Never a dull moment in the life of a vet

Robson and Prescott Director Kate Matheson.
Robson and Prescott Director Kate Matheson.

One recent consultation was a lovely little dog, Jack.

He came in wagging his tail and belonged to a lovely couple. Jack was in for his booster. His examination went well and his owner asked if Jack could have his anal glands emptied.

My job is definitely a vocation, and I hope it continues to be.

Jack stood obligingly for the first gland, but then wiggled and jumped and the contents of his second gland landed on my arm. The owners tried to look horrified, but I am sure were secretly chuckling. Mr Owner said: “I bet you didn’t expect your job to turn out like that.” I started thinking, how did I expect my career to turn out?

I remember serious discussions with my parental unit about what career I would chose. What did I think I wanted to do? Be a dancer. What was I good at? Dancing. Where did I see myself at 40? Retired from dancing. Sadly, I was unlikely to be Darcey Bussell so this was scratched. A whole careers’ book later I came up with being a vet. The task was then to get into university. This was accomplished and I came out and took the Royal College oath.

Over the past ten years things have changed dramatically. Pet insurance cover has increased, advances in medicine and surgery have been huge, and specialism is the name of the game. Robson and Prescott sees a wide range of animals, including exotics, and every day, in fact nearly every consultation, is different.

On reflection I love my job. There are down sides — long shifts, a certain aroma, occasional scratches, threats of biting and distressed owners and patients are a few.

We try to work hard at work, but not outside. This doesn’t always turn out. The other night I popped to a friend’s house and we decided to go for a bike ride. Less than a mile in we drifted past a field. As we glanced over, we were confronted by a calving cow. It didn’t seem to be getting on very well so I waddled across. The calf didn’t want to come out and the farmer was summoned. Luckily, it all turned out fine and the cow was calved.

I think the farmer was bemused by the sight of his vet in lycra, cycle helmet and clip shoes. My hands were a bit smelly for the rest of the ride and I tried to keep my head down when passing fields.

My job is definitely a vocation, and I hope it continues to be. Overall, I am happy with my career and fingers crossed the future continues to entertain me.

By Kate Matheson, Director