At Vet Planet, we’re starting a new series of brief profile interviews with veterinarians around the world. We’re asking the same six questions of each interviewee, in order to get a little insight into their career, their passion for the job and their perspective of the profession.
Our first interview is with Dr. Donald Leask of Southdale Veterinary Hospital in South Africa.
1. When and why did you decide to become a veterinarian?
– I was only ten years old and had just begun a very significant part of my schooling at a private boys boarding school, St. Thomas More, in Kloof, Kwazulu-Natal. I learned to ride horses then and had the opportunity to see the vet make the odd call for horses with colic. I loved the smell of the horses and the stables, and would spend many hours talking to my favourites in the paddocks. I don’t work with horses now but with small (companion animals) but that time, together with the natural way my mother had with animals, led me to this career.
2 What veterinary school did you attend?
Onderstepoort, Pretoria, South Africa.
3 Where do you practice medicine and what is the name of your practice?
I currently practice in Southdale, Johannesburg, South Africa – Practice name is Southdale Veterinary Hospital
4 What is your favorite aspect of medicine?
–Healing… and witnessing the small part I play (nature does the rest!) result in a big difference to the children who love their animals.
5 – What is your least favorite?
Owners who do not care.
6 – Can you share a favorite or funny anecdote from your years of practice?
Hmmm, there are many truly grateful owners and all the wagging tails are my favourite stories. To single out one is not easy but perhaps the story of the young Zulu who had brought in his greyhound with a fractured radius. The tenderness between man and dog was clear for all to see and there was no limit to what the young man would do to fix his dog which for no apparent reason to me was called Squarehead. I plated and screwed the bone – a long operation. When we called to follow up three months later the owner replied happily that his friend was doing really well, thanked us again and advised that Squarehead was now ‘running really fast’.
Thanks for talking with us!
(Interviews do not imply endorsement of AVT’s products.)