Baptism of fire for our new vet

COOMA'S new Livestock Health and Pest Authority (LHPA) vet Dr Petrea Wait had only been on the job for one day, when she was called out to assist with stock affected by the Yarrabin bushfires.

It was her second day in the new role. She helped assess, treat and destroy injured stock.

She said it was good to help property owners but that it was an intense experience.

Dr Wait is the new LHPA district vet covering the Cooma and Bombala districts and started at the beginning of January.

She said it was a big change from her previous jobs working in private veterinary practices and she was still learning a lot about the role.

Dr Wait studied at Murdoch University as a mature age student gaining entry in biology.

In her second year she transferred to veterinary science and in 2003 she graduated with a Bachelor of Veteinary science and a bachelor of Veterinary medicine and surgery with first class merit honours.

After graduation Dr Wait went into mixed practice in the Western Australian wheatbelt towns of Northham and York.

After a busy and rewarding two years, she decided to move closer to home and took up a position at the Yass Veterinary Hospital.

During this time she administered to a varied clientele, ranging from large grazing properties, feed lots, hobby farms, stud horses, sheep, cattle, goats, alpacas, dogs and cats as well as numerous companion animals and wild life.

"I've always wanted to be a vet since I was a kid," Dr Wait said.

"I've always been into horses and felt like I should be on a farm."

Her new role will involve problems in animals that are ill, examining blood and making a diagnosis.

Amongst other things, she will investigate emergency animal disease outbreaks and undertake routine surveillance of livestock.

In her spare time, Dr Wait is a keen horsewoman, having completed successfully in a variety of horse events ranging from dressage to Western Pleasure. She also bred thoroughbred horses and dreams of producing a Melbourne Cup of Cox Plate winner.

Dr Wait will be joined in Cooma by her long time partner John, her two dogs, three cats and numerous horses.

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