Wellington, FL—Reid and Associates Equine Clinic is proud to announce the arrival of Alexander Daniel, BVetMed, MS, MRCVS, DACVS to its surgical team. Dr. Alexander will be performing a full range of procedures, from emergency colic surgery to arthroscopy and NeedleView. He has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals, with new research this year on navicular bursal injection, laparoscopic surgeries in mares, as well as comparison of MRI and ultrasonographic examination of the digital flexor tendon sheath.
Dr. Daniel graduated from the Royal Veterinary College, London and served for four years as veterinarian at the prestigious Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center in Los Olivos, CA. He spent three years as an equine surgical resident at Colorado State University, where he received his Master of Science degree. He is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.
As a rider, Dr. Daniel competed in one and three day eventing in Great Britain. Here he answers questions about his passion for surgery and getting to know each and every patient.
What are you most excited about in your move to Reid and Associates?
We have only recently moved to Florida and everyone has been wonderful. This is quite an exceptional clinic and they practice a very high standard of medicine. The horses that come through the clinic for care are some of the best.
You grew up in England. What brought you to the United States?
I initially had intentions to go into private practice in the UK, but towards the end of vet school one of my professors took me aside and recommended a month-long visit to Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center in California. So I did. I was there about a week, after which the owner asked me to come back as an intern for the next year.
How did the internship turn into a long-term job?
I interned for a year and they asked me to stay on as an associate vet. My role there was quite broad: diagnostic imaging, lameness exams, working with interns and doing a ton of emergency calls. During that fourth year, I suddenly realized how long I had been in California and that I still wanted to do surgery, so I applied to Colorado State University (CSU), which has a fairly tough program, and was lucky enough to get in on the first round.
Why did you make surgery your specialty?
I have always wanted to be a surgeon. The time I spent in California solidified that. It was a surgical practice, and although I saw a lot of ambulatory case, I was always scrubbing into surgery, regardless of whether it was my case or someone else’s. But I knew that I wanted to be the person managing the case from start to finish, seeing the horse return to its previous level, and know that I was the one involved in treating it.
What new technologies/procedures are you particularly excited about in the coming years?
There are a lot of new ideas coming out of the veterinary field, and it’s not just universities producing research. Private practices are investigating and publishing new techniques. I consider myself someone who’s going to continue to contribute to that. The level of medicine that we are practicing is improving every year across the board and it’s exciting to be a part of that.
There’s a trend for everything to be done on a less invasive scale. Arthroscopy is at the forefront of all the surgery that we can do. It’s truly minimally invasive surgery. There’s just a huge amount of work confirming the benefits: positive outcomes, short recovery times and a higher percentage of horses going back to the job they need to do. That’s going to continue. We also now use laparoscopic surgery a fair amount and that will likely continue to evolve in the same way arthroscopy has.
Will you share 1-2 of your favorite stories as a veterinarian, so far?
It was in Colorado, during my residency at CSU. A bear that had been fairly mistreated came to the university with infected fractures in both elbows. There were a lot of people involved as you can imagine, and I was just one of the surgical team called in. I didn’t really realize at the time the kind of attention this case was receiving. That evening I got a text saying that I should turn on CBS-- there’s a segment on Marley the bear. So I did and there’s a long video of me in surgery. I was able to call home and finally demonstrate to my family what I do. This poor bear had a really tough time, but now she’s doing great and is fully rehabilitated. We always remember the most unusual cases! As far as the horses go, I get pretty attached to each of them and I don’t think I could single out just one. I have a huge connection with the patients, and people laugh at me a lot because I just hang out with the horse to trying to get to know them.
What are your long-term goals as a veterinarian and surgeon?
I’ve always wanted to be one of the best surgeons, and with time and more hard work, hopefully that will happen. I’d also like to continue to contribute to the body of research, as well as the advancement of profession. I’ve been pretty fortunate to be trained by some of the best vets in the world. They were generous with their time for me and I’d like to return that favor by giving back to the new graduates that come through as interns. Hopefully they will do the same in their careers too.