My parents moved from Oxford, where I was born in 1967, to Chipping Norton in the Cotswolds in England when I was 5 years old. My father, a GP, took up a position as a partner in a medical practice just off the high street of that busy country market town. My mother, a Nurse and Midwife, looked after my sister and I and my other brother and sister when they arrived in ’76 and ’78 respectively. From an early age, we learned to ride and always had dogs, rabbits, cats, hamsters and gerbils in the house. ‘Diverse’ would probably be the most accurate description of my secondary schooling. I went from Chipping Norton in England to Auckland Boys Grammar School in New Zealand, to Wynstones Rudolf Steiner School in Gloucestershire back in the UK, to Marling Grammar School in Stroud to do my A Levels.
Scots Apprenticeship, Yorkshire Journeyman
The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in Edinburgh was my home for the next 3 years as I began my pre-clinical training in veterinary medicine and surgery. For a year, interrupting my veterinary studies, I intercalated an Honours degree in Pathological Sciences, concentrating mainly on immunology, but picking up a smattering of molecular biology, virology, bacteriology and parasitology on the way. After my final 2 years of clinical training in Edinburgh I went to work in Beeford in East Yorkshire in mixed large and small animal practice. It was fantastic to be working in the real world after six years training.
- My second post, a year and a half later, was just up the road from Alf White’s (aka James Herriot) practice in Thirsk in North Yorkshire. I spent many a happy day running around the farms and yards in the dales in my little four-wheel drive. The practice worked out of Helmsley and Kirkbymoorside on the southern border of the North York Moors, just north of York itself. It was a very busy, and rapidly expanding small animal and equine practice with a large cattle and sheep farm client base.
Within months of qualifying in 1992, while still in Beeford, I was beginning to question the philosophy of conventional medicine. I could not help thinking, “Is that all there is to treat animals”? So I started looking further a field. I began training in homeopathy in 1993 at the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital with the Faculty of Homeopathy After a couple of years, a new course had been established in Oxford by the Homeopathic Professionals Teaching Group (HPTG to their friends). I moved to this as a natural progression from the Faculty course in London. This coincided with a change of direction for my career.
I moved from the conventional Yorkshire practice in Helmsley to a newly established practice near Chichester dedicated to integrating alternative and conventional therapies in a first opinion practice.
Southern Homeopath and Acupuncturist
The practice on England’s South Coast, established by Mark Elliott VetMFHom MRCVS, was just what I was looking for. It served as a marvellous stepping-stone towards creating a truly holistic practice. A further two years modular study at the HPTG from ’96 to ’97 completed the course, but I still did not feel ready to take my ‘Veterinary Membership of the Faculty of Homeopathy (VetMFHom)’ exams. I stepped back from the study of homeopathy for a year to practice it. During this time I became aware of the potential of acupuncture and joined the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society. I completed their year-long course in 1998.
My colleague Peter Brown MRCVS at the practice in Chichester also introduced me to Photonic Therapy as a method of stimulating acupuncture points without needles. I used this and needling methods for years, but now tend to concentrate on more traditional needling regimes.
In 1998 I took and passed my membership exams for the Faculty of Homeopathy I was delighted to be able to put the letters ‘VetMFHom’ after my name.
Holisticvet PracticeHolisticvet in Bath
Holisticvet Ltd. as the practice has now become, is based in Bath at the Apthorp Centre for Chiropractic and Holistic Therapies in Weston, near Victoria Park – click here to see a map. I also go out on visits, mainly to horses, but I visit pet dogs at their homes too.
I have written for Dogs Today, Horse Magazine, Natural Horsemanship Magazine, Your Dog Magazine, Horse and Rider Magazine, Janssen Animal Health, Natural Instinct, Petspark among others.
George Macleod, the godfather of British veterinary homeopathy, wrote a book on equine homeopathy 30 years ago. In 2005 I was asked to edit it to bring it up to date with modern developments in equine medicine. This I have done and it was published by Rider Books in October 2005. What an honour – to have your name on the front of a book with George Macleod.
I am a consultant to the progressive small animal feed company Anglian Meat Products. They are a massive force in my crusade to educate people about the benefits of feeding raw food to dogs and cats.
Higher Nature, the quality supplement company are similarly keen on optimum natural nutrition for small animals and I helped them develop human grade products to promote health in pet animals.
Overall, I think I’m very lucky. I’m doing a job I love, treating, lecturing and writing about horses, dogs and cats, with gentle, safe and effective therapies. I meet amazing, caring and inspiring people every day; people profoundly concerned for the welfare of the animal members of their families. Together we are able to help problems that may otherwise never be cured.
Book an appoinment
Dr. Nick Thompson
BSc (Vet Sci) Hons, BVM&S, VetMFHom, MRCVS.
The Veterinary Practice
Wadswick Country Store
SN13 8JB (Sat Nav: SN13 0NY)
Tel: 01225 487778