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Young cattle posing for the camera with beautiful crepuscular rays in the background, Sout

About Us

Caring for the animals of Kintyre

Our mixed, independent practice was founded in the early 1900s. Since then we have been providing veterinary services to the farming community throughout the Kintyre peninsula, as well as providing a comprehensive service to all Kintyre`s pets, to help our client’s enjoy the company of their companions for as long as possible.

Our local knowledge means that every decision we make is based on what is best for your pet’s health or your farm’s productivity.

We’re fully equipped to provide everything your pet may need, with in-house diagnostic and laboratory facilities, surgical theatre and comfortable kennels for overnight stays.

Our large animal services are fully ambulatory meaning we can bring the same high levels of care to your farm or stables.

As an independent local business we take pride in what we do and will always do our best for you and your animals.

Campbeltown central square near the ferry terminal and amrina entrance. Scotland..jpg

Our History

The story of our practice begins in 1919 at the end of World War I; there was no veterinary service in Kintyre, and so Kintyre Agricultural Society advertised for a veterinary surgeon to look after the health of farm animals in the area. As an incentive a monetary grant would be paid which would provide an income until the practice became self-sufficient.

 

The successful applicant was a Yorkshireman called Robert N Lewis who had had the misfortune to lose a leg as a result of a motoring accident. Despite this disability he thrust himself into the rigours of single handed veterinary practice and became a greatly admired and respected vet who coped well with horses in particular.  His son, George B Lewis, qualified as a vet in 1933 and worked as an assistant in Inverness for 5 Years before returning to Campbeltown in 1938 to rejoin his now elderly father.  Unfortunately, World War 2 changed things drastically, and George became a Captain in the 51st Highland Division. He was captured at Saint Valery,  France and spent the next 5 years in a Prisoner Of War camp.  By the time George returned home after the war his father Robert had died a few months previously.

 

George took over the running of the practice as G B Lewis, and later took on an assistant, Finlay Ross Sutherland (Fen) who eventually became a partner, at which point the firm traded as ‘Lewis and Sutherland’. As was the custom of the time, the practice was run from the annex of George’s house on Gallowhill Road, Campbeltown.

 

George Lewis did not keep good health as a result of the years spent in the confines of a POW camp and so the practice decided to take on an assistant to help share the ever increasing work load. Alastair Cousin, a recent veterinary graduate at the time, joined the practice in July 1966.

 

In May 1972, George Lewis retired and Alistair became a partner in the practice with Fen Sutherland, (Sutherland and Cousin) with now two assistants.  This arrangement lasted until 1982 when Fen retired and Alistair continued the running of the practice.

 

Shortly after this, the practice moved to new premises in Longrow, Campbeltown which had previously been a car showroom and garage and which, after extensive renovations, proved to be a very satisfactory veterinary surgery.

 

In 1987, assistants Neil MacDonald and Calum Buchanan became partners and the firm was renamed ‘Cousin Buchanan and MacDonald’.  Neil MacDonald left the Practice in 1991 to pursue other interests as did Calum Buchanan in 1999.

 

By this time Donald Armour, son of a local farmer and a native of Campbeltown, had been head hunted from Cumbria where he was working after graduation, joining the practice in1988, initially as assistant and then as a partner. (Cousin Buchanan and Armour and latterly Cousin and Armour) until Alastair Cousin retired in May 2009.

 

During this time there was further development of the Longrow surgery to enhance the level of care offered to everyone who visited the practice. The open reception and consultation area were redeveloped to improve the client experience. Meanwhile there was further investment behind the scenes to improve inpatient care. This ranged from redesigning the kennel area to further inestment in surgical equipment to provide the very best care possible.

 

Upon Alistair’s retirement in 2009, Ruth Smith - an assistant and mainstay of the practice since 1991 - joined the partnership and the practice adopted its current title of Westwards Veterinary Practice.  Since then, in keeping with the progressive nature of veterinary medicine, there has been extensive further commitment to continuing to provide a modern, comprehensive suite of facilities. These  include Digital X-ray equipment, upgrades to the farm animal Ultrasound scanners, as well as a dedicated small animal Ultrasound machine.  Our historical system of card record keeping was brought in-line with modern technology  with the introduction of a computerised Practice Management System.  Our latest acquisition is a bull Electro-ejaculator for examination of breeding performance.

Dominic Sharkey started as a new graduate in 2014, having grown up a short hop across the Firth of Clyde in Saltcoats, and subsequently joined the partnership in June 2023.

Our current veterinary team is completed by Marije Terpstra, originally from Friesland, The Netherlands, who started a temporary locum position in 2013, later becoming  a permanent member of the team; and Jordan Gillespie, originally from Glasgow, who joined in 2021 after several years of work in Dumfries and Galloway.

 

We continue to provide the full 24 hour emergency cover to our clients throughout the whole Kintyre peninsula, 365 days of the year, as have all of our predecessors since 1919!

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