The Cat and Rabbit Care Clinic in Abington, Northampton seems to be defying the commonly-held belief that owners of some the more common exotics are not prepared to go to any great lengths if their animal gets ill.

According to head veterinary surgeon Simon Maddock, about one third of the practice's workload is now for guinea pigs – a figure growing year by year. More to the point, many of their clients are travelling a considerable distance to get veterinary care.

Simon said: "We certainly didn’t start out to become so popular with guinea pig owners; it’s happened more by word of mouth. Our reputation has grown mainly through owners talking to each other on online forums. 

"I reckon we must see at least one guinea pig a day that has travelled more than 50 miles to see us. One couple regularly make a 175-mile round trip from North Wales. We even have someone visit us from Scotland. That’s one long trip to make!"

Simon added: “Although the practice was originally established to provide dedicated cat and rabbit owners with veterinary care specifically tailored to these pets, we have also found guinea pig owners to be just as committed to their pets and they are quick to look for signs of illness."

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