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#41: The Yin & Yang of Emergency Practice with Dr Lorna O’Dowd

We’re back today with another full-length vet interview, and it’s a corker!  We’re exploring the ins and outs, the ups and downs and the and the joys and struggles of a career in emergency practice, with Dr Lorna O’Dowd.

You’ll pick where Lorna cut her teeth in mixed practice from her lovely Irish accent. Since her early career in Ireland, Lorna did stints of smallies locum work interspersed with volunteering in all sorts of exotic locations around the world. She finally put down her roots here in Australia, where she followed a path that saw her working and teaching in the emergency department at the University of Melbourne for the past decade.

At the time of recording this episode, she’d just started a new ECC job in a private specialist clinic, which leads us straight into a great conversation about change, dealing with new jobs and teams and the associated stresses, how to pick a team that fits with your values, and how to add value to your team. We talk about imposter syndrome, burnout, being a good mentee, and… death – when our patients die, with or without our help – a very important topic that we haven’t really touched on before on the podcast. And of course, we couldn’t talk to a fellow ECC geek without asking her for her best tips on how to survive a career in emergency practice with shift work and high-stress situations. Enjoy!

#40: Niche Practice and Rubbery Numbers with Dr Randolph Baral

This episdoe is a bit of a hybrid between our standard performance episodes and a clinical one. We speak to Dr Randolph Baral, who owns and works in a feline-only practice in Sydney, Australia. But Randolph doesn’t just like staying up to date with what’s new for his patients – he prefers to stay at the forefront by doing his own research. This has led to him gaining his memberships feline medicine, a pHD in clinical pathology, being a regular contributor on VIN, and authoring a string of publications and articles on all things clin path.

We talk to Randolph about the benefits of niche practice and about being a researcher while also being a clinician and practice owner, but the bulk of our conversation is around Randolph’s insights around his pet topic: variation in blood results, how we interpret our blood results, and more specifically BETTER ways of thinking about our results.

This episode is supported by Heska Australia. 
Heska is the most exciting new player in the in-house lab equipment market in Australia. They offer top of the line machines and proven reliable results, but with significantly reduced spend on consumables, with savings of 30% or more compared to other dry-slide analysers. Pay less, get more, no tricks. 

#39: Get To Know Your Hosts, Part 1 with Dr Hubert Hiemstra

I recently had the privilege to be interviewed by my podcast/business coach, James Whittaker. James is an author, film producer, entrepreneur, all-round great guy and host of the Win The Day podcast. We thought we’d share it with you here on the Vet Vault, because 

A – If you’re a podcaster and you get handed a well-executed pre-edited bit of audio then you’d be a fool not to use it.

B – We discuss a few things in the conversation that we think could be of value to some of you.

C – Maybe it’s time you got to know us a bit better!

Enjoy. Hugh

Check out James’ podcast at

If you have a podcast or a digital business, or you’re considering starting one…this is where I learnt a lot of what I know: 

Highly recommended. As a member of the tribe, I get a 20% discount code to share with friends: use the code VET for your discount. 

#FIP: A Cure For FIP: Dr Dave Collins

You know that virus that the entire world hates at the moment? Yes – the C-word. Well, us vets have hated it for a long time, because it’s been killing our feline patients relentlessly in it’s mutated form of Feline Infectious Peritonitis long before the rest of the world ever heard the name ‘corona’. Well, that might be about to change… 

In this episode, we share some highlights of a recording we recently released on the Vet Vault Clinical small animal medicine podcast with our resident medicine specialist, Dr Dave Collins. Join in to find out all the details about some new treatments that are showing very high cure rates for FIP. It’s simply too important not to share. We hope you find it as enlightening as we did, and please remember to share it with your colleagues so we can get the word out there. 

Dr Dave also gave us access to some detailed notes on everything we know about Remdesivir, one of the drugs we talk about, including a comprehensive treatment protocol. If you want to get your hands on these go to and subscribe to our mailing list, and we’ll send them to you. 

For exclusive clinical content and this full episode, where we also cover the ins and outs of diagnosing FIP, which you’ll know can be a challenge in itself.  Go and check it out our subscription channel at

#38: Behaviour: Vets, Pets & Clients with Dr Sarah Heath

Dr Sarah Heath is an RCVS and European Veterinary Specialist in Behavioural Medicine and was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2018. She is an External Lecturer in small animal behavioural medicine on the veterinary undergraduate course at Liverpool University. In 2019 she gained her Postgraduate Certificate in Veterinary Education and became a Fellow of the Higher Education Authority. She is a Certified Clinical Animal Behaviourist under the ASAB accreditation scheme and registered as a Veterinary Behaviourist with the Animal Behaviour and Training Council. 

She sees clinical cases across North West England and has a special interest in the interplay between emotional and physical illness in dogs and cats and particularly in the role of pain. She promotes the recognition of emotional health issues in companion animals and the role of the veterinary profession in safeguarding the welfare of animals in this context. Sarah lectures extensively, at home and abroad, on behavioural medicine and is an author, co-author and editor of several books.

#37: Big Goals, Small Steps with Dr Mark Kelman

Dr Mark Kelman is a veterinarian, independent scientific researcher, social philanthropist and investor. He’s had a wildly varying career, from working as a graduate at the RSPCA, working in general practice, as Technical Services Manager for Companion Animals at Virbac Animal Health, then as an independent scientific researcher and consultant, all the while running his own in property investing company and writing a book on property investing. 

While with Virbac, Mark created Disease WatchDog, Australia’s national pet disease surveillance system that operated from 2010 to 2017, which has collected considerable data and has resulted in a number of peer- reviewed scientific publications, many of which Mark has co-authored. 

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