Matlock vets win national award for excellence in guinea pig care

A Matlock veterinary practice has won a national industry award for the specialist care and treatment it provides to guinea pigs.

Thursday, 25th November 2021, 10:33 am
Updated Thursday, 25th November 2021, 10:51 am

Derwent Valley Vets, on Dale Road, was named guinea pig practice of the year at the Burgess Excel Vet Awards 2021 on November 11.

A spokesperson for the practice said: “We are so honoured. To be the first recipient of this new award, out of all the veterinary practices in the UK, is an amazing achievement.

“This recognition is testament to the hard work of Ellie Whitehead and the rest of the team, all of whom make sure these amazing pets are looked after to a very high standard. We couldn't be prouder. Thank you to Burgess Excel and everyone who nominated us.”

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Guinea pig expert Ellie Whitehead from Derwent Valley Vets.

Wirksworth resident Ellie began working from Derwent Valley in 2018 as the Guinea Pig Vet, an independent business she set up to serve the community of guinea pig owners who appreciate her vast experience with this species and other small animals. She later became a permanent member of the practice team.

Her interest in guinea pigs started when she had three guinea pigs Daisy, Rosie and Elvis as a vet student and has grown over the years to the point where there is not much about guinea pigs that she does not know.

Following hundreds of applications and nominations, a judging panel of industry experts, veterinary professionals and rabbit and guinea pig specialists chose the practice to receive a cash prize of £250, along with a Burgess Excel Vet Awards trophy.

Winners were judged on a range of criteria, including evidence of exceptional guinea pig care and husbandry, outstanding attention to the needs of owners and their pets, and going above and beyond to improve the lives of guinea pigs.

Derwent Valley vet Claire Goodear, right, collected the award at a ceremony in London.

Dr Suzanne Moyes, veterinary director at Burgess Pet Care, said: “On behalf of the judging panel, I would like to offer our huge congratulations to Derwent Valley Vets as the winner of their category, which reflects their sheer hard work and determination to provide the very best of care for guinea pigs, not to mention their passion and knowledge to improve guinea pigs’ wellbeing.”

Learn more about the practice at

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