About Us

Proudly Independent

At Mackie & Brechin we do things differently. As one of the few remaining truly independent veterinary practices serving the Edinburgh area and Central Scotland we pride ourselves in offering a personal and high quality service tailored to the needs of our clients. We really care about the service that we offer and what our clients think about us. We aim at all times to be approachable, available and accountable and pride ourselves in investing in the most up to date facilities and training to enable us to look after your beloved pet in the best way possible. We are a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Accredited Small Animal Practice which is testament to our high standard of care and are continually developing the services that we offer to both keep us at the forefront of new technologies and make sure that what we do we do well. We believe that our dedication to the above principles are what sets us apart in the increasingly corporate world of veterinary care.

What we offer

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Who we are


Niall Dickson BVM&S GP CERT (Small Animal Medicine) MRCVS


Niall qualified from the Dick Vet in 1999 and joined us in 2006. He achieved a further professional qualification from the European School of Veterinary Post Graduate Studies in General Small Animal Medicine in 2009. Niall became a director of the practice in 2010 (on the same day his daughter was born!). Since then he has driven forward the progressive development of our companion animal services up to the transition from a mixed practice to a purely companion animal practice in 2017. Niall has a particular interest in canine and feline geriatric medicine, complex medical case management, and dermatology.

Outside of work he is a keen mountain biker, climber and skier.

Geoffrey Appleton BVMS GP Cert (Small Animal Surgery) MRCVS


Geoff graduated from Glasgow Vet School in 1993, and after working in Nottinghamshire joined Mackie and Brechin in 1997. He is especially interested in the surgical side of small animal practice and gained a further qualification from the European School of Veterinary Post Graduate Studies in Small Animal Surgery in 2009. Since then Geoff has developed further experience and expertise in orthopaedic surgery, his particular area of interest, and is one of the few vets in Scotland offering regenerative medicine for orthopaedic disease.

Geoff became a director of Mackie and Brechin in 2017 and enjoys participating in the forward development of the practice and of the service we provide.

Simon Ruddell BSc PhD BVM&S MRCVS


Simon qualified from the Dick Vet in 2009 after previously gaining a BSc and PhD in Zoology and Behavioural Ecology. After working as a mixed practice vet in rural Aberdeenshire he joined the practice in 2011 and became a director in 2017. Simon enjoys the variety and challenge of General Medicine and Surgery, especially taking an holistic approach to disease management and working with owners to help with issues affecting welfare and quality of life.

In his spare time Simon likes to get outside, especially with the kids, and in doing so is always ready for a new challenge (skateboarding at 40, anyone?). He loves nature and has had a variety of pets from a munro-bagging Yorkie and gentle collie-cross to bossy chickens and even a flock of sheep!

Anna Dickson BVM&S MRCVS GPCert (Small Animal Medicine)

Anna graduated from the Dick Vet in 1998. She worked down south for a few years before returning home to Edinburgh and ultimately joining Mackie & Brechin in 2016. Her main interests are medicine and ultrasound, especially cardiac ultrasound and she achieved a further qualification from the European School of Veterinary Post Graduate Studies in General Small Animal Medicine in 2006. Anna’s spare time is kept busy looking after her two young children, but she looks forward to getting back to climbing, walking and sailing as they get older.

Michael Rampersad BSc BVMS MRCVS

Michael graduated from Glasgow University Vet School in 2011 having previously completed a degree in Zoology at the University of Edinburgh. After graduating, Michael worked in mixed practice on the Isle of Man and the West of Scotland before finally returning to this side of the country to join Mackie & Brechin in 2017, just after the practice moved focus to companion animals only. Since then Michael has pursued his interest in chronic pain management, providing an acupuncture service alongside advice on medications, physical therapies and adjustments that can be made at home to enhance the quality of life to our patients. He also enjoys working up medical cases, managing eye conditions and soft tissue surgery.

When not at work, Michael winds down with some quality time with Siren and Furiosa, the family cats. Given the chance, you may find him out walking in nature, most likely with a camera in hand.

Aleksandra Ociepka MRCVS

Aleksandra Ociepka MRCVS

Aleks graduated from the Agricultural Academy of Wroclaw in 2004. She worked as a small animal practitioner in Poland until moving to Scotland and joining Mackie and Brechin in 2021. Aleks particularly enjoys soft tissue surgery, ultrasound, reproduction and geriatrics. She is full of energy and empathy and loves what she does.

