Emily Gascoigne MA VetMB DipECSRHM MRCVS
RCVS Recognised Specialist in Sheep Health and Production

Emily graduated in 2012 and has worked at Synergy Farm Health throughout her career. Whilst enthusiastic about all aspects of farm animal practice, Emily has a special interest is sheep and goat production, with particular emphasis on flock health planning, reducing production losses and infectious disease control. Emily gained the European Diploma in Small Ruminant Health Management in 2018 and is an RCVS Recognised Specialist in Sheep Health and Production.  Emily is the Regional Vet Lead for our Central Area and a shareholder in the practice.


Sam Cottam BVSc MSc MRCVS

Sam graduated in 2015 and has worked in several farm animal practices in the south west before joining Synergy Farm Health.  Sam has a particular interest in dairy cow nutrition and has been closely involved in the development of our nutritional advice service.  


Tom Clarke BVSc MRCVS
Clinical Director

Tom graduated in 2002 and has spent his whole career in farm animal practice, including several years working in New Zealand.  Tom has a particular interest in dairy herd health and productivity, in both intensive high yielding herds as well as grass based block calving units.  Tom is also one of our in house mastitis specialists.  As an AHDB mastitis plan deliverer Tom performs mastitis investigations into challenging situations on farm, specialising in dynamic testing of milking parlours.  Tom became a shareholder in the practice in 2013 and spent a number of years as East regional lead vet, before becoming Clinical Director in 2019. 

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Josie Burridge BVM&S MRCVS

Josie graduated in 2015 and joined Synergy Farm Health in 2019.  Josie has a particular interest in dairy herd health and productivity and especially youngstock.


Ben Barber BVetMed MRCVS

Ben qualified in 2014. Ben’s primary interests lie in beef cattle, both suckler herds but also calf rearers and finishers, and he spends a considerable amount of his time delivering consultancy work to the UK’s largest beef integration chain. Ben also delivers routine work to a number of dairy herds where he enjoys improving herd performance and productivity. Ben is actively engaged with the teaching of university students at Synergy and has also been part of teaching projects abroad in aid of charity.  Ben became a shareholder in the practice in 2020.