Saving lives and inspiring people was all in day's work for hugely-popular vet nurse

Tributes have poured in from across the world for our much-loved clinical support manager Louise O’Dwyer, who has died aged 45.

Her friend and colleague, Amanda Boag, summed up Louise’s personality perfectly, “She was a true force of nature. Her infectious personality lit up rooms worldwide and her style was unique and special. All of us will miss her terribly.”

Louise was one of the world’s leading emergency and critical care veterinary nurses and a huge influence on the thousands of vet professionals who encountered her through her lectures, practical guide books and journal papers.

She won several awards for her exceptional contribution to vet nursing, including the BSAVA’s prestigious Bruce Vivash Jones Veterinary Nurse Award and the RCVS Golden Jubilee Award.

Image of vet nurse Louise O'Dwyer
Louise was an inspiration to vets and vet nurses across the world

Amanda, Vets Now’s clinical director, said: “Louise had a natural ability to inspire and foster talent in others; her passion and dedication to emergency and critical care nursing led her to become a leading veterinary nurse, mentor, author and teacher respected throughout the international ECC community.

“We were privileged to be able to call Louise a colleague, as well as a much-loved friend, and she will be sorely missed, not just by the Vets Now team, but by everyone across the veterinary professions.

“We are devastated by her loss, and our thoughts are with Louise’s family at this very difficult time.”

Louise, who was born in 1974 and from Wigan, Greater Manchester, gained her Diploma in Advanced Veterinary Nursing (Surgical) in 2004 followed by her Diploma in Advanced Veterinary Nursing (Medical) in 2007.

She spent 15 years working at PetMedics in Manchester, firstly as head nurse and then clinical director, before moving to our emergency and speciality hospital in Manchester in October 2015 to take up the position of clinical support manager.

In 2018, she became the first veterinary nurse from the UK to be elected president of the Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians.

Image of Louise O'Dwyer
Saving lives was all in a day's work for the hugely-popular vet nurse

Paying tribute to Louise, Erin Spencer, president of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America, said: “Louise was an example for veterinary technicians and nurses everywhere.

“Her loss will be felt around the world. Thank you, Louise, for everything you have done for our profession. We will miss you.”

Hundreds of friends and colleagues took to social media to pay their respects to the MBA graduate, with many describing Louise as an “inspiration” and a “dedicated and talented vet nurse, mentor and teacher”.

Fellow veterinary technician specialist Sophie McMurrough summed up the dismay of many when she said: “Louise has been an inspiration to many and what a legacy she has left behind.

“The profession is in a much better place because of Louise and all RVNs will think of her as a goal to keep the spirit alive and keep on reaching to the stars for our patients. I learnt a lot working alongside Louise and she will never be forgotten.”

Vet nurse Amanda Disney also paid tribute, adding: “Louise O’Dwyer was a truly inspirational lady, an outstanding RVN, a great teacher to so many nurses and vets alike, such a great loss to the veterinary world.”

Louise died suddenly at home on Sunday evening. In the fullness of time, we will find a way to mark her immense and lasting contribution to emergency and critical care nursing.

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