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Posted By: Louisa - Vet

What it's like to be a new vet at Shepton Vets

Just over one month ago, I embarked on a very exciting journey; a new home, in a new town with a new job at the Vets after quite literally a lifetime in education!

Walking to work in glorious Shepton sunshine one Monday morning, I was filled with nervous excitement of what was about to be and eager to get stuck in.

Since then I have met and examined many of your lovely pets, performing important routine tasks such as ensuring their good health, vaccinating against nasty infectious diseases, as well as surgeries to prevent unwanted pregnancies or addressing problematic teeth. I’ve also stitched up wounds from over exuberant playtime, and unfortunate disagreements amongst the feline population. There have been coughs and sneezes, runny eyes and itchy skin, vomiting and diarrhoea, broken bones and poorly ears, lumps and bumps, puppies and kittens, dogs and cats and even a hedgehog!

Everyday there are a huge variety of tasks to undertake that provide a constant challenge.

I’m really enjoying both surgery and consulting, in theatre I have time to plan and methodically approach the procedure, ensuring that I am fully prepared and have everything ready to put into practice the theory that I have been taught. I really enjoy dentistry; teeth and mouths are so important to general health but brushing our pets teeth everyday, whilst highly advisable, is usually easier said than done! The benefit of a simple scale and polish can remove so much bacterial contamination resulting in healthier gums and healthier tooth roots which ultimately prevents teeth from being extracted down the line that may have otherwise been salvaged.

In the consult room I enjoy the problem solving that is required to figure out what is going on, taking as much information as I can to establish a complete picture. Using this I am able to choose appropriate diagnostic tests to either rule in or rule out possible diseases and then implement the most sensible treatment plan to address the problem at hand. When following up a week or so later, it is so nice and very satisfying when I hear that the treatments are successful, that really is the best part of the job!

I feel very lucky to be working alongside such a knowledgeable and experienced team who have guided me along the first few weeks with admirable patience!

With Martin, I have assisted in some complicated surgeries including a little dog who’s kneecap kept popping out of it’s usual location (known as a ’luxating patella’). Firstly Martin carefully deepened the groove that the patella normally sits in and then he repositioned part of the tibial bone whilst I was under strict instruction to hold the leg very still!

One afternoon I saw a lovely Staffordshire Bull  Terrier who presented to me with a rapidly growing lump on her elbow. With some advice and guidance from Lynn, I was able to sample some of the cells within the lump using a technique known as ‘Fine Needle Aspiration’. The sample was then sent to the laboratory for some detailed analysis, which is essential for accurately diagnosing what the lump is, and to all of our relief it was a benign growth that we don’t need to worry about!

Greg and Josh have quickly become my ‘agony Uncle’s’ (although in terms of age, more like brothers!), always there when I need a reassuring second opinion on a plan that I have formulated for a case or some help to overcome numerous obstacles along the way.

So a huge thank you to all of my wonderful colleagues and all the kind members of the public who have welcomed me so warmly into the community. I look forward to meeting more of you over the next few weeks, months and hopefully years!

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