Aleks loves horse riding in the woods and reading a good book. She is a big fan of traveling and discovering new places and is particularly fond of the Tatra mountains. She is the owner of two cats called Ryszard and Mieczyslaw and a horse called Pepsi!

Photo of Alex and Arya

Alexzndria Ace BVM&S MRCVS

Originally from Singapore, Alex qualified from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in 2019. Alex enjoys all aspects of medicine and surgery and has a particular interest in exotic pets and wildlife.

At home Alex has a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel called Arya, a cat called Milo, a royal python called Mazikeen, a blue-tongued skink called Xavier and a pair of neon day geckos called Sanka and Samoa. In her spare time (when not busy with the pets!) Alex enjoys creating artwork, hiking and traveling the world and is always planning her next adventure abroad.


Lyn Brown RVN, BSc (Hons), VN cert. (ECC).

Head Nurse

Lyn joined Mackie & Brechin in 2008 as a part-time receptionist and student veterinary nurse and graduated from Napier University with an honours degree in 2011. Lyn became head nurse in 2018. She has a particular interest in medical nursing and undertook an Emergency and Critical Care qualification in 2016. Lyn enjoys nurse clinics and promoting preventative healthcare through the Mackie & Brechin Facebook page and waiting room displays. As a clinical coach Lyn also enjoys helping to train the future generation of veterinary nurses.

Lyn has a tabby cat called Alfie and in her spare time enjoys spending time outdoors with her family and swimming.

Colette Bewley RVN

Having worked in customer service for 15 years Colette retrained as a veterinary nurse and graduated from the Edinburgh College of Animal Welfare in 2012. She enjoys nurse appointments where she can interact with clients directly and help with any questions and concerns they may have. Colette has a cute cat and two gorgeous Labradors who she loves to take on long walks.

Kim Moody RVN

Kim trained at Berkshire College of Agriculture and Barony College in Dumfries and qualified in 2002. She particularly enjoys anaesthesia and radiography. Kim is presently studying for a Diploma in Advanced Canine Behaviour and has a young Jack Russell Terrier to practise on. Her hobbies include cooking, hill walking and camping with her family.

Chloe Richards RVN

Chloe qualified from Edinburgh (Telford) College in 2014 having previously completed the Vet Nurse Preparatory course. She joined the practice part-time in 2017 and became a full-time member of staff in 2018. Chloe has a keen interest in exotics including rabbits and chickens, and emergency and critical care. Chloe shows great compassion with clients and has a very calming nature. Chloe is also a clinical coach and enjoys sharing her knowledge with the next generation of nurses (some of which are currently employed by Mackie and Brechin).

Chloe has a dog called Holly, and a cat called Angus. In her spare time Chloe enjoys day trips and adventures with her young family and Holly, gardening and growing her own food. She also enjoys catching up with friends with a coffee (aka gin) and cake.

Stuart Abernethy RVN, BSc (Hons)

Stuart graduated as a Registered Veterinary Nurse from Edinburgh Napier University in 2020. He is from Northern Ireland and moved to Scotland in 2015 to attend University. Stuart was a student veterinary nurse practising at Mackie and Brechin for 3 years before becoming a permanent, full time member of staff.

Being diabetic himself, Stuart has a particular interest in the management of diabetic animals.

He has a chocolate Labrador called Daisy and in his spare time he likes to cook and go for walks.

Ellen Paton RVN

Ellen Paton RVN

Ellen joined Mackie and Brechin in June 2021 after qualifying from the College of Animal Welfare in Edinburgh. In a previous life she worked in the pharmaceutical industry as an analytical chemist. Ellen enjoys all aspects of nursing and is particularly interested in wound management. At home she is kept busy by her two daughters, a cat called Bobby and a chicken called Muffin. Any spare time is spent doing pilates and going for long walks.


Pamela Hinton

Pamela joined Mackie & Brechin in March 1982 as a veterinary nurse having previously worked in several Edinburgh veterinary practices. With a move to management in 1995 she now oversees the administration, personnel matters and is ultimately responsible for the smooth running of the practice. As the business continues to evolve and grow, new challenges and skills have been embraced.

