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Spotlight on Oncology

13th December 2021

Our full medical oncology referral service includes the services of a soft tissue surgeon for a multidisciplinary approach. Services include: Diagnostic investigations, staging of patients with a known tumour diagnosis, radiography, ultrasound, MRI and CT with guided tissue sampling.

A dedicated chemotherapy suite where patients can be hospitalised separately. Cancer patients are often immunocompromised and as chemotherapy results in myelosuppression, it is important to isolate these patients from the general hospital population.

In some situations it may be possible to offer a treatment protocol, once a diagnoses and staging has been carried out, allowing for chemotherapy treatment to be carried out by the home practice.

Shirley van Lelyveld BVSc MSc (Clinical Oncology) DipECVIM-CA(Oncology) MRCVS

Shirley is a European Specialist in Oncology with more than 17 years’ experience working in this discipline. She qualified in 1996Shirley van Lelyveld, Veterinarian at Dovecote Veterinary Hospital from the University of Pretoria (Onderstepoort) and has worked in a number of small animal practices in the UK since then. In April 2004 she started a three year residency in clinical oncology at Veterinary Referrals Cancer and Critical Care (VRCC), completing her residency in 2007. Thereafter, Shirley was awarded a Master of Science degree in Clinical Oncology by the Institute of Cancer Research at Birmingham University, having presented a thesis on radiation therapy for soft tissue sarcomas.

In June 2007 she moved to a veterinary specialist practice in Hertfordshire as staff oncologist. After taking sabbatical for study, she obtained her European Diploma in Oncology in 2015 and joined Dovecote Veterinary Hospital shortly after.

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Clients have said
  • I just wanted to say how amazing Kimberly was today with me and my dog Rolo. She could see how upset I was, made me feel at ease and reassured me that Rolo would be okay. Her level of professionalism and kind nature helped me get through a difficult day

  • Lovely, caring staff, who go the extra mile. Wouldn’t go anywhere else.

  • Everyone has always been so kind and Charlie absolutely loves his visits. The receptionists are particularly wonderful and are always on hand with a box of tissues for the numerous tears we’ve shed.

  • Think ‘The Supervet’ and that’s the level of care and professionalism. Highly recommend

  • I work as a registered vet nurse and had to come to Dovecote with my dog Alfie. I was squeezed in and was seen promptly by Sergio right after a long operation. He was so kind to Alfie and explained everything to my mom (who is not vet trained) and did Alfie’s MRI there and then even though it was going to make it a late finish. Unfortunately we had to make the call to put my lovely boy to sleep and Sergio and the nurses were really kind and helpful. I received your lovely card today and want to thank you all for your help and seeing him so quickly. I will be forever grateful.

  • I had a very positive experience at Dovecote. I met the vet that day that was going to perform my dog’s surgery and I was immediately put at ease by his professional, friendly and caring consultation. All the staff I came in contact with were lovely, from the welcoming reception staff to the nurses I kept ringing through the evening! My dog is now back to her normal naughty self, I can’t thank them enough.

  • Really good consultation with neurologist Sergio today with CT and MRI scan. Very well organised with helpful, professional staff.

  • The Supervets of the north!

  • Whole team were welcoming and made myself and my cat feel very comfortable! Mark Lowrie is fantastic!! Thank you for coping with me as a worried owner!

  • Receptionists, physio, nurses and vets were all fantastic, every single member of staff is worth their weight in gold.


Every year Dovecote Veterinary Hospital deliver a number of free CPD evenings covering a wide range of topics from oncology to emergency critical care.

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