It's a Vet's Life

Lectures NG Lecture Series

Some of the girls may have been wondering why their biology teacher, Dr Kate Kettlewell, had been asked to deliver this, the third of the year’s Nanette Godfrey Memorial Lectures. However, a few minutes in and everyone in the audience understood. Dr Kettlewell has had her hand sucked by a baby rhino and her family kitchen has been home to abandoned lizards. Together with her husband, Dr Peter Kettlewell, president elect of the British Veterinary Zoological Society, vet and co-director of Chipping Norton Veterinary Hospital, Kate inspired the audience with her message: as you walk life’s corridor, try the handles of all the doors you pass on your way. A change of career brings fresh opportunities and challenges and people don’t always get it ‘right’ the first time.

Alongside his conventional vetting, Peter is the vet for the Cotswold Wildlife Park and ‘Amazing Animals’ at Heythrop (these animals make regular film and TV appearances). These experiences wowed the audience with CT scan images and medical sleuthing. Again, the message was inspirational. Received wisdom decreed that a baby rhino, born with a malformed front foot should simply be put down. However, an international discussion of the X-ray suggested that nothing was actually wrong with the rhino. A few weeks in a cast and the foot had strengthened and the rhino continues to lead a full, normal life. Again, the girls were encouraged to ask their own questions, conduct their own research and open their own doors.

John Field (Director of Digital Learning)


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