A NEW veterinary practice has hit the road on the Isle of Wight, in an all-electric consulting-room-on-wheels, nicknamed 'Voltie.'

Offering everything, from vaccinations and neutering to tests and out-of-hours care, Wight Vets launched on May 3.

The business's first patient was Dylan the dog (pictured above), whose human is Welsh Springers breeder Pat Salt.

Headed up by John and Emily Knight, the Wight Vets team also includes veterinary nurses and a full time receptionist.

Dr Emily Knight told the County Press: "We have had some lovely, supportive comments.

"We are very pleased with this innovative solution to delivering veterinary care in homes.

"It is a joy to drive round the Island, helping patients in their own environment where they are often more relaxed and comfortable."

John and Emily had gained a wealth of experience, working for other practices, before starting their family-owned small business.

Their launch could not have come at a better time.

With appointments proving scarce and long waiting lists for vaccinations and non-emergency care, in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, they were prepared for strong demand.

Isle of Wight County Press: Voltie, the Wight Vets' state-of-the-art electric van.Voltie, the Wight Vets' state-of-the-art electric van. Announcing its launch on Facebook sparked 'tremendous interest' in Wight Vets and scores signed up.

Dr Knight is keen to give her team the chance to meet and care for their first batch of patients, many of whom had not previously been able to register with an Isle of Wight vet, before taking more on.

It means a waiting list has now been opened.

Meanwhile, John, Emily and their team are hard at work in their state-of-the-art and custom-designed Voltie, filled with all the equipment you would expect in a 'normal' consulting room.

The only difference is this one is powered by a solar panel on the roof, providing energy to heat hot water for the sink and power the van's bright lights.

There is a pop up kennel, as well as facilities to allow the team to carry out blood and skin tests, weigh animals, check lumps and perform minor procedures.

By the end of the year, there are plans to open a more conventional premises too.

Until it is ready, some creative teamwork means even surgery can still be offered - independent Ryde practice, Island Vet Care, is allowing Wight Vets to use its facilities when required.

Wight Vets' home visits were inspired by the experience of pet owners forced to isolate in the early months of the pandemic - making it impossible to seek help for their fluffy and furry friends.

Using set-up funding from the Isle of Wight Rural Fund (Growth Deal Funding, delivered by Natural Enterprise on behalf of the Solent LEP), there are plans for an online booking system.

Due to demand, the firm's website is currently the best way to get in touch and you should be prepared for a delay.

Meanwhile, John and Emily are already looking to expand the team and are keeping their eyes peeled for the right nurses and vets.

Dr Knight said: "The launch has been so well-received.

"We see it as a privilege to be able to serve the Island community by helping them to take care of their pets in this way."