We talk with Dr. Toria Waldron who is an Equine and Small Animal Veterinarian. She is currently the Equine Medical Director at Badger Veterinary Hospital located in Janesville, Cambridge & Beloit, WI. Toria completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Minnesota in 2008 and received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine in 2012. Dr. Waldron’s clinical interests include lameness and sports medicine, ophthalmology, dentistry, chiropractic care, and general wellness/preventative medicine. To learn more about Toria and Badger Veterinary Hospital and Badger Equine Veterinary Services you can visit their website here, http://www.badgervet.com/
Welcome to the Professionals and Animal Rescue podcast, where goal is to introduce you to amazing people helping animals and share how you can get involved with animal rescue. This’ll Podcast is proudly sponsored by Joubert dot com. Do Bert is a free website designed to connect volunteers with rescues and shelters and the only site that automates rescue relate Transport. Now on with our show today, we’re speaking with Dr Toria Waldron. Dr. Walton is an equine and small animal veterinarian and is currently the equine medical director, a Badger veterinary hospital located in Janesville, Cambridge, and Beloit, Wisconsin. Victoria completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Minnesota in 2000 and eight and received her doctorate of veterinary medicine from the University of Wisconsin Madison School of Veterinary Medicine in 2012. She focused her career and equine medicine and surgery interning at the Tennessee Equine Hospital and spent time working at a large decline hospital in Ocala, Florida Doctor Waldron’s clinical interest include lame nous in sports medicine, ophthalmology, dentistry, chiropractic care and general wellness Preventive medicine. Hate Oreo. Welcome to the program. Hi, Chris. Thanks. Happy to be here, so start by telling us a little about you. Sure. I’m in equine veterinarian. Um and I work in south central Wisconsin, So I worked for better veterinary hospital. We have three clinic locations were in Janesville, Cambridge, and Beloit, Wisconsin. Um, and I, um, mostly do equine medicine. So most of my week has spent caring for horses out on farms. And then I also spend one day a week caring for small animals in the clinic, so that would be your dogs and cats. Um, and other odds and ends. Um, birds, etcetera. Sure. So now have you always been around horses? I mean, how did you How did you get into this? Um, yeah, I became interested in horses. I think like a lot of little girls do just because your innate Lee fascinated with them. So you’re I feel like you’re just born loving horses, but I remember going to a county fair with my parents and like petting the velvety horse noses and kind of being hooked from then on out, I was lucky enough as a kid have the opportunity to take up my first riding lesson when I was eight years old and then I just kind of continued with it to develop my knowledge and relationship with horses throughout my childhood into adulthood. So I’m still doing that now. Yeah. I was gonna say me, and that’s quite a passionate and a lot of people. It falls off right as their child. But you took it all the way and you went to vet school. And now you’re doing this full time. Yeah, Absolutely. That’s really cool. Now, I I know you and I have talked in the past and work together, and I am definitely not the person that knows a lot about horses and equine. So maybe described for listeners. How is it? Different mean? Obviously, horses are different animal than dogs and cats, but there’s kind of a lot more to it. Yeah, absolutely. Um, carry per horse is pretty unique and different than carrying personal animal. I think probably the most obvious differences that, um, horse requires a lot different housing needs than your typical small animal. Um, you’re obviously not going to be inviting your horse to be living in your home with you or something in your bed. Most sources they’re gonna do best with space for grazing on pasture kind of a general rule for that is you gotta have one acre per per horse andan. You need shelter for them and get away from the elements. So, like a wind shelter or barn for stabling. Um, the other big difference between horses and small animal is just just understanding that safety and handling is super paramount. So you need to know how to handle horse and you know where to stand and be able to control them. It’s just extremely important. So horses £1000 they have a strong flight response. And, um, understanding how to be safe around them is really, honestly the difference between life and death and some circumstances. So it’s just really, you know, understanding that handling portion of the worse is really a lifelong commitment and dedication, and it really takes a community. So even now I have a horse and I board my horse in the stable, and I still take weekly lessons, and this is my life. But you still learn every day how to be about her handler, writer, horse person. Um, it’s just a commitment there. Yeah, really cool. So So talk about what it’s like to be an equal event. Like you said, you’ve got your truck, right? Because people are not bringing the horses over to you guys at the at the Badger Vet Hospital. So talk us through a day in your life a day in my life. It’s different every day. Um, so you know, I We are practices ambulatory practice, and we traveled to farms based out of two of our locations either are Cambridge practice or Janesville practice, and we cover about a 40 mile radius from either practice with which ends up making a really large practice area. Um, so I do a lot of driving, and I go from farm to farm and each place is different. Each horse owner, I think, is very different. They have different goals, different needs. They use the resources in different ways. So there, you know, my day is it’s a very personal relationship