A day in the life of PDSA Vet Joanne

by PDSA | 14 May 2021 #VetQ&As

We caught up with PDSA Vet, Joanne Trow, from Nottingham PDSA, to find out about her career so far and what working as a vet is like.

Since an early age Joanne has always loved animals. She tells us how she came to work at PDSA, a typical day in the life of a vet, and the most unusual case she’s ever treated.


What made you want to become a vet?

When I was younger I loved animals and I spent a lot of time with my aunt's dogs, my neighbour's dogs and I rode horses. From early on, veterinary became my goal.


What’s your career history?

I studied at Glasgow Vet School and qualified in 2002.

I began my career as a mixed practice vet at a private vets in Southwell, Nottinghamshire. It gave me a great start to the first six years of my career, but since I completed a work experience placement at PDSA, I'd always wanted to work for the charity.


Do you have any pets?

I have one little dog called Wilma - she is 5 years old and scruffy!


Describe a typical day at work

A typical day at work at the moment involves doing remote consultations over the phone to triage cases before they visit the Pet Hospital, or to provide owners with support and advice for non-emergency issues.

Some days I’m at Nottingham PDSA treating pets who need emergency treatment, carrying out urgent procedures, or looking after sick and injured pets on the ward like Toby the cat


What are the most common cases you see?

Very common problems we encounter, particularly during remote phone consultations, are ear and skin issues. Many dogs have allergies, so we find these are common conditions that owners need help with. 


What’s the most unusual case you’ve treated?

Once a vomiting puppy was presented to us at the Pet Hospital. At first I thought the dog had swallowed a ball, but surgery revealed a ball of intestinal worms!


What’s been your most difficult case?

The most difficult cases are when there is nothing more than you can do to help a poorly pet, but the owner is not ready to say goodbye.

It is our duty as vets to find the best, pain-free solution for the pet, but we also want to support the owner at such a devastating time. We would like nothing more than to be able to offer something more to keep their precious friend healthy, but we always put the pet’s best interest first.


What do you love most about your job?

I love working for a veterinary charity that helps people’s much-loved pets when they are unable to afford treatment elsewhere. Not being able to afford vet care can cause so much worry, but we can make a difference by helping them.

The trust pet owners put into us and the gratitude they show for our help is amazing. I love the variety of people we meet in this job and the range of procedures we carry out at PDSA.

The team I work with is incredible - and I love when someone decides it's a good day for ordering breakfast rolls from the local cafe for tea break!


How important is the public’s support and donations?

PDSA relies on our supporters’ generous donations to continue our life-saving work.

As a lifeline for so many pets, I hope we can continue to be there for poorly pets for many years to come.


Find out more about the new Nottingham PDSA Pet Wellbeing Centre.

Share this article on:  PDSA | 14 May 2021


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