Meet September’s ‘Vet of the Month’ Dr Sam Westhead, Veterinary Surgeon, Amity Veterinary Clinic. Dr Sam graduated from the Royal Veterinary College, London in 1991. Over the past three decades Dr Sam has practiced in the UK, Saudi Arabia, Portugal, Hong Kong, Oman and the UAE [in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Dubai].
Dr Sam has had several areas of interest during his long career including the care and treatment of exotic pets (in Hong Kong) and emergency and critical care practice (in the UK). Although he started out as a cattle vet, specifically in the field of reproduction. These days his interest lies in soft tissue and reconstructive surgery and wound management.
Read other ‘Vet of the Month’ stories here.
Who inspired you to be a veterinary doctor?
Dr Sam: My dad. He is a retired cattle vet and we both graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in London.
What do you like the most about your job?
Dr Sam: Observing the interaction between pets and their owners. I see this first hand because I do a lot of home visits, so I get to see animals in surroundings they are comfortable in. And every household is different! It’s fascinating.
What do you like the least about your job?
Dr Sam: Seeing cases where treatment has been done badly and the animal is suffering needlessly. I always encourage people to choose their vet carefully and have a second opinion if things aren’t going right.
Did you ever have a different career aspiration?
Dr Sam: If not a veterinary doctor, I’d have been in the Royal Air Force (RAF). My headmaster was a former RAF man, and the backup plan was for me to apply with his backing.
Do you have a pet in Dubai?
Dr Sam: Yes, I do. Goli is 2.5 years old now, a lockdown puppy if you like. She’s a Prague ratter, a small terrier, a bit like a miniature Doberman. Goli loves everybody, especially children and adores playing with cats.
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How would you describe Goli in 100 words?
Dr Sam: Goli is full of love and energy with a little bit of a naughty streak. She knows how to get what she wants out of me (like treats). But she also knows when I’m being serious and need her to behave. Goli is also incredibly attuned to my emotions and was amazingly attentive when I recently went through a very painful breakup with my girlfriend.
How would you describe a dog in one word?
Dr Sam: Priceless