that I have with the client because im visiting their home. I’m understanding what they do with their horses, um, and then providing care that way. And so each day is different out in the elements and in the winter. Certainly fun as well. Put it in perspective. I mean, you know you’re talking about 40 miles from one of your offices. But how? Maney clients, How many horses are within that radius? Oh, gosh, I don’t know. An exact number for sure, but you know, I because we cover a big area. Our goal is that we want it will spend a lot of time of the planet. So probably visit, you know, five farms in a day. Um, which, you know, Isn’t it a whole lot, you know, 4 to 5, maybe less. But it we know we are designed to spend a lot of time with each individual client, and we might see several horses when we’re at one farm. Yeah. So one of things that I thought was really interesting as I was reading your profile was getting a dick Chiropractic care forces. And to be honest, it’s not something I ever really considered. So heavy has the, um has care for horses. Really Just continued to evolve like other things. Yeah, um, so I would say, you know, the difference between care now you know, from a better perspective between what it was 5 to 10 years ago is, um I think it’s much more individualized than it used to be. So kind of horses used to be more like a production animal or a hurt animal. Um, the health care was much more heard based, and over time, the horse. Really. Now it’s more, much more like a family member. So they get a lot more individual care. Um, you know, annual basis were out there at least sometimes twice a year. And then, um, just kind of customizing care to the needs of particular animal. And so, actually, you know, integrative medicine, which would include sort of your complimentary services like chiropractic or acupuncture that’s really big in the horse world. Be able to help those animals do their job and to be comfortable. And, um, it’s just another service we can offer our clients. Yeah, that’s really cool. It’s definitely interesting to hear about how things is consistently and constantly change. I mean, it’s got to be something that you’re always learning, as you said is as you continue to do this. Absolutely. Yeah. So now I know one of the other things that you’re very actively involved in is the Wisconsin Horse Alliance. I mean, tell us a little bit about that Yeah, I became involved with the Wisconsin horse Alliance. Um, actually, initially by, um, providing care to the adoptable horses at the Dane County Humane Society. So, um, at that time a few years ago, I started working with Betsy Hale. It, um, who is the large animal or was the large Anil adoption coordinator there? And I was just really impressed with Dane County made society and what they were able to do because they were doing really a smart adoption of horses. I’m getting them too. Successful homes. They’re generating good community support donations and otherwise. And they were kind of reaching new horse people. And I thought that was just really great. And I felt there what they could dio and their resources could be shared with other people across they a and it got happened. I’d really be a good thing for horses in Wisconsin. So when she started this group with a few others, I was just really interested in it. And I came to a few meetings and got involved, you know, I, um, as a veterinary and I was just interested in doing it as well. Just because I’ve been involved with some private, worse rescues over the years as a veterinarian, and I really recognize the challenges that come with carrying for these animals. There’s scarcity of resources and just networking available to them. It’s it’s challenging to find, have a horse that either is come across hard times or unwanted and struggled and finding them the right kind of home, just with the safety component of that and everything else. So so what the Wisconsin horses lines does is it’s really our mission. Teoh kind of help Wisconsin horses on through empowering owners. Coordinating Resource is educating the community, so it’s kind of that’s really broad mission statement. But it we have kind of three main audiences that we talked to. You know, we’re working with the equine rescues, were working with law enforcement officials and then just new horse owners and helping to pride them. Resource is so that they’re successful. Yeah, that’s really cool. And I think I like the mission of that. I mean, talk a little bit about how you work with some of the different equine rescues and with law enforcement. I think those are very interesting areas that people probably want to know more about Yeah. Um, So what we’ve done currently is we’ve had with rescues, were trying to get them a centralized place where they can come together and kind of share their experiences, their expertise and and resource is so that they all could be, you know, successful and stronger together. Um, so we’ve hosted several what’s called Rescue Roundtable events, where we’ve invited many equine rescues, uh, five a one C three across the state and have them get together to discuss kind of issues and best practices and equine rescue. We’ve hosted kind of a few guest speakers on a variety of topics, including, like Grant writing and how toe market, your adoptable horrors, etcetera, etcetera. And then, um, so far I mean, we’re pretty new organization, but we’ve hosted to those events already, and we plan to host them by annually. So it’s really been a good thing just to get rescues together to help them be successful. So, yeah, we’ve We’ve really honed that area of what we’re doing. Yeah, that’s really cool. And then and then law enforcement. I know you guys talked on your website about trying to work with law enforcement, educate them, talk about some of that. Yes. So we’re certainly, um, still developing that, but we’re planning on having law enforcement education events. Um, so, you