One of the UK’s leading small animal hospitals has added a new cardiologist to its expert team. 

Linnaeus-owned North Downs Specialist Referrals (NDSR), in Bletchingley, has appointed experienced clinician Maria Mateos. 

A delighted Maria said she was settling in well at the renowned Surrey hospital and was enjoying working alongside Head of Service João Loureiro, an RCVS and European specialist in cardiology, and the rest of the NDSR team. 

Maria said: “I chose to move to NDSR because I was looking for a veterinary centre that combines offering the highest level of services and quality of care and has a motivated and friendly team. 

“I’ve only been working here for a month and I can assure you it fully meets my expectations. I really enjoy coming to work every day with my colleagues.” 

Maria’s arrival means NDSR can care for even more patients with suspected cardiovascular problems, including carrying out interventional cardiology procedures such as pacemaker placements and balloon valve dilatations.

Maria added: “We provide a full cardiology service for dogs and cats, from advanced diagnosis and treatment of most common acquired heart disease to more complex treatment with interventionism, for example, in the case of congenital heart diseases or bradyarrhythmias. 

“I am also currently studying to become a Diplomate of the ECVIM CA and, after the exam next March, I’m hoping to focus more on interventional cardiology and electrophysiology.”

Maria graduated from the University of Extremadura, Spain in 2005 and moved to the UK in January 2019 to join fellow Linnaeus referral centre Northwest Veterinary Specialists in Runcorn. 

She revealed her most memorable case to date was treating a cat suffering from a severe attack of jaundice, a condition in which the skin, whites of the eyes and mucous membranes turn yellow due to a high level of bilirubin. 

Maria explained: “All my patients are important and it is a great satisfaction when you know you did something to improve their quality of life. 

“One particular case stands out, though, as it was quite dramatic! It was an internal medicine case while I was doing my residency training.

“It involved a Sphynx cat, which have no fur. The owner went on vacation for the weekend leaving her beloved cat with her husband. 

“When she returned, she found the cat completely yellow as a lemon. When she asked her husband why he hadn't noticed, he replied he thought it was because the cat got too much sun!” 

Maria makes sure her “funny and intelligent” Jack Russell Trufa doesn’t get too much sun on their long walks in the country or visiting National Trust places, pastimes she enjoys when not at work. 

João said: “We’re delighted to welcome Maria to NDSR. She brings with her a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to help further boost our outstanding cardiology service.” 

NDSR offers specialist-led services in anaesthesia and analgesia, cardiology, dentistry, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, soft tissue surgery and spinal surgery.  

For more information, visit or search for North Downs Specialist Referrals on social media.   

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