At Paragon we’re shaping the future of referrals

Emerging from the success of Calder Vets referral service, Paragon Veterinary Referrals has now opened its doors at its brand new purpose-built referral centre in Wakefield.

We’re building a multi-disciplinary team

We have brought with us many familiar faces from Calder Vets who have established themselves as highly reputable referral vets.  We have a strong foundation and offer a broad range of services.

We’re expanding our team rapidly to include revered specialists, to highly regarded nurses and experienced and friendly support staff.

Find out more about becoming part of the Paragon team. >>>

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) at Paragon

As a leading referral centre in the North of England we will offer a varied programme of CPD to suit a wide variety of small animal vet professionals, sharing our multi-discipline expertise.

Sign up below to receive more information on our first taster CPD event on Tuesday 13th March, 2018


Our Team

Meet the team transferring across from Calder Vets to see the expertise they’re bringing and watch as we expand to bring more new faces on board.


12 December 2017

Itching to get started

A 14 month old Flat Coated Retriever was referred for investigation following a 4 month history of pruritus. 

Investigations included -

  • Skin scrapings
  • Cytology
  • Bacterial and dermatophyte cultures
  • A 10 week elimination diet trial and re-challenge with the usual food
  • Intradermal skin testing
  • IgE environmental serology
  • Scabies serology
  • Faecal parasite screening
  • Comprehensive flea control
  • Treatment of bacterial infection

After 12 weeks diagnosis was confirmed as atopy, adverse food reaction (food allergy), secondary pyoderma and suspected flea allergy.

Initial management consisted of continued rigorous flea control, diet restriction and avoidance of triggering environmental allergens – house and storage mites, pollens, moulds and cat epithelium.  The client also carried out regular emollient bathing. Pruritus flare ups were treated with 7 days of glucocorticoids and any pyoderma flares with appropriate antibiosis.

Having conscientiously followed this path the pruritus reduced somewhat but remained a concern for the owners, particularly in the summer time on camping trips, so it was decided to embark on desensitisation using allergen specific injectable immunotherapy containing the 16 allergens previously identified on intradermal and serological testing.  After the initial induction course, the injections were given every 3-4 weeks for maintenance alongside the original management protocol.

Over time the need for antibiotic and oral steroid declined. Any flare ups could be treated with topical rather than systemic glucocorticoids.  Three years later the skin is normal with no pruritus 95% of the time.  There are still some mild flares in the summer months but these respond with prompt topical glucocorticoids. There has been no requirement for oral steroids or antibiotics for 2 years.  Immunotherapy is ongoing at maintenance dose and will continue until 12 months have passed without clinical signs.  There is an expectation that immunotherapy may be required for life.

New developments open up the possibility of different management options in these cases that may be more effective, convenient and safe.

Firstly we have antiseptic wipes and cleaning pads which are quick, simple and economical to use, replacing time consuming bathing while still effectively reducing skin allergen and microbial loading.  Other easy to use topicals can enhance skin hydration and barrier function.

Oclacitinib is a safe drug effective in the long term management of many allergic dogs.  Speed of onset is rapid and side effects are few.  Contrast this with glucocorticoids which have numerous side effects and allergen specific immunotherapy, which although very safe, can take up to 9 months to show benefit, and there is a significant failure rate.

The latest exciting development is lokivetmab, a caninised antibody directed against the important cytokine Il-31.  The reported safety profile is excellent and speed of onset rapid.  It will be interesting to see how this revolutionary new product fits into the way we treat these demanding cases.

It is always imperative not to forget that successful management of any skin case is dependent on accurate diagnosis, not the indiscriminate use of new drugs.  Diagnosis can be challenging, but very achievable with a thorough and logical approach.

Chris Dale

8 December 2017

The new referral centre is taking shape

The £5 million Paragon Veterinary Referral Centre has now opened its doors at its brand new purpose-built referral centre in Wakefield.

The 18,000 sq ft centre located on the Paragon Business Park, Wakefield has been completed following the commissioning of its equipment. This includes the latest digital imaging suite, provided by Toshiba, which includes MRI, CT scanner, C-ARM (fluoroscopy) and mobile DaRt.

The facilities include eight consulting room, five operating theatres and intensive care facilities.

Take a look around our new building.

11 December 2017

Hiring the best talent in the industry

This is a very exciting time for Paragon.  As the new build takes shape, we’re looking to expand our team rapidly and there is a significant opportunity for motivated, high-calibre people to help shape a very bright future for the both the industry and their own careers.

Overall there will be about 80 staff employed, including around 18 vets and 32 nurses.  There are some great roles available including a Clinical Director role, an important leadership position for someone who will shape the team and develop the clinical and operational protocols for the business.  Managing specialist-led teams, this is perfect for someone who has a real passion for delivering the best possible service, support and outcomes for patients and their owners. 

We’re on a path to find real expert specialists in their field too.  Taking advantage of our brand new state-of-the-art scanning and imaging equipment, we’re looking for an Oncology Specialist for example; ideally someone who holds European, American or RCVS Diploma and has had significant exposure to medical oncology cases.

These roles are to name but a few.  Anyone interested in talking to Paragon about their future can get in touch with me or visit paragonreferrals/

Ian Monteith
Managing Director