know, inviting local law enforcement ticket together, discussed how to handle situations in particular, you know, equine well for situations, neglect or abuse and kind of helped them find the right people, whether it be, you know, timid animal main officer or otherwise, just to get you know, these situations when they arise. So they’re easier to handle. We know what steps to take and then just inefficient and outcome for horses and the people involved in those situations. Um, and also just, you know, the law enforcement events will hopefully kind of connect law enforcement with veterinarians as well, because that can just be a challenge. Um, in those situations as well. So no for somebody like myself, this listening says, Oh, you know, courses some great. I think I should go by a horse, right. How is there any place that you would recommend somebody start the process education, searching, etcetera. I think the best place to start before going into horse ownership is is quite honestly, by taking some some lessons and and working with equine professionals in your area. So going to a trainer or otherwise that can kind of steer you in a good direction. Um, because I think different than with small animals is you really need that someone to guide you in horse ownership. Um and so I think that’s the first place to start is by, um, taking lessons and finding a trainer. Um and then and then from there, you could look and certainly look for options, whether it’s an adoptable horse or elsewhere. In essence, I mean, what I think is interesting about horses is they live really long lives. Um, so they lived to be 30. So a horse maybe have several owners and several different jobs throughout its lifetime. So many horses are, even though there are bought, sold ours, in essence, sort of adoptable animals. So finding the one that’s right for you is is can be a challenge. So you kind of need that that person or that trainer to help you? Yeah. No, I think that’s really good advice for people where where to begin. So what about somebody that’s sitting here listening to you and saying, Wow, equine medicine sounds really exciting, You know? Where Where would you tell them to start? I would start just by getting in contact with your local equine veterinarian and seeing if you could ride along toe, understand what it’s about. Um, it’s certainly a commitment. Um, people who you know, just becoming a veterinarian’s a commitment. So you’ve got years of undergrad before going to veterinary school, which is about eight years post high school. But I think understanding what’s involved any find medicine before you’ve been going that route is important. So I take shadows with me often, and I know a lot of equal practitioners. Doas. Well, so if you’re interested, get out in the trucks and we’ll see what it’s all about. Yeah. No, I’m sure. Bring your boots and yeah. Yep. Absolutely. So now I know you’ve been doing this for a number of years and you’ve been involved. It sounds like with horse rescue. Are there any stories that come to mind that would just be an inspirational to share with people? Yeah. I mean, I think you know, every day seems like there’s a new story. Um, but I really I love watching people and their horses grow together, and I think some of the most powerful things I can do. It’s not even, you know, the the crazy medical cases or anything. I have certainly seen a number of horses that just through routine nutritional consulting and and good dental care, I’ve seen horses go from, you know, very thin to like thriving animals. And I think those are the best, which kind of some of the most rewarding cases that I deal with. And it’s just through, like, good management of the owner and getting them involved in understanding what their horse needs. The I remember there was a horse named Rocky that started out skin and bones. And then over the course of a couple of months and a good owner, that horse looked amazing. And, uh, it’s just really rewarding for both the owner and the veterinarian. So those are the best cases? Yeah, no, I’m sure know what’s or somebody a person or an organization that really inspired you to get started and animal rescue? Um, no, that’s saying that it No, honestly, I I think I got involved because there are some situations that are not so good. Animal rescue, and then you. When you see a good one, you realize how different it can be. So not a bad answer. You know, there are people where their hearts are in the right place for animal rescue, where they really mean well, but the execution isn’t there, and then there’s challenges involved with that. So as a veteran and you come in and you try to help. But if it’s not managed in a way that’s gonna make it successful in the long term, then you know that that that challenge so tortillas or anything else you wanted to share with our listeners Um yeah, I just I would like Teoh invite anyone to get involved with the Wisconsin Horse Alliance. Um, so visit our website, www dot Wisconsin horse alliance dot org’s, um, and our Facebook page. Um, we’re always looking for people. Teoh, join us on, Get involved. Um, we meet almost on a monthly basis and are we try to have board meetings open to interested parties, so feel free to email us or contact us if you’re interested in. We love to have more help, and I incurred toe look into horse ownership if you are interested. Um there really can be a place for new horse owners. It just takes a community and a network, and it’s really fulfilling toe. Have a horse. So I encourage people to do that. Yeah, that’s great advice. Will toria Thank you so much for coming on the program today. Yeah, you’re welcome. Thanks for having me. Thanks for tuning into today’s podcast. If you’re not already a member, joined the air p A. To take advantage of all the resource is we have to offer and don’t forget to sign up with do bert dot com. It’s free and helps automate the most difficult tasks in animal rescue.