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Local veterinarian honoured with national award


BIBLE HILL - At one time, people told Ernie Prowse he would never get into veterinary school.

“I was a good, but not great, student in school,” he recalled. “I grew up on a dairy farm in P.E.I. and was always interested in being a vet so I finally applied.”

He proved the naysayers wrong.

Since then, Prowse has been called upon to treat an elephant suffering from foot rot.

On another occasion, he delivered two lambs from a sheep the farmer swore hadn’t been near a ram – on Christmas Eve, no less.

A woman once brought a beagle-type dog to Prowse that she was sure would have to be euthanized – it had a tumour so large its stomach was rubbing on the floor. Prowse operated. The dog went from 72 lbs. before surgery to 50 lbs. once the tumour was removed, and lived many more years.

Now, Prowse has been named recipient of the top award for small animal veterinarians in Canada.

Prowse received the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) Small Animal Practitioner Award during a ceremony in Niagara Falls earlier this month.

He had already received his Bachelor of Science degree from Prince of Wales College (now part of UPEI) and a Bachelor of Arts from Dalhousie before going to University of Guelph to study veterinary medicine. He graduated with honours in 1976.

“I was interested in farm or mixed practice but I have a family history of lung disease and after two years at a mixed practice in Ontario I was having too many health problems.”

He relocated to Halifax, where he worked at a small animal practice, then to Truro to work with Agriculture Canada.

“That involved a lot of paperwork,” he said. “I knew I wanted to be in Truro and I wanted to be a practitioner, so I got a loan.”

He and his wife, Pam, opened Central Nova Animal Hospital on Pictou Road and it quickly grew, prompting a move to new quarters on Main Street after a few years.

Recognizing the importance of pets he chose the slogan “Where Pets are Family” for the animal hospital.

In 2000, Prowse felt it was time to sell the business. A couple of the vets who were already working there were interested, so they made a deal.

Since then he has been able to focus on orthopedic surgery and travels to animal clinics across the province to perform surgeries.

“I don’t know what I’d be doing if I hadn’t become a vet,” he said. “I’m lucky to have been able to do this for 40 years and I want to continue.”

Prowse was honoured and humbled to receive this recent award.

“It means to much when it’s from colleagues,” he said. “I think lots of vets are smarter than me but maybe some don’t love it as much.”

 

lynn.curwin@tc.tc

 

 

Professional positions

Ernie Prowse has held various positions in both the Nova Scotia and Canadian Veterinary Medical associations. He was involved with the founding and teaching courses in the Animal Health Technician program at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College and the animal care and training program at the Truro women’s prison. He stepped down as chairman of the Atlantic Provinces Veterinary Conference, a position he held for 14 years, in 2015 but remains an active member.

“I was a good, but not great, student in school,” he recalled. “I grew up on a dairy farm in P.E.I. and was always interested in being a vet so I finally applied.”

He proved the naysayers wrong.

Since then, Prowse has been called upon to treat an elephant suffering from foot rot.

On another occasion, he delivered two lambs from a sheep the farmer swore hadn’t been near a ram – on Christmas Eve, no less.

A woman once brought a beagle-type dog to Prowse that she was sure would have to be euthanized – it had a tumour so large its stomach was rubbing on the floor. Prowse operated. The dog went from 72 lbs. before surgery to 50 lbs. once the tumour was removed, and lived many more years.

Now, Prowse has been named recipient of the top award for small animal veterinarians in Canada.

Prowse received the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) Small Animal Practitioner Award during a ceremony in Niagara Falls earlier this month.

He had already received his Bachelor of Science degree from Prince of Wales College (now part of UPEI) and a Bachelor of Arts from Dalhousie before going to University of Guelph to study veterinary medicine. He graduated with honours in 1976.

“I was interested in farm or mixed practice but I have a family history of lung disease and after two years at a mixed practice in Ontario I was having too many health problems.”

He relocated to Halifax, where he worked at a small animal practice, then to Truro to work with Agriculture Canada.

“That involved a lot of paperwork,” he said. “I knew I wanted to be in Truro and I wanted to be a practitioner, so I got a loan.”

He and his wife, Pam, opened Central Nova Animal Hospital on Pictou Road and it quickly grew, prompting a move to new quarters on Main Street after a few years.

Recognizing the importance of pets he chose the slogan “Where Pets are Family” for the animal hospital.

In 2000, Prowse felt it was time to sell the business. A couple of the vets who were already working there were interested, so they made a deal.

Since then he has been able to focus on orthopedic surgery and travels to animal clinics across the province to perform surgeries.

“I don’t know what I’d be doing if I hadn’t become a vet,” he said. “I’m lucky to have been able to do this for 40 years and I want to continue.”

Prowse was honoured and humbled to receive this recent award.

“It means to much when it’s from colleagues,” he said. “I think lots of vets are smarter than me but maybe some don’t love it as much.”

 

lynn.curwin@tc.tc

 

 

Professional positions

Ernie Prowse has held various positions in both the Nova Scotia and Canadian Veterinary Medical associations. He was involved with the founding and teaching courses in the Animal Health Technician program at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College and the animal care and training program at the Truro women’s prison. He stepped down as chairman of the Atlantic Provinces Veterinary Conference, a position he held for 14 years, in 2015 but remains an active member.

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