VETERINARIAN Greg "Cav" Cavanagh was head down and bum up yesterday, tending to all creatures great and small - in Greg's case, mostly great - throughout the Gympie region.

It was just a normal day at the "office" as far as he was concerned, but his staff were not going to let the special milestone pass in silence.

It was 20 years ago yesterday that Greg first began work with Gympie and District Vet Services.

He was a fresh-faced large animal vet practising in the Atherton Tablelands when he decided to buy the country practice with his best mate and fellow vet Ashley Hall, off Brian Collingwood, in 1995.

Much has changed in the two decades since: Greg and his wife Melissa have almost finished raising their two sons, James and Tom, and the modest practice in Little Channon St is now one of the larger rural practices in Queensland.

The building has been renovated and extended multiple times, making it almost flood proof, and the staff has gone from just a handful, to more than 30 men and women, including 10 full-time vets.

The clients who Greg says make his job so great are much the same, though, Sadly, the 110 dairy farms that were on the practice's books in 1995 have been reduced to about 30 through the demise of the local dairy industry.

Greg himself has not changed though.

He loves his job, and that's why he is good at it.

Most of his days are spent visiting farms and dealing with cattle and horses and their owners, but he tries to spend at least one day a week working with small animals too.

Having a healthy respect for the "largies" is something Greg has always had, but he reckons he might have gotten a little complacent - or slow on his feet - recently.

"I have avoided being severely kicked for the last 20 years but in the last two months I have been seriously nailed twice."

Gympie Times


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