Our History

  • The roots of the Paragon Veterinary Group stretch back to 1938 when a practice was established on Townhead Road, Dalston by John Cubby MRCVS who qualified from Liverpool University in 1935. Initially the main work load was farm animals and horses, and many of those original farming families are still clients today. Over the years the practice has expanded to work with small animals, equines, exotic species and birds and it deals with meat hygiene services. 
  • In 1994 David Black MRCVS bought the practice from Roy Sutherland MRCVS and changed its name to the Caldew Veterinary Group to identify more directly with the area, and in the same year moved to the premises at Carlisle House. This imposing building was originally built as a Vicarage, and had also been used as a Children's Home and a Masonic Lodge before being extensively refurbished and reborn as the Caldew Veterinary Centre.
  • In 1997 the adjoining property, Crake Corner, which was originally the stable and coaching block for Carlisle House, was purchased. This allowed us to extend and improve animal care facilities, particularly for the treatment of farm animals and horses.
  • In 1999 Caldew Veterinary Group formed a link with Paul May and Associates of Penrith, and bought Townhead Farm at Newbiggin, Stainton near Penrith. Development continued there throughout 2000, with a view to opening a facility there to complement the Veterinary Surgery in Dalston. 
  • Then in 2000, a further link was formed, with Paragon ET of Hexham, a specialist animal breeding company.  Paragon ET was set up in 1993 by Will Christie & Stuart Mullan as a specialist cattle embryo transfer practice serving the north of England, Scotland & Northern Ireland. Within a year of setting up they were joined by Margaret Leiper & Dave Harding.  In its early days, the business operated out of a building at Will Christies home, then moved to larger premises at Hexham Auction Mart in 1997, which gave them room and scope to take on, develop & apply the new technologies of IVF & embryo sexing, and also to offer on farm bull semen collection & processing.
  • The merger with Caldew Veterinary Group & Paul May & Associates in 2001 meant sheep ET & AI could be added to the list of advanced breeding services offered by the Group, along with ram semen collection & processing. 
  • In April 2001 the separate groups were cemented with a merger to form the Paragon Veterinary Group
  • Since then Townhead Farm has been extensively redeveloped into a fully equipped small animal centre.  It now has a purpose built facility to cater for horses and farm animals plus large animal operating theatres, examination areas, hospitalisation facilities and accommodation.  Paragon ET also use facilities at Newbiggin for advanced breeding technologies.  On 1st October 2002, we incorporated the original partnership, to become a limited company.  Officially we are now Paragonvet Ltd., trading as "Paragon Veterinary Group".
  • The Paragon story doesn't stop there.
  • Between 2005 and 2007, we assisted Karl Collins and his team in establishing Old Stone Vets in Alston, and this practice is now running independently.
  • Between 2007 and 2017, we formed a joint venture in Aspatria, with Tom Henderson of Beacon Veterinary Centre. This Practice is now run independently of Paragon Veterinary Group.
  • In March 2010 work started on Phase one of our new build at Carlisle House. Work continued through to July 2011. Throughout the building of the 2 storey extension we continued to trade and our thanks go to the customers and staff who put up with dust and disruption we managed not to have to cancel a surgery or close our doors during that period.
  • Phase 1 was completed in July 2011. We now have a new entrance for small animal and equine clients, a new reception area, 4 new consulting rooms and a new nurse’s consulting room. Also the new large Waiting Room allows separate waiting areas for dogs and cats if they require it. On the first floor we have a new conference room, smaller meeting room and an open plan office for Vets and Nurses.
    Work on Phase 2 began in December 2017 and is still to be completed, the plans are available to view at the Dalston surgery.