Dr Luke Verbaten calls Animal Emergency Service Underwood home, where he is developing his career as an emergency vet. Growing up, Luke wanted to be a marine biologist. He loved the water, the fish, the invertebrates and marine mammals, and wanted to help marine animals. He quickly realised that by becoming a vet, he would be able to help his favourite mammals more – and so ventured into the veterinary profession. Luke started working in emergency in his first year of university – and he never looked back. Loving the thrill of the emergency room and helping animals, Luke loved the thrill of trying to stabilise critical patients, and seeing them go home after being presented to him on the crash bench.
Luke is quick to recall his most memorable case – Abby the greyhound who came into the practice with a mild laceration on the side of her chest. “It ended up turning out that she had impaled herself on a metal rod, breaking her rib and puncturing her caudal lung lobe. She required a 4hr surgery to remove the lung lobe, 3 blood transfusions, and a whole team of vets and nurses to get her through the surgery.”
Another rewarding case was Lily, who suffered from rodenticide toxicity. “Lily consumed rat bait, which causes failure in the ability of the blood to be able to clot. Unfortunately for Lily, she had a bleed in her abdomen. So we had to stabilise her, perform a plasma transfusion to give Lily the ability to clot her blood, and then drain the blood from abdomen and put it through a filter and put it back in her blood vessels. She went home 5 days later. It was the most rewarding feeling seeing her go home.”
Three quick questions with Luke
Tell us why you like working for Animal Emergency Service?
I like the way Animal Emergency Service works as a family, we support each other and help each other the best we can. I like that every vet strives for excellence and has the best interests at heart for every single one of their patients. Our Pet Intensive Care Unit has some of the best nurses I have ever seen or had the pleasure of working alongside, and its a relief knowing that when I admit my patients into the Pet Intensive Care Unit, i know they are recieving the best possible care.
What's the funniest thing that ever happened to you on a shift?
I was holding a staffy whilst I sat on a wheelie chair writing my notes. All of a sudden our Operations Manager, Demelza, came around the corner and got the staffys attention. Before I knew it, the staffy yanked me off my chair and pulled me all the way to Demelza!
What would you say to an aspiring vet?
Make sure you are doing it for the right reasons. Its long, hard hours with at times very little reward. But the highs that come from being a vet, especially when you treat a patient and see them run to the owners with joy to go home; knowing you made that happen. Not much can beat that feeling.