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Expect the unexpected

This job can be pretty surprising at times. It’s fair to say that one day as a Vet is never the same as the next. When I first graduated from University I moved to a country town in South Australia called Mount Gambier. Here I worked as a mixed Veterinarian and saw all sorts of animals from dairy cows, horses, small cats and dogs, rabbits, alpacas and contracted on the side at the local Greyhound track. Fair to say, every day was very different from the last.


On one particular day I was working at the small animal consulting Vet in the clinic. A client brought in her cat for an exam. As we had so many clients who owned farms, we saw a fair few fractious barn cats and this particular cat was no exception. We started the consultation with a discussion of history, which was not surprisingly very limited, and moved to getting the cat out of the carrier. In the space of a minute the cat had bitten both the myself and the owner and retreated back into the cat carrier. The client and I look at each other in shock, then at the cat within it’s carrier, which was now dead. Talk about unexpected.


Being a more experienced Vet now, looking back, maybe I could have anticipated the aggressive nature of the cat a little better, possible avoiding a cat bite for me and the client. Maybe that unexpected wasn’t so unexpected. I’m now a little more wizened in cat handling. The cat dieing? I would say that was a fairly unexpected outcome. The owner getting a severe infection after ignoring my advice to go see the local GP, that was probably more expected.


Each day we go into work, never knowing quite what we will meet in consult or surgery, which can be what makes the days more entertaining, but for some it can make the day more stressful. If we arrive with an open mind, happy attitude and a happy team of staff around us, anything can seem possible. It can be easy to get ourselves to this place with the right mindset and work ethos. And those around us? Often if we are a positive influence in the building, and a kind helping hand throughout the day, we can bring our peers along with us.


Make sure you start your days with that smiling, happy, generous attitude and you might just bring your colleagues at work along with you. Together you can achieve the expected, or even unexpected, consults and surgeries which keep us loving our jobs each day.


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