Dr Danielle McGowan is one of many Veterinarians and is based at Tanawha Animal Emergency Service, where she helps treat pets in emergency situations on the Sunshine Coast – right at home where she grew up. With pets being an integral part of Danielle’s life growing up (having dogs and cats as a massive part of her life), it was no surprise to her family when Danielle applied for vet school.
Originally wanting to be a large animal veterinarian before doing her university placement at Tanawha AES in her 4th year, Danielle was immediately drawn to the wide range of cases and exposure to medical and surgical cases. After completing her six-week placement at AES, the company offered her a new graduate internship, which she happily accepted.
Danielle has loved working in emergency, but it’s not only the work she loves. “The comradery among a team of emergency vets and nurses is unrivalled, that work environment was one of the main draws for me to emergency. You don’t work in emergency unless you love what you do, which directly translates to the care we show our patients. What we do best at AES is offer a wide range of diagnostics, meaning we can find the answer and treat the patient quickly, whether it’s removing a fish hook with an endoscope or diagnosing a foreign body on ultrasound.”
That caring nature is exactly what lead to Danielle being able to diagnose and treat her favourite case at Animal Emergency Service. “The most thrilling case I’ve been involved in was a young kelpie puppy who had acute onset of blindness and drooling. With strong suspicion of a portosystemic shunt (liver shunt) on blood work and in an ultrasound examination, I was able start treatment and restore April’s vision overnight, allowing her to go home with her family the next morning.”
There is no shortage of these stories, and Danielle recalls the most memorable case she has worked on so far. “The most memorable case was Harris, who was attacked by another dog, bitten over the ribs. He required a thoracotomy and exploratory laparotomy as his broken ribs had punctured his diaphragm. It highlighted the damage a single dog bite can do.” She also recalls a time when a dog came in on suspicion of eating chocolate, however, ended up vomiting up 2 pairs of underwear and a sock instead!
Three quick questions with Dr Danielle
Is there somewhere local that you like taking your pets? Tell us about it!
I love taking my husky cross and german shepherd cross to the dog beach or river for play and swim.
What would you say to an inspiring vet?
It is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling careers. Nothing beats sending a healthy patient back home with their family.
What do you do for fun outside of work?
Outside of work you’ll find me anywhere outside, whether it’s hiking, camping, the beach or taking my two dogs on all the walking trails the coast has to offer.