More Than Medicine

Jake’s been on my case for a while now… like 4 months now. What did I do? Well, the phrase I most commonly hear is, “when are you going to write a blog post about your new job?”

Surprise! I have a new job….

As of 4 months ago….


So, for those who aren’t aware, Jake and I are no longer the dynamic duo at the Tyndall Vet Clinic. While I loved practice and working with my best-good friend (that would be Jake, not Cletus), I accepted a position with the state of South Dakota as an Area Veterinary Supervisor with the Animal Industry Board.

Let’s be honest, when you think of a veterinarian, regulatory medicine probably doesn’t pop into your head. Many aren’t even aware of what the dickens I’m talking about. Heck, I didn’t know until I interned with the Animal Industry Board in college. However, there’s a mess of options for veterinarians outside of practice: regulatory, industry, research, military, etc.

Carolyn Kissing Fish

And wildlife veterinarians: kissing is part of the healing process.

What the heck does a veterinarian working for the state do? What is regulatory medicine? I’m so glad you asked! I have no idea! Ok that’s not true, but I can tell you that it is nothing like general practice. Regulatory medicine veterinarians have many jobs, however they have two major responsibilities; the control and/or elimination of diseases and protecting the public from diseases in animals that can do harm. While in general practice, I made sure that animals were healthy on an individual herd or animal level. In this position, the spectrum has become much broader.

But that’s not all! Some of the other roles I have include supervision of meat inspection in the small meat lockers of my area. I work with a team of inspectors and compliance officers to make sure the plants are following the regulations posed by the state to ensure products are wholesome and safe.

I am also in charge of captive non-domestics in my area, overseeing some of the more interesting critters people have. These would be animals such as monkeys, deer, lions and tigers and bears… you know what to do.

Let’s say you wanted a monkey (please don’t want a monkey…). If, against your better judgment, you want a monkey, I would show up to assure the enclosure for said monkey is adequate. We would then go through what could and could not be done with said monkey. I would then permit you, against my will, to be able to get that monkey. No, I am not a fan of monkeys…. But if you are, I will still permit you: judgement free. You do you.

Carolyn Closing Sqeeze Chute

I’m the only one who can partake in monkey business around here!

This is just skimming the surface of the duties I have in this position. There are other responsibilities such as sale barn inspections, hatchery permitting, large animal abuse reports, and the like. More importantly, should there be an outbreak of a reportable disease, I would be part of the team to contain it, helping to ensure it doesn’t spread further, thus safeguarding the animal agriculture industry of the state.

There are days I miss practice. However, fortunately for me, my family and my in-laws promised I will always have cattle to work for them. As of now, I’m greatly enjoying this new chapter in my career and the people I am working with (and Jake likes that I’m less likely to get hurt…). God is good 🙂


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