Katharine Sewell’s Cuppa Tea With the Vet Podcast Episode on Spotify

Today we caught up with Katharine Sewell of Mercer and Hughes Vets. You may well remember a post where we already “met” her as she joined us for a day seeing practice. We can not tell you how much we love proactive vets who want to learn more about physio! In all fairness, we think many do what to know and learn more but time is such a difficult thing we still need to learn how to grow on trees! 

Katharine might now be the biggest physio fan we have had on here to date! She has gone from someone not knowing much, to singing the praises of what we can do on all occasions. On no less than 4 separate times on our chat, she started shouting about how awesome physio was and Donna only brought up the conversation once! Amazing! 

We learnt that Katharine is a BLACK BELT martial artist! Wow! And knows several disciplines of martial arts.

She has had very close encounters when she worked with Cheetahs and she had to treat a snail. That was not easy! 

We had an amazing lesson on Bob Marley, who she wanted to chat with! But none of us knew he had a Nobel Prize until one of our awesome listeners told us about it! For his poetry! We love how much we learn in doing these shows, and about all subjects! Most of all, we love learning more and more about our vets and building a bond. 

I have to say, I got quite a connection with Katharine so I think we will stay in touch despite her being in Essex! Thanks for coming on the show Katharine! 

What Katharine Loves about Physio:

…It’s a different way of thinking about things… I mentioned I had chiropracty on my back last year and it was quite interesting how releasing muscles that felt quite a long way away from where it hurt helped a lot. So that was already in my head as “that’s interesting, I didn’t know that” sort of thing, because with animals, you don’t know. You can’t ask them.

So often… in a veterinary setting… it’s quite common that all animals are tense because they don’t want to be there. And that’s sort of fair enough. But it sort of opened up a bit of a channel… it’s very interesting about how the cause of pain is the joint but actually, the fact that you’ve got those muscles tightening and these ones not working is making it worse… so once it gets to a certain point, it’s not just a case of taking the pain away because those muscles are still spasming and tight. And okay, they might not hurt, but they’re still not working like they should be, so it’s just the other way of looking at it.

And I think as vets, we’ve all had these cases where you’ve had particularly the classic arthritic dog, very very stoic, never ever shown a problem, then boom! Maybe because it’s so gradual or maybe the owners haven’t noticed or they’ve chalked it up to age, it takes a long time and previously a lot of drug trials and things like this to get them on the straight and narrow. So it’s been a real revelation in terms of “we can control the pain here, great that’s done, but that’s not the end of it”.

I think I in the past am maybe a bit guilty of, I’d say “oh yeah, you’d better get some physio of hydro” but not really follow it up, but now it’s so nice to be able to say “oh feel this muscle, compared to this muscle, it feels so much tougher and if we just do some massages” and then I’ll sit there and do some massage while we’re having a conversation about whatever else is going on. And then it will be like “look: have a feel now, this is just 5 minutes of it”…

it almost feels powerful because you’re empowering people to do something that will really help, it doesn’t require a lot, it requires feeling, getting to know your dog, getting to know what’s normal so you can feel what’s abnormal, getting to read their signs that they’re uncomfortable, don’t push them too far. All that kind of thing. It’s really good and it’s really rewarding because it’s another way of helping and it’s not just helping the dog, it’s helping the owner.  

Katharine’s Biography:

Katharine is a small animal vet who has lived and worked in Essex her whole life – in fact her first vet job was only half a mile away from the hospital she was born in! She graduated from the RVC in 2008 and started work in Harlow in mixed animal practice.

After two years, she realised she was a bit too short for a lot of cattle and horse work, and moved to a small animal only clinic in Tiptree. Since then she has remained working with small animals, with an interest in soft tissue surgery, cytology and small mammals.

She has also worked in clinics in Braintree, Maldon and Great Notley before coming to her current job at Mercer and Hughes in Great Dunmow, Essex. She recently spent a day with Donna as part of a ‘holistic vet’ learning journey to learn more about the role of physio and non-drug options for chronic orthopaedic pain in cats and dogs. 

These days Katharine splits her time between her veterinary work and being a single mum to her 5 year old daughter, who despite having been exposed to animals and veterinary medicine her entire life currently wants to be a rock star or a scientist when she grows up!”

If you want to catch them live, join her on her socials on our facebook and youtube channels or follow us on spotify. You can catch up on previous episodes on our vlogs page.

Enjoy the show! And if you want to nominate your vet to join Donna for an interview, then email [email protected] and we will do our best.