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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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‘We will see a huge decline in graduating vets’ – Irish vet in Germany (27)

Irish Vet in Germany

That’s Farming editor, Catherina Cunnane, in conversation with Lucia Dawson-Stanley (27) in this week’s Ireland’s Vets series.

In part one of the interview, the Westmeath native, who studied veterinary medicine in Poland, discussed her equine background and her current position as an equine sports medicine and lameness veterinarian at the stables of Paul Schockemöhle in Germany – read via this link.

In part two, she provides advice for new grads, aspiring vets and outlines her goals for the future. 

“For new grads, I think it is important to have confidence in the knowledge you have learned but also to work on improving your skills. Modern medicine is constantly changing, and daily revision is key.

I think if you are willing to travel, there are a lot of ways you can gain excellent experience in equine clinics all around the world.

My main advice to aspiring vets would be to do as much work experience as you can. I spend every holiday from school in different practices, many of which were mostly equine, but also small and mixed practices.

Even if you think you want to be an equine vet, try to do experience in all types of practices first.

It is a hard lifestyle and a job that is very much 24/7, so be prepared for this.

Horses have always been in every aspect of my life, so this is normal for me; however, it is not for everyone.

Combining a love of travel and horses

Growing up, I spent a lot of time at horse shows all across the world.

Now I am still travelling to multiple countries every year doing vet checks, being a team vet and treating horses. This has combined my love of travelling and horses.

I am currently doing this interview from the Longines EEF series Nations Cup in Mannheim, Germany, where I am a team vet for Team Hungary. Next week, we travel to Budapest, Hungary, to take on the next leg of this series.

Paper

I am currently writing a paper in the research field of equine lameness. I plan to do as many research papers as possible as I am in a lucky situation to have a high volume of horses in my care from the one owner.

Also, I am looking forward to writing some research studies with my father, Jeremy Stanley, DIP WCF, in regards to orthopaedic shoeing.

We are working together with a company called Hoof Beat, which is a device for gait analysis and applying it to our lameness research in performance horses.

Future

I would like to have my own clinic in the future so I can expand my business and develop a team of excellent equine vets who are equipped for the management of sports horses.

In 2021, I attended the Olympic Games in Tokyo with Team Japan for showjumping. This was the highest point of my career so far and made me the youngest vet ever to attend games. I celebrated my 26th birthday in Japan.

We had great successes in Tokyo, and I will never forget the experience.

Moving on, I am now working with Team Hungary, where we are trying to secure Olympic qualification for Paris 2024.

This would be an honour for me to attend another Olympic Games, and it would help my career in sports medicine.

My ultimate goal is to become the next generation of one of the best sports vets in the world and to be an ambassador for clean sport and animal welfare.

I have a busy lifestyle, but it is filled with rewards as it is my greatest passion and purpose in life.

I feel that with the limited spaces in Ireland’s only veterinary college and the lack of support for students to study overseas, we will see a huge decline in graduating vets.

This is something that really needs to be addressed by the education department as the demand for vets is high and ever-rising.

I would like to offer any help possible for young people wanting to get into veterinary medicine, be that friendly advice or work experience.

Please do not hesitate to contact me on my Instagram page, which you can access via link.”

To share your story, email – [email protected]

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