When you’ve grappled with a 10ft Komodo dragon’s tail and stared a fearsome Jaguar in the face, there is little that’s likely to phase you in life.

Which is why Carl Bradbrook, the new clinical director at leading UK small animal hospital Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists, is enjoying getting to grips with his latest challenge.

Carl has recently been appointed to the clinical director position at Anderson Moores, moving from his role as head of the hospital’s anaesthesia and analgesia service to take charge of the clinical side of the Hampshire referral centre’s operation.

Carl, who joined the Linnaeus-owned hospital in 2018, said: “For 20 years, I have been totally focused on working as a vet but now I’m making the transition to also embrace the non-clinical side of the operation here at Anderson Moores which is an exciting challenge.

“I’m really enjoying it. Everything is still quite new and every day I’m learning more about the full responsibilities of the post.”

Not that dealing with unknowns and the unexpected is going unsettle Carl, who became accustomed to handling new and unusual scenarios when working alongside vets at Chester Zoo.

He explained: “It was an incredible experience to have worked with the zoo and there were certainly a couple of stand-out cases, including having to anaesthetise a komodo dragon.

“Firstly, they’re large, temperamental, have lots of razor-sharp teeth and a very strong and dangerous tail.

“Secondly, they’re a whole world unto themselves when it comes to physiology and metabolism, so normal protocols of anaesthesia don’t apply!

“I went on a worldwide veterinary portal to seek opinions and advice for that one and received some very useful advice from a clinician in the US which was a big help.

“The dragon was enticed into a narrow box and then secured in place so she couldn’t move or back out and we were able to go underneath the tail and find the vein I needed to inject.”

Treating a Jaguar was another highlight, with Carl marveling at the opportunity to go up close and personal with one of the animal world’s big cats.

He added: “They are so impressive, so majestic, so aloof. It was magnificent to be able to be that close to one.

“To see the size of the paws, the mouth and look into those incredible eyes – on a whole different scale to the domestic cats I’d normally deal with!”

Carl said the principle was the same for a vet, though – ensuring the animal receives the very best of care and treatment – and that’s a key mantra for him now as clinical director at Anderson Moores.

He stressed: “It’s my job to lead the clinical teams and maintain a keen overview of the services we provide to our patients, their owners and the primary care vets who refer them to us for care.

“We need to be constantly reviewing the way we work to deliver those services to ensure we deliver the highest level of quality surgical and medical care.”

Carl will continue practising anaesthesia while also embracing his new leadership responsibilities and expects it to ultimately evolve into a 50-50 split between the two, something for which he is grateful.

He concluded: “It is a real benefit of being part of the team here at Anderson Moores and within an organisation such as Linnaeus, which is always encouraging staff to advance their careers and take on new and exciting opportunities.”

Anderson Moores offers specialist care in anaesthesia and analgesia, cardiology, dentistry, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, emergency and critical care, feline hyperthyroid clinic, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, orthopaedics and soft tissue surgery.

For more information on Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists, which is part of Linnaeus, visit https://www.andersonmoores.com/home/.

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