Our Veterinary Surgeons

Nigel Martin


Nigel’s interest in animals began at an early age, when he would eagerly anticipate visits to see his grandparents and great aunt. They were all warm and welcoming, and they owned cats!

Nigel’s aunt had a faded black and white photograph of a beautiful collie pup, a family pet in the 1930s, and she shared the story about the young dog dying of distemper not long after the picture was taken. Of course, there were no vaccines to protect against this at that time, and Nigel remembers feeling deeply upset. He also credits this as what ultimately drove his career path.

After studying veterinary medicine at Edinburgh University, Nigel gained extensive experience in mixed practices in the North of England and in Scotland before spending a year at a small animal hospital in Singapore. He developed a further qualification in radiology whilst working as an assistant in Scotland before finally deciding to start up his own practice.

This has been an all-consuming passion since 1992, although he has managed to make some time for family life too. Nigel’s wife, children and their pets – currently one small dog with a large personality, Pete, and two elderly and eccentric cats, Granville and Felix – keep his feet planted firmly on the ground, and ensure that he maintains some outside interests. Pete is a keen hill-walker and works hard to persuade the Martins to head for the Scottish hills as often as possible.

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Deborah Forrester


After watching a television programme about the work of the SSPCA, Deborah Forrester announced to her parents that she wanted a job working with animals, either as a vet or an SSPCA inspector. She imagined herself being winched from a helicopter as she rescued stranded animals from cliff faces. By the age of eight, the less dangerous option of being a vet began to seem much more appealing. As a teenager, Deborah spent her spare time seeing practice at the local vets and gaining experience on farms before she was delighted to be offered a place at Glasgow University Vet School.

After graduation, Deborah worked in a small animal hospital in Gateshead. She then spent six months working and travelling in Australia, which was a great experience, although she does mention that her lack of knowledge about kangaroos did cause a few problems! Upon her return home, Deborah worked in small animal practices in Edinburgh and Aberdeen before moving to the west of Scotland. She has been working part-time at Shore Veterinary Centre since 2006, which has allowed her the flexibility of continuing her career and also spending time with her two children.

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Fergus Coutts


Fergus Coutts was raised in a veterinary family and never really considered any other career other than veterinary practice; it was a vocation. After graduating from the University of Edinburgh in 1981, he spent several years gaining experience before joining his father in the family practice in 1987, eventually becoming a partner and taking over the reins upon his retirement.

Fergus and his father developed a small animal practice in the local community based on a high standard of client care and compassionate clinical expertise, underpinned by the ethos that “Every animal entrusted to their care was treated as if it were their very own”. They had a collaborative atmosphere in the practice and valued everyone’s contributions, involving clients, staff, nurses and clinicians in developing their standards. Fergus enjoyed every aspect of general practice – especially x-rays, ultrasound and small animal medicine. A particular interest in pain management started in 2005.

Fergus returned to Scotland in 2008 and currently combines his extensive experience in first-opinion practice with developing a veterinary pain management referral practice in Stirling.

He enjoys all aspects of being a vet, developing a relationship with clients and, most importantly, helping their pets. Offering the very best care for veterinary patients includes routine visits for optimising health and, if they fall ill, helping them back to health so they can enjoy long, happy lives.

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