A new specialist at one of Scotland’s leading veterinary referral centres has returned ‘home’ to a fresh challenge after 17 years working in Australia. 

Alastair Franklin, an Australian Specialist in Small Animal Surgery, emigrated to Sydney in 2006 from London, and his surgery expertise saw him treating a plethora of exotic animals such as koalas, possums and goannas alongside more traditional family pets. 

Now, he’s swapped Down Under for Deer Park, Livingston, as the lure of home and family convinced him to join the renowned specialist-led team at Linnaeus-owned Veterinary Specialists in Scotland (VSS). 

Alastair explained: “After 17 years away, it felt like it was definitely time to return! I wanted to spend more time with family, while also wanting my son, Timmy, to spend more time with his Scottish cousins. 

“I’m really pleased to be back in the UK after so long away and VSS strikes me as a great fit, with an outstanding team and great facilities. 

“My new role will be to deliver advanced surgical care to our patients from across Scotland and northern England, while helping to develop the soft tissue service and procedures offered by the clinic.” 

Cambridge graduate Alastair says he thoroughly enjoyed his time in Australia, where he earned his Fellowship in small animal surgery and built a very successful career. 

He added: “I was providing a specialist veterinary service in orthopaedics, neurosurgery and soft tissue surgery treating dogs, cats and rabbits, with the occasional fracture repairs for koalas, dealing with goanna bites, and caring for possums, echidnas and native birds.” 

While there may be a bit of a downturn in sunlight hours compared to Australia, Alastair said there would be a few things he won’t miss about his work in Australia: “I’m looking forward to not having to deal with brown snake bites, tick paralysis and operating on 40-degree days! 

“I’m relishing the challenge and opportunity provided at VSS and am delighted to be part of the team. 

“Outside of work, I’m looking forward to hill walking, camping, sailing, spending time with my family and walking with our dog, Josie, who’s come with us from Australia.” 

VSS is a specialist-led multidisciplinary referral centre offering industry-leading services in cardiology, dermatology, internal medicine (feline and canine), neurology, orthopaedics, and soft tissue surgery, supported by specialists in diagnostic imaging and anaesthesia and analgesia.  

For more information about VSS and the services it offers, visit www.vetscotland.co.uk or search for Veterinary Specialists Scotland on social media. 

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