Nicole Alleva always had veterinary medicine in the back of her mind but began college intending to go to pharmacy school. However, once she decided to become a veterinarian, she never looked back! Now, as a recent graduate of a veterinary school in New York, Nicole is currently completing a year-long, rotating internship in small animal medicine at the University of Georgia. This is one step on her current path to specialize in veterinary neurology. Her future career plans will involve treating animals with herniated discs, seizure disorders, congenital brain diseases, and even performing brain surgery.
Nicole shares that part of her job is prescribing special diets, exercise plans for weight loss, and even rehab–including underwater treadmills for dogs! She cautions people away from putting their pets on “fad diets” including grain-free or raw, citing studies linking those diets to heart disease or bacterial infections. Nicole recommends consulting a veterinary nutritionist when developing a diet for their pet. Parts of her job are tough–the risk of being bitten or scratched, or even contracting rabies, not to mention euthanasia of beloved family pets. Even so, Nicole says she loves working with animals every day.
Recently married to her long-time fiancée, Nicole is enjoying being back in the south and eating more Chick-fil-a than she’d like to admit! In addition to spending time outdoors hiking, she also enjoys baking. However, being an intern requires 60-70 hours of work per week, so her free time is limited. Be sure to tune in to this week’s episode to hear about a guinea pig’s medical crisis, and what Nicole did to save him!