Meet our Supervet Barbara

Author: Amy Holloway

Hailed as a Supervet by many of our clients, Barbara Grabczyk is definitely a Vet you won’t forget in a hurry. She is straight talking yet kind and empathetic, she has a big personality and a lot of passion when it comes to animal healthcare, and is a powerhouse in the operating theatre, especially when it comes to pushing forward with new approaches to ensure the optimum outcome.

Barbara will be co-hosting our next Know Your Breed Meetup for Dachshunds and their owners, so we wanted to share some interesting facts with you about this special lady.

Polish roots

Barbara grew up and studied in Poland, and after discovering she had a passion for medicine, decided to try her hand at becoming a Vet. After qualifying as a veterinary surgeon in 2010 from a Warsaw University, Barbara took some time out before joining a small animal hospital in Poland. She later travelled to the UK to further her knowledge and experience, and we’re lucky enough to have had Barbara working with us at Clent Hills Vets for over four years now.

In the coming months, we’re going to be launching a Polish service centred around Barbara to help clients who would benefit from receiving animal care & advice in their native Polish tongue. Keep your eye on our Facebook page if this is something that would benefit you or someone you know.

Going the extra mile

‘Supervet’ Barbara is well known for building strong bonds with the pets she treats and their owners, and for going the extra mile to ensure they receive the best possible care. We often see Barbara in the practice on her day off, whether it’s to administer chemotherapy to one of her special patients, or if it’s time to say goodbye to another, she will often insist that she is there to help pet and owner through this sad time.

Complex surgeries and elastic cats

We asked Barbara what she likes most about being a vet, and she told us that it’s definitely the surgery, the more complex the better. She is particularly proud of the numerous c-sections and foreign body removals she has undertaken since being at Clent Hills Vets.

One surgery that springs to mind for Barbara, is when she had to stitch a blocked gallbladder to the dog’s intestines to enable bile flow as the dog had become very poorly from the obstruction. Another memorable surgery was a tracheostomy on a Poodle that had laryngeal paralysis, where the vocal cords kept collapsing and blocking the airway, making it very difficult for the dog to breathe. By performing a tracheostomy – creating an external hole in the windpipe – Barbara and her team were able to dramatically improve the Poodle’s quality of life.

Her favourite animal to operate on is a cat, as their abdominal wall is quite elastic so it allows you to ‘dive straight in’ (not literally) and do what needs to be done. She told us she really enjoys the challenge of emergency surgeries, such as a splenectomy where there is internal bleeding and time is of the essence.

Keyhole surgery advocate

In 2016, Barbara was the first vet in our practice to perform a laparoscopic spay and has championed the surgery ever since. She is a strong advocate of all the great benefits this type of surgery promotes, such as minimal invasiveness whilst giving an equal level of internal surgical scope, reduced scarring and recovery time, and much less discomfort for the pet. Barbara now helps to train other vets and nurses in the practice on how to perform laparoscopic, or keyhole, spays.

Holidays at animal shelters

Something else we know Barbara is particularly proud of is her recent two-week vacation in Grenada, where she donated her time and skills helping the vets and nurses at Saint George’s GSPCA Shelter. Barbara told us she had known about these types of projects for some time and always wanted to get involved, but felt now was the right time for her in terms of experience and energy levels. Whilst there, Barbara needed to be up at 6am every day, which she told us is NOT the norm for her, and helped out with general animal care as well as a number of neuters and other surgeries. Would she go back and do it again? In a heartbeat.

Spaniels and Dachshunds

At home, Barbara lives with a lively springer spaniel called Roscoe (main photo above), and previously owned a miniature wirehaired Dachshund named Baya. If you’re coming to our Dachshund Meetup on Tuesday 12th December, be sure to ask Barbara about her own sausage dog experiences.

If you would like to book an appointment for your pet to see Barbara, get in touch with our team today.