Dr. Andrew Lewis was born into a medical family and became interested in large animal veterinary medicine while growing up around his uncle who had an equine practice. He graduated from veterinary school, completed an internship, a large animal surgery residency, and a master’s degree—reaching the highest level of expertise in his field—and then chose to focus on equine surgical practice.
Dr. Lewis recently joined our VESPECON team as a consulting specialist. We feel fortunate that his unique expertise is at our disposal and we are happy to offer consultation services to large animal veterinarians and their clients. Here, we share more about Dr. Lewis and his chosen specialty.
Large animal surgery: A day in the life
Large animal veterinary surgeons typically work in academic institutions, or private equine or general large animal veterinary practices. They may perform ambulatory services, but most also maintain highly specialized surgical facilities that can handle complex anesthesias and surgeries. Large animal surgeons not only perform scheduled consultations and surgeries, but also are often called on to perform emergency and life-saving procedures. A large animal surgeon’s day may include:
- Lameness and orthopedic examinations
- Farm calls
- In-hospital consultations
- Image interpretation
- Post-operative recheck examinations
What can a large animal surgery specialist treat?
Large animal surgeons treat a wide variety of acute orthopedic conditions, and perform routine elective surgeries. The scope of their practice depends on whether their focus is equine or farm animal medicine, and client demand in their home and practice areas. Common surgeries that a large animal specialty surgeon performs may include:
- Fracture repairs
- Arthroscopic surgery
- Laparoscopic surgery
- Colic surgery
- Cryptorchid castrations
- Tie-back procedures
- Laceration repairs
- Eye and eyelid surgeries
- Bladder stone removal
- Urethral obstruction repair
- Abomasum replacement
Dr. Andrew Lewis: Q & A
We wanted to get to know Dr. Lewis better. Here are his answers to some of our interview questions:
Question: Where did you complete your veterinary education?
Answer: I completed my DVM degree at Louisiana State University (LSU) in 2005, my internship at the University of Georgia in 2006, and my residency and master’s degree at LSU in 2009.
Q: Where are you from, and where do you currently live?
A: I am from Powhatan, LA, and currently live in Benton, LA.
Q: Why did you choose to pursue a veterinary specialty?
A: I grew up in a medical family and an uncle was an equine veterinarian. Spending time with him growing up interested me in the field.
Q: What do you enjoy most about large animal surgery?
A: I most enjoy the sports medicine aspect of what I do.
Q: What has been your most fulfilling or interesting case as a veterinary specialist?
A: They are too numerous to count!
Q: How did you come to work with VESPECON?
A: Dr. Pierce (i.e., Kenneth Pierce, DVM, MS, DACVO, VESPECON founder and CEO) is my friend and a vet school classmate—we work together on ophthalmology cases now.
Q: How does working with large animal surgery through VESPECON benefit or help general practitioners?
A: VESPECON provides a low-cost option for consultation on cases, especially when referral may not be an option.
Q: Tell us about your two- and four-legged family members.
A: My wife, Crystal, and I have been married for 18 years. We have two sons, Peyton, 12, and Justin, 11, three dogs, two cats, six goats, and 20 chickens.
Q: What do you do in your spare time?
A: I enjoy spending time with my family and all their activities—archery, and big game and waterfowl hunting. I also teach a Sunday school class at my church.
Q: Do you have any interesting hobbies or special talents?
A: Western big game hunting is my favorite hobby.
Q: What is the most interesting place you have traveled?
A: Alberta, Canada.
VESPECON’s unique video chat platform allows face-to-face and real-time consultations, eliminating the confusion and treatment delays with phone tag or email. Our multi-disciplinary team is available at your fingertips whenever you need us, and we can also coordinate in-person specialty referrals for patients who need them. Contact us, visit our website, or sign up to consult with Dr. Lewis or any other VESPECON specialist or to learn more about our services.