Dr Alex Kennedy, Veterinary Resident, and Allana Langdon, Rehabilitation Therapist, both ply their trade at the Small Animal Specialist Hospital (SASH).

Langdon started in the industry at 16 at a grooming salon, it wasn’t long before she applied for an Animal Attendant role at the Small Animal Specialist Hospital (SASH) and she has been working there ever since.

“My interests with pets started at a very young age, I can’t really remember a time when I didn’t love animals. If you asked my parents, they would say I was born to work with animals,” explained Langdon.

For Dr Kennedy, who grew up on a farm with deer, cattle, and golden retrievers, and with a mother who bred Burmese cats, working with animals for a career is a dream come true.

“I am currently a veterinary resident (specialist in training) in small animal internal medicine. I’m constantly inspired by my colleagues at SASH – they work tirelessly to make the most advanced treatments available to the pets of Australia,” said Kennedy.

Career highlights for Dr Kennedy include presenting her research a t ACVIM Forum, an international veterinary internal medicine conference, and treating and curing cats with Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), a disease that until recently was considered a terminal diagnosis.

“We are still trying to determine the best treatment protocol for this disease, and it has been a great opportunity to collaborate with colleagues around the globe to work together to determine this – there is still so much we don’t know!”

Langdon, in her current role as Rehabilitation Therapist in SASH’s sports medicine and rehabilitation team, she assists with pre-op and post-op recovery of orthopaedic and neurologic patients. Given that her patients obviously can’t speak, Langdon says gaining their trust through empathy and care is one of the most heart-warming parts of her job.

“I help patients learn to walk again after spinal surgery, or regain muscle mass and function to their limb after having cruciate surgery. Helping a young puppy who may have fractured their leg and had surgery be able to live a long and happy life. Also helping older patients who have achy joints live out their older day much more comfortably.”

Over her career, Langdon hopes she will be able to spread awareness of the benefits that rehabilitation can bring to family pets, especially post-surgery, and how quickly they can recover with their help.

“What inspires me is the way animals just get on with life. They can have major surgery, wake up and be wanting food and a walk. If that was a human, you would be bed bound for weeks.”

The biggest change Dr Kennedy would like to see in the industry is an uptake of pet insurance in Australia.

“We are so behind compared to some other countries with this, and it makes such a difference to pet owners to help take the financial burden out of the equation.”

Dr Kennedy hopes that her being named as a Young Gun will help encourage other young veterinarians follow their passions.

“I hope that being recognised as a Young Gun in the pet industry could help inspire other young veterinarians to follow their passions in the industry and see they too can be part of the evolving knowledge of veterinary medicine – what we discover now will help the pets of the future, and there is so much to discover!”

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