Pamela is an active member of the South Queensferry Women’s Institute and regularly fundraises for Motor Neurone Disease Scotland along with many other local charities.


Norma Shaw

Head receptionist

Norma joined Mackie & Brechin in 2000 and was originally based at our branch surgery in Linlithgow. Norma is a very well-known face to clients and as head receptionist is responsible for the smooth running of reception. Norma is enrolled in the British Veterinary Receptionists Association and is working her way through the awards. She is always happy to help clients or staff with any issues they come across and loves to get to the bottom of a mystery.

Norma has many years of experience working with and training dogs. She currently shows and races Siberian Huskies.

Jacqui Inglis

Jacqui joined Mackie & Brechin in 2002 as our Linlithgow receptionist. She is a real animal lover and has always had cats in her life. As a child she wanted to be a vet’s assistant so her dream finally came true (her alternative career of choice was a long-distance lorry driver!). Jacqui thoroughly enjoys meeting, greeting and chatting to our patients and their owners.

When not working Jacqui enjoys dog walking which also gives her lots of opportunities to take photos (her other hobby). She also enjoys line dancing and has helped to raise a lot of money for local charities. Her house is ruled by two cats, Tizzy the three legged tabby and Oscar the monster ragdoll.

Laura Handy

Laura joined the Kirkliston reception team at Mackie & Brechin in 2018. She has a wealth of previous experience working in a veterinary emergency call centre and as a care assistant with the SSPCA. Laura’s spare time is spent looking after, training and showing her 8 Rotties.

Shelly Andrew

Shelly joined Mackie & Brechin when she moved to Scotland from Lincolnshire where she owned and ran a fruit and vegetable business with her husband.

Shelly enjoys spending her time with family and exploring Scotland with her Labrador twins, Penny and Rosa.

Susan Thomson

Susan joined the Mackie & Brechin team in 2019 after a career of over 30 years in commercial aviation, a job which took her all over the world. She now prefers to keep her feet on the ground as our Saturday morning receptionist at Kirkliston.

Susan has been involved with horses for many years and currently owns Tia Maria, a 16hh bay mare and her favourite riding competition is Powercross. She also has two cats, Jester and Jinx.

Bethany Scott

Bethany Scott

Bethany joined the Mackie and Brechin Saturday reception team in 2021. She is currently a student studying Animal Biology at Stirling University. From a young age she has loved animals and loves exploring and the natural world. Bethany has a variety of pets including a dog, leopard gecko, hamster and fish. She enjoys meeting the patients (and their owners!) and helping out.

Louise Currie

Louise joined Mackie & Brechin in 2021 having previously worked at Five Sisters Zoo and volunteering at Blair Drummond Safari Park helping to feed, train and clean the sealions. Louise loves all animals and has two large dogs of her own. Louise enjoys attending training classes with the dogs and also attends dog shows.

When not working, Louise enjoys long walks and adventures with her dogs and watching F1 and other motorsports.


Mary Marshall

Mary joined us in 2022 and every day works her magic to ensure the surgery is clean and tidy for the following day.

Mary is very much a dog and people person and a well known face in the town also working in the health centre and having manned the school crossing for many years.


Current Vacancies

We are always on the look out for high quality individuals to join the team. If you are interested in working at Mackie and Brechin please send a CV and your interests to Pamela.Hinton@mackieandbrechin.co.uk

For information about work experience and careers in the veterinary profession please see our factsheet in the Advice section of the website.

A brief history of the practice

The practice was founded in 1930 by James Mackie after gaining an excellent reputation in the equine world from looking after two mounted sections during the First World War. In the early years the majority of work was with horses and farm animals. As James was succeeded by Willie Mackie, who was then joined by Robert Brechin, the practice grew and the case load started to include more domestic animals. David Mackie followed on in his family’s footsteps and alongside Niall Dickson drove the practice forwards, keeping abreast of the many advances in modern veterinary medicine until he retired in 2017. David was succeeded by Geoff Appleton and Simon Ruddell and with the caseload and expertise in companion animals increasing, services to farm animals and horses finally ceased in 2017. The practice is still proudly independent and our commitment to quality of service unchanged over nearly 100 years.