All clients please read the information regarding dispensing of flea and worming treatment, effective from January 2024 onwards.
We continue to ask that clients DO NOT attend practice if they have, or suspect they have, COVID-19. Thank you.

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In early January 2024, new legislation came into force that may affect you and your pet(s) next time you need anti-parasite treatments (the routine flea and worming treatments). Where we could previously dispense for up to 12 months from the date of their last visit, we are now likely to have to see your pet again before we can dispense any more medication.

Any of these products classed as 'Prescription-Only Medicines - Vet' (POM-V on the box), which includes most of the flea and worming treatments we routinely dispense in-practice, can only now be prescribed following a physical examination. Once this is done, the vet can leave a note to say that we continue to dispense that same product for a period of time up to 12 months (at their discretion). Unfortunately, if you wish to change product, or your pet changes into a different weight category, we will then need to see them again before we can provide an alternative product.

We appreciate this is quite a big change, and will be quite frustrating in the short term but as these are government regulations we must follow the guidance we are given.

If you would like to read more about the changes, you can do so here.

This is who we are

Opened shortly before the record wet summer of 1873, ours is the oldest small animal veterinary practice in the United Kingdom, and, arguably, the oldest on-going business in St Albans. We are not part of a group of practices, nor are we part of a corporate concern. We don’t answer to bosses off-site, or shareholders, let alone shareholders who know nothing about what we do. We do not work to sales and other targets, and our treatments, advice, and recommendations are entirely centred on you and your pet.


Our only aim is the health and welfare of your pet, and how to help you achieve that. For example, we have been offering free health checks to our oldies for many years, and will tell you exactly what they may or may not need thereafter, if anything, and what it might cost. This clinical examination, however, often ends with a "Well done! Keep in touch!" only. All our new kittens and puppies go home with a free, safe and effective parasite control. This is what keeps us happy.


Our involvement with animals is long and deep. There is a very good chance that, as client, you will see the same member of staff you saw twenty, or even thirty years ago. It is not uncommon for us see your pet through its whole life. Mr Hess has always been surrounded by dogs, and now has nine at home. There is very little about animal behaviour he does not know. He is often seen out with his terriers and is the current Chairman and Breed Health Co-ordinator for the Norfolk Terrier Club of Great Britain, reporting to the Kennel Club. Clare Loizides has been with the practice for at least 25 years and is a vet who is devoted to internal medicine and loves the detective work involved. Dr Charlotte Parte joined us in 2022 from a busy small animal practice in London. She is a very experienced vet and has a special interest in dentistry. Between them, our nurses have (or have had) all kinds of animals from the usual dogs, cats, chickens and guinea pigs, to the more exotic tortoises, marsupials and horses, and are happy talk about animals all day long. Some have been doing so right here for 30 years and more. We are fully equipped and can do most things on site, but maintain very close relationships with several specialist practices. There is nothing we cannot help you and your animal with.


When you come to Animalism, you will find yourself part of a large gang of happy animal people. Many already know this, and travel great distances to see us. By far our best advertisement is word of mouth.

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