Whether it’s helping a one-ounce baby bunny with a bacterial infection or working on a one-ton bull in the field, it’s all part of the job for Cade Moses, doctor of veterinary medicine.
As a general practice veterinarian, Moses accepted his first position following graduation June 3 with Brendan Kraus, DVM and owner of Spur Ridge Vet Hospital.
“I enjoy what I do,” Moses said, “and enjoy getting to see all the different animals I work with because they all have their own personalities.”
In addition to his “patients,” Moses said, he likes the interaction with people he meets.
“Animals can’t voice their concerns or problems, so if they’re sick, it’s important to have a relationship with the person trusting me to help them,” he said.
On a daily basis, Moses said he feels satisfied about what he does to help his animal patients.
“When an animal comes in very sick,” he said, “and knowing someone’s pet could die, it’s a good feeling to be able to correct the problem.”
Even more gratifying is to know that once treated, the patient is able to go on and live years longer, he added.
“It makes it all worthwhile to see the life of someone’s pet extended for many more years.”
While in his last year of veterinary school, Moses said, a Mastiff was run over by a semi.
“He was on death’s door,” he said about the large dog. “For nearly two weeks I babysat him nearly all day every day, and at the end, he went home and will recover to live a full and happy life.
“That is the exciting part of this job.”
Another atypical example involved a bunny that was so small, Moses said, he used a drug scale to weigh him. The tiny animal was treated for an infection and recovered.
Having to tell someone a faithful pet is terminally ill with cancer or another serious disease is one of the hardest parts of the job, Moses said.
“I don’t enjoy telling someone it is time to euthanize their beloved pet,” he said. “I do take it seriously as part of my job and I try to help people through that time, but it’s difficult to deal with.”
Farm calls versus office visits
As a rural veterinarian in a mixed animal practice, Moses said he enjoys traveling to farms and ranches to meet people and care for their livestock.
“Sometimes farm calls present their own set of challenges,” he said.
Unlike an office, not everything is at a vet’s disposal and the conditions aren’t always the easiest to work under.
“I try to strategize what I want to do (on-site),” he said.
Regardless of where he treats an animal, though, Moses said he is faced with the same basic principles of finding out what is wrong and then correcting it.
When working on draft horses, bulls, horses or other large animals, Moses said it’s important to keep alert because, small or large, animals can be unpredictable.
“But I am amazed at how nice all the animals are,” he said, “and it’s uncommon that they would act maliciously towards us.”
Case in point, he said, is putting oneself in the same situation by going to a doctor and having no idea what he or she is doing.
“Someone starts poking and prodding on you and, by and large, it is amazing how (gentle) their personalities are.”
Moses said he is a strong advocate of preventive medicine for a number of reasons.
A lot of illnesses, he said, are preventable with annual vaccinations or monthly treatments to stop heartworm or other serious diseases.
“We can prevent many diseases safely and easily, but if an animal isn’t vaccinated and gets a disease, it can be either life-threatening or debilitating and oftentimes requires extensive therapies to correct it,” he said.
Even with therapy, Moses added, it still might not be successful, and it’s never easy on the patient either.
“To avoid problems, it’s better to do routine exams and have updated vaccinations,” he said. “If we catch it early, we can manage it medically and have good success.”
The bottom line is for the patient to flourish the rest of his life.
“If someone waits until the disease is causing the animal problems, the damage is done and we are much less successful in preventing the disease from getting worse,” he said.
Why become a vet?
To become a veterinarian it requires about eight years of college, and Moses said when he got to Kansas State University in Manhattan he realized how much he enjoyed learning.
“From the time I started college I knew I wanted to continue my education and go further than a bachelor’s degree,” he said.
Veterinary school, also at K-State, seemed like a good fit in completing that goal.
“I raised animals all my life,” he said. “We had cattle and all of us (children) had a horse. Through 4-H we had bottle calves, steers, sheep, pigs and chickens.
“It was the typical farmyard scene.”
Moses was born and raised in Colby, a rural northwest Kansas community of about 5,000 people.
“We raised cattle long before I was born,” he said, “and we also had farm ground.”
Moses’ parents have remained on their family farm in Colby ever since they were married in the early 1970s and, he said, his mother’s dad had a big cattle ranch.
“(Animals) have been through the generations,” he said.
Happy to be here
Moses said he has been overwhelmed by how nice everyone in the community has been and how quickly everyone has accepted him living and working here.
“We travel good distances to meet producers and we have clients that come from Wichita, Newton and throughout Marion County,” he said.
When Moses isn’t working, he said he and wife Tiffany, also a veterinarian, spend time together.
“I also have a passion for anything outdoors,” he said. “Hiking, going to the mountains, camping and fishing. I have my bird dogs so I enjoy spending time with them.”
As for the people at Spur Ridge, Moses said they have been a wealth of information and supportive, making his transition from school to work much easier.
“I am excited to be here and also happy to be working with such a crack team of professionals at Spur Ridge from Dr. Brendan Kraus being a phenomenal vet to the staff being very helpful,” he said.
For more information, call 620-381-2100 or stop by the office at 901 N. Industrial, Marion.