Roots - Why Toria Waldron, DVM, Became a Veterinarian

Hello Everyone! I am the newest addition to the Badger Veterinary Hospital team. I joined the practice on June 16, 2013 and I am more than thrilled to be here! My biography is the nuts and bolts of what I have done and where I’ve been. I’m hoping this blog post can give you a little more insight into my roots and the story behind why I became a veterinarian.

I was born and grew up in Rice Lake, Wisconsin (1 hour north of Eau Claire). I know that anything north of Highway 8 can seem like worlds away from South Central Wisconsin … and civilization. However, I will be the first to inform you that Rice Lake and Barron County are great areas and surprisingly rich in horse culture.

Ever since I was a tiny girl, I was horse-crazed. Luckily, my parents accepted and encouraged my obsession and the community was well-equipped for children like me. I was enrolled in riding lessons and started learning the ins and outs of becoming a horse person by the time I was 8 years old.

The more I got into horses, the more active I became in the 4-H horse project, Open Saddle Club shows, and the AQHA. These projects taught me so much about handling and caring for horses, confidence, humility, competition, and led me to some great friends.

Stormy and me in the early days.

Stormy and me in the early days.

I was lucky enough to get my first horse at age 11. Stormy Skippa Dee or “Stormy” was a sorrel quarter horse gelding who was my inspiration to become a veterinarian. Most horse owners will recognize that owning a horse is probably the fastest way to get to know the veterinary profession. For example, Stormy introduced me to abscesses, stone bruises, scratches, strangles, corneal ulcers, grain overload, and finally acute renal disease (Amazingly, I never really thought of Stormy as being particularly accident prone).

His trials with renal disease led me and my parents to trailer Stormy over to the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. While we were there, the clinicians, residents, and students came up with an excellent diagnostic and treatment plan. Stormy underwent blood work, a biopsy, and treatment with IV fluids and was on his way to good health in a few days. After a recovery period, Stormy and I went back to showing and earned a Grand Champion in the Wisconsin 4-H State Horse Expo that fall.

This experience really allowed me to realize the power of veterinary medicine. From then on, I was committed to the profession.