Dr Alice O’Hare graduated from the University of Queensland vet school in 1992, and launched straight into rural mixed practice. ‘I have great memories of being the first female vet in a small NSW dairying community, spending my days driving from farm to farm through stunning countryside, testing my four wheel driving skills in creeks and paddocks. In those days my first border collie ‘Mikey’, was always at my side. I would chuckle to myself, that this daily stream of adventure was actually my job.’
A few years after graduating, Alice embarked on a working holiday in the UK, working in all kinds of practices, from London to Edinburgh. ‘The contrast was pretty dramatic. I was visiting cows who spent their lives in ancient crumbling stone barns, and being presented with hamsters and hedgehogs; species I had never come across before.’
After a stint in Africa, visiting gorillas in the mist, elephants in orphanages, and lions on the veld, (purely as a tourist), Alice returned to Australia to settle on the Sunshine Coast and submerge herself in small animal practice.
Alice has a particular interest in treating dogs and cats with skin and ear diseases, an obsession stemming from her childhood companion, Peachy the poodle, whose skin allergies and ear infections needed constant attention.
When recently asked what she loves most about her job, Alice has no hesitation in saying that it is the interaction with her patients. ‘Like people, in the animal world there are the extraverts and the introverts, the gregarious and the shy and anxious, and let’s face it’they don’t all like coming to the vet. Without a doubt, one of the most challenging, and most rewarding aspects of my role, is being able to build a relationship with our patients, and help them to be at ease whilst under our care. It is so important to be sensitive to the emotional state of our patients, especially when they are injured or unwell, and feeling vulnerable. It is so beautiful to be rewarded with their trust, and acceptance; as if they know that we are here to help them.’
To Alice, being a vet is the best job in the world. ‘Playing a part in improving the quality and length of life of our precious pets is a privilege and an honor that I will never tire of’.
Experience & Expertise: Dr Alice has a particular passion for treating pets with itchy skin and ears. Skin disease in dogs and cats is very common and requires an indepth understanding to get to the bottom of your pet’s issues.