The Metta Pet Clinic
Managing chronic pain and long term health conditions in a calm and relaxed purposely designed space.
My aim is that a visit here is a positive experience for both you and your pet - their comfort and wellbeing is my top priority.
The goal is to provide an integrative veterinary approach tailored to your pet's individual needs. What this means in practice is looking at your pet as a whole and creating a treatment plan specific to your pet.
Whether we are trying to ease their chronic pain and improve their mobility, manage a long term health problem or prevent an issue becoming a problem in the first place, the appointments are created in such a way to allow plenty of time to discuss the options and treat accordingly.
Treatments may include conventional medications as well as acupuncture, herbal medicine, myofascial/massage treatment and laser therapy.
Services at Metta Pet Clinic
Chronic Pain Assessment
Split into two separate appointments, allow 60 minutes for each one
This is carried out in two parts. Part one is an in depth phone consultation where together we review your pet's history and discuss any questions that you may have. Prior to this appointment I will have read the medical history sent over by your primary care vet and studied any photos or video's that I may have already requested. This usually takes over an hour so have somewhere comfy and quiet to sit!
The second part of the assessment is held at the clinic. Again, we have an hour so there is plenty of time to examine your pet and begin tailoring a plan to help improve the quality of their life. This plan can include environment, exercise, nutrition and lifestyle guidance, onward referral to physiotherapy/hydrotherapy/behaviourist and adjustments to medications in addition to utilising the treatments at Metta.
Allow 60 minutes
The initial consultation involves reviewing your pet's relevant medical history, a pain assessment examination, time to discuss any concerns you may have and the first acupuncture treatment.
Subsequent acupuncture treatments
Subsequent visits involve assessment and treatment, addressing differing needs as they occur. Includes regular updates to your primary care Veterinary surgeon.
Galen myotherapy assessment
Allow 60+ mins
Allow 45-60 mins
If we have decided a course of Galen myotherapy could help during a chronic pain assessment then we will have already carried out a detailed initial assessment so will move straight into treatment.
If your pet has been referred purely for Galen myotherapy then due to the Covid situation, the initial myotherapy assessment will start with a phone consultation in most cases, giving us time to discuss your pet’s history and needs in detail. This consultation can take an hour or so so make sure you have a comfy seat and a cuppa if required.
This detailed discussion is an essential part of the myotherapy process as it helps us identify any adaptations that could be made to your pet's environment and lifestyle that will have positive long term effects on their mobility and wellbeing.
Myotherapy treatments are specifically tailored to the needs of your pet. I work with them at ground level using massage and other manual techniques. This treatment is choice led which means your pet is able to move around or leave the treatment area should they need to. It aims to help manage chronic muscular and soft tissue pain in a gentle effective manner.
Sports massage for canine athletes
Allow 45-60 mins
Myotherapy massage can benefit canine athletes by soothing post event muscle soreness, restoring flexibility and improving gait and balance. At Metta massage therapy is implemented to decrease recovery time, enhance tissue healing and promote muscles to relax. Pre and post event myotherapy techniques can be taught to the handler with the aim to maintain optimum muscular efficiency, reduce the risk of injury and reinforce the connection between the dog and the handler.
Allow 60+ mins for the first appointment, 30mins for subsequent check ups
Herbal medicine is a complimentary therapy, it is something that can be used alongside and not instead of conventional medicine. It is used to optimise your pet’s ongoing treatment and promote overall health and balance.
It does not work as quickly as conventional treatment but using it as an adjunct is considered a well rounded approach to medicine.
Owner compliance is essential. Some of the herbs need to be given twice or three times a day so if this is not something you will be able to do a different approach may be needed.
The effects can take several weeks to be seen and sometimes the formulae will need to be adjusted to find the best fit for your pet.
Laser (Photobiomodulation) Treatment
A non invasive technique that offers anti-inflammatory and pain relieving effects and promotes repair of soft tissues. Most commonly this is used as an adjunct to other modalities.
Most insurance companies cover chronic pain consultations, acupuncture, laser treatment and myotherapy but it is advisable to give them a call to confirm.
Where appropriate I also see dogs and cats with other conditions - please email for further information.
All patients must have written consent from their primary care Veterinary Surgeon before attending their first appointment. I will contact your Vet directly to attain this but due to the General Data Protection Regulation, you will need to call your Vet to give them permission to send any relevant history to me.
Metta is next door to the Wye branch of Cinque Ports vets. Keep an eye out for my sign from the road, park on the roadside then head on up the drive. You will find me tucked in between the two clinics!
Please note that the parking for the clinic is on the roadside.
If you require assistance transporting your pets from the car to the clinic please let me know, I will happily help you.
My name is Sarah Bignell-Howse and I am a Veterinary Surgeon who is passionate about improving the quality of life of animals, no matter what stage in their life they are at.
I qualified from the Royal Veterinary College in 2000 and I cared for patients of all shapes and sizes; continuing with my studies to gain a certificate in GP small animal medicine in 2005.
Out of the blue in 2011 I contracted Lyme disease. Within a year I was too unwell to work so I had to step away from my patients and focus on recovery.
Over this time I obtained valuable experience of how important a holistic view is in managing chronic diseases and in the recovery of health. I utilised many rehabilitation modalities to restore myself to wellness. It was these experiences that were the inspiration for me to refocus the direction of my clinical work towards addressing chronic pain, chronic disease, rehabilitation and preventative medicine.
To expand the services that I could offer my patients I completed the foundation course run by the Western Veterinary Acupuncture Group which has taught vets all around the globe how to use acupuncture applying scientific principles and prioritising safety. I am undertaking the certificate in Chronic Pain Management for animals and am a member of the Association of British Veterinary Acupuncturists.
I completed the foundation training in Western Veterinary Herbal medicine in 2021 and have found the use of medical grade herbs to be a very helpful addition to treatment plans. I am a member of the British Association of Veterinary Herbalists.
I am a registered Galen myotherapist and use targeted massage techniques to manage chronic muscular pain and other conditions and it's use is not just restricted to dogs, I commonly teach people how to massage their cats and rabbits !
I am also a member of the British Veterinary Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine association and work alongside local physiotherapists and hydrotherapists when a multidisciplinary approach is required.
Being able to utilise these different techniques means that I can tailor treatment to the individual, depending on their condition.
Metta is the practice of loving kindness and compassion to all beings and signifies everything I want to offer to my patients.
The beautiful logo was created by my talented friend, the artist Emma Coletti. I knew that I needed both my beloved dog and cat to become part of Metta as they taught me so much, and I wanted to incorporate a Koru, which symbolises new life and growth. Emma took those ideas and the Metta logo was born.
I consider myself very fortunate that I have had the opportunity to create a tranquil space where I can give my sole attention to you and your pet's pain and mobility needs.