This week, the OAVT connected with Omar Zaheer, DVM who will be presenting three sessions in the Food Production-Poultry track at the upcoming #OAVTConference. We asked Omar a series of questions, inviting him to share more about his current role and past experiences. Omar shares his experience working with a Pekin duck in our Q&A.
Omar graduated with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2016 from the Ontario Veterinary College. He then pursued a one year small animal rotating internship at the Veterinary Emergency Clinic in Toronto. After that, he completed an Avian and Exotics specialty internship for one year at the Ontario Veterinary College and then moved into a three year residency in Avian and Exotic Medicine & Surgery, finishing in September 2021.
What do you think is the best part of your job?
The best part of the job is being able to interact with so many different species and be able to help a group of animals that many others are afraid to look after.
Can you brief a unique case that you handled?
I was seeing a Pekin duck, a breed of meat duck, for chronic arthritis. This is a common problem in pet meat ducks because they have been bred for heavier weights and shorter lives, so they often suffer from debilitating orthopedic conditions. This duck improved so much following rehabilitation with an underwater treadmill since she did not have access to a water body during the winter months! Her mobility and comfort improved significantly, which was so great to see.
What makes you special in the animal healthcare industry?
I think those serving zoological companion animals are unique in that there are not many veterinarians that are comfortable with their care and there is a tremendous shortage of these veterinarians in the province already.
What is that you most looking forward to in this upcoming OAVT conference?
I am looking forward to educating people on an area that is often underserved in our current veterinary curriculum, and to bringing some light to a very underrated species group!