Spotlight Series: Dr. Brendan Furlong

The final week is here! We’ve enjoyed getting to share some behind the scenes images and thoughts from our vets, and we hope you all have enjoyed the trips down memory lane and the sneak peaks from our vets. This week’s interview is the last of the series, so be sure to follow along on facebook for the rest of the week to see all of remaining posts!

Dr. Furlong

Up this week is Brendan Furlong, MVB, MRCVS, otherwise known as The Boss. Dr. Furlong came over to America in 1977 and has been here ever since. He started the practice in 1980 and at the time it was him, his wife Dr. Leich, and one technician. It has since grown a bit…

Q: Tell me about your first meaningful memory with an animal.
A: Oats! Oats was the first foal I ever bought as a child and because he was mine I used to sneak him extra handfuls of oats to make him grow into a big show jumper. When my father found out he gave him the name Oats.

Q: Do you remember a specific moment when you decided you wanted to be an equine vet?
A: It was when this great old famous Irish horse vet, Barty Hickey, came to our farm to do a pre-purchase exam and I was sent to help him. I was fascinated by him: his clothes, his car, I wanted to be just like him – to this day, I can still smell the inside of his car. This was before ophthalmoscopes and I remember he used a lit candle to look at the horse’s eyes. He said “if you could see the reflection of the candle in the back of the horse’s eyes, they were good”. He wasn’t wrong!

Q: What colleges/universities did you attend? When someone asks “where did you go to school?” what do you tell them?
A: University College of Dublin Veterinary School. The education system is different in Ireland than it is here in the U.S., so I went basically directly from high school to veterinary school.

Q: What do you do for fun, outside of work and spend time with your animals?
A: Farm! Wendy I own & rent about 260 acres that we use for pasture and hay production. I really enjoy the process of making hay. We grow about 30 acres of hay, and that produces about 5,000 bales per year, which is enough for our farm and the Rehab Center.

Q: If you weren’t a vet, what would you do for a living?
A: I would be a farmer.

Q: What’s a good book you’ve recently read and enjoyed?
A: Thomas Jefferson and The Tripoli Pirates – America’s Forgotten War. It’s about the beginning of the American Navy, when American ships were being harassed by pirates after the American War of Independence.

Q: What is the hardest thing you’ve ever accomplished?
A: Building a successful equine practice – there’s nothing easy about that! Probably the hardest thing is that the work is never done – it constantly needs to be cared for and monitored to make sure that it continues to be successful, and that means constantly evolving with science and technology.

Q: Favorite place you’ve ever traveled to?
A: Australia

Q: Dream vacation?
A: Horseback riding safari in Botswana. My family and I are planning a trip for the summer of 2019!

Q: Favorite food?
A: Any naturally produced foods from the farm I would consider my favorite. I suppose the Irish in me would pick the potatoes we grow!

Q: Favorite adult beverage?
A: I enjoy a nice New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

Q: Favorite sports team?
A: Ireland’s National Rugby team.

Q: Something most people don’t know about me…
A: That I am a practicing Catholic.

Q: I am obsessed with…
A: Making really good hay!

Q: What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?
A: I enjoy birding – Liz [Odyniec] and I often look at my book about birds native to south Florida while in Wellington.

Q: What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
A: That horses need “maintenance”. 

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