A well-known Solihull vet is hanging up his scrubs and stethoscope after nearly four decades tending to sick and injured pets in the region. 

Robin Bone, clinical director at Linnaeus-owned 608 Vets, which has practices in Solihull, Bentley Heath and Acocks Green, has retired after a 37-year career. 

Robin, 62, from Solihull, joined 608 in January 1985, becoming a partner in 1991 up until the practice joined Linnaeus, which is based in Solihull, in 2018. 

Robin spent many of his years with 608 at its Acocks Green surgery and throughout his career has seen tens of thousands of patients, neutered thousands of pets and removed a wide variety of bric-a-brac from dogs’ intestines. 

He said: “When I first joined 608 in 1985 it was a mixed practice and there were five of us on the small animal side. Our weekends started on Saturday at 9am and went through to Monday at 7pm, including covering nights, without a break. 

“Thankfully, this has improved over the years and there is now a much better work/life balance for the vets. 

“I have always spent most of my time at the Acocks Green surgery and have enjoyed providing veterinary care for the area. Acocks Green has always had a loyal group of clients and it has been rewarding to try to provide them with the best veterinary care possible.” 

Robin’s love of animals began at an early age, meaning he turned his passion into a career – with a particular interest in reptiles. 

 He said: “As a child, my family had many tortoises so I have always been interested in them from a veterinary point of view. 

“In the late 1980s, I became associated with a very active branch of the British Chelonia Group (BCG) in Birmingham. We carried out a lot of studies and original work on tortoise husbandry and medical conditions. 

“In 1988, I submitted some biopsy samples from tortoises that had died from a severe form of mouth rot. This led to the identification of a Herpes virus. 

“This was the first virus ever isolated from a Mediterranean tortoise. Since then, this virus has become the subject of international research and is recognised as a significant pathogen causing a wide range of immunosuppressive diseases. 

“Due to the long life-span of tortoises, I have been seeing some of them for 30 years or more. I have dealt with all sorts of other reptiles and amphibians and this has been a fascinating extra dimension to my work.” 

Away from the day-to-day treatment of patients, Robin always played a very active role in the management of 608. 

He said: “Being a vet has been such a great career, despite the long hours and some stressful, challenging situations and cases. 

“I have always enjoyed being involved in the management of the practice, too. It added variety to my day to deal with other issues such as supporting veterinary colleagues, surgery property improvements, health and safety, ideas for new equipment and nurse training – I was an assessor for many years. 

“It is important for any practice, no matter how good, to be constantly thinking of ways to improve and introduce new ideas, techniques and equipment. Linnaeus have shown they are very keen to invest in this practice and allow our vets to be able to continue to offer a great primary care veterinary service.” 

Robin is now planning a slightly more relaxing time in retirement, spending more time with his wife Alison and four children, gardening, travelling and enjoying music. 

To find out more about 608 Vets, visit www.608vets.com or search for 608 Vets on social media.

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