About Us


  • Ross Ashley Machin DVM MRCVS OCQ(V)-CA GPCert(ExAP) PgC(ExAS)
  • RCVS Advanced Practitioner in Zoological Medicine
  • Veterinary Consultant. Web Director, Designer and Editor.

Ross has been keeping and breeding reptiles for over 25 years. Since graduation he has worked in first opinion and referral hospitals including one of the top exotics hospitals in the UK for over two years. Currently he has opened his own practice in Leicestershire where he sees first opinion small animals and exotics referrals. This practice is set up with equipment and instrumentation that enables exotic animal procedures and diagnostics. He also runs the veterinary parasitology laboratory via reptiland.co.uk performing tests for parasite identification for exotic pet owners, rescues including RSPCA and veterinary practices.

He has acquired the Postgraduate European Certificate in Exotic Animal Practice (GPCertExAP), also the UK based Postgraduate Certificate in Exotic Animal Studies (PgCExAS) and has been awarded RCVS Advanced Practitioner in Zoological Medicine status. 

He attends national and international zoological medicine conferences and has publications in the field including a chapter contribution for the new edition of BSAVA Manual of Reptiles and "Common Gastrointestinal Parasites in Reptiles" for the British Veterinary Association (BVA) publication In Practice. He has just finalised working on three chapters for the new reptile medicine and surgery book.

He is an active member of international associations including British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA), British Veterinary Association (BVA), Association of Reptilian and Amphibian veterinarians (ARAV), Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians (AEMV), Veterinary Information Network (VIN), and the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC).

In his free time he enjoys playing football and squash, snow boarding, cycling and just chilling out with friends.

  • María Isabel Martí Insa DVM MRCVS GPCert(SAM)
  • Veterinary Consultant. Web Editor.

From a very young age she always had a great interest in animals and wanted to be an "animal doctor" from just 2 years of age. Her first pets were a pair of budgies named Pin and Pon, followed by a hamster family. At the age of 12 she acquired an adorable Samoyed puppy named Rox and then her Terrier Arco who sadly was not with her for very long.

She was introduced to the world of exotics and soon found out the many animals that suffer through inadequate husbandry, therefore joining the cause. She has maintained groups of Harvest mice, African pigmy (domestic) hedgehogs, Tenrecs and various reptile species.

Her passion for exotic animals and internal medicine has driven her to see practice and work in exotic animal veterinary practices in Spain and the UK. She has collaborated in volunteer neutering programs around Europe. 

She currently has completed her European Certificate in Internal Medicine and works in a small animal veterinary practice where she sees first opinion reptiles and exotic animals, along with cats and dogs. She is an active member of reptiland.co.uk and helps maintain the site.

During her free time she enjoys social events with her friends, snowboarding, walking her dogs Xuxi, Chiara and Sira, and her cats Sona and Mincho. 

  • Ian Lowe BVetMed MRCVS GPCert(ExAP)
  • Veterinary Consultant

​Ian graduated from the Royal Veterinary College. Ian became a partner in October 2009 after working at the practice for 18 months.Ian is experienced in all aspects of Veterinary medicine and surgery. He has previously worked in a large busy small animal practice in Manchester, undertaking a large caseload of orthopaedic surgical procedures. Ian moved to the Sheffield area where he managed and led an Emergency and Critical Care Centre team.

He has a special interest in the care of exotic pets, wildlife and zoo collections.  From the more common snakes, lizards, tortoises, amphibians, rabbits, birds and fish to the more obscure of the species such as marmoset monkeys, sugar gliders, meerkats, prairie dogs, African pygmy hedgehogs and degus.

He completed a European certificate in exotic animal practice in 2012 in order to keep up to date with modern treatment developments and current best practice. Ian not only deals with first opinion exotic cases but accepts referrals from other Veterinary practices throughout the UK.

Ian is also interested in all aspects of surgery, dermatology (skin conditions) and the care of brachycephalic dog breeds (boxers, bulldogs, pugs, mastiffs etc).

During his free time Ian enjoys all outdoor sports, going to the gym, cooking, gardening, DIY and looking after his collection of Royal Pythons.

  • Claire Power BVSc MRCVS GPCert(ExAP)
  • Veterinary Consultant

Claire qualified from the University of Bristol in 1995 and worked in small animal and emergency practice in Derbyshire before joining Downland in 2008. She has a certificate in Exotic Animal Practice and also enjoys soft tissue surgery and challenging dog and cat medical cases.

She has done voluntary vet work in Mexico (where she adopted her Mexican dog Pablo) and Malawi, and also for a British wildlife hospital – all were great experiences.

  • Mark Naguib BVMS(Hons) CertAVP(ZooMed)
  • RCVS Advanced Practitioner in Zoological medicine
  • Veterinary Consultant

Mark qualified from Glasgow in 2009 and joined Battle Flatts a year later, based at the Stamford Bridge surgery. As well as treating dogs and cats, he has a keen interest in "exotic" animals. Mark holds the RCVS Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice in the field of Zoological Medicine and has experience treating over 200 species of birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and exotic mammals. In 2014 he was awarded the RCVS Advanced Practitioner in Zoological Medicine Status. This status is awarded to vets who have not only undertaken further study and passed exams in a particular area of veterinary work (in Mark’s case reptiles, birds and other so-called ‘exotic’ animals), but have also confirmed that they continue keep up to date with all the latest developments in their field.

  • Catherine Thomas BVM&S MRCVS CertAVP(ZooMed)
  • Veterinary Consultant

Catherine Thomas is the founder of Suffolk Exotic Vet Services (SEVS). She is a veterinary surgeon with many years of experience working with small animals, including a variety of birds and exotic pets. From a young age Catherine has kept a variety of pets including birds, chinchillas and reptiles. It was her love for these animals that led her to the idea of being a veterinary surgeon.

Since graduating from Edinburgh University in 2006 Catherine has been working in small animal practices around East Anglia, including referral exotic animal practices in Essex Cambridgeshire and Dorset. Working with exotic pets is one of Catherine’s major passions in life, she finds it extremely rewarding and that is the reason she set up SEVS in 2014.

Over recent years Catherine has devoted a large amount of time to studying the care of exotic pets and has learnt from some of the best avian and exotic experts in the world.