Dr. Candace Lowe at work at the WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre.

Five questions with Dr. Candace Lowe

For Candace Lowe, DVM, MVetSci., Dipl. AVDC, hard work, determination, and a life-long adoration of animals were all essential to the foundation of her career in veterinary dentistry.

By Samantha Ashenhurst, VPN Canada

Growing up in Thompson, Man. (population 13,000), Dr. Lowe was a self-described ‘horrible student,’ regularly ditching classes in high school to have fun with her friends. While she dreamed of one day working in veterinary medicine, she did not consider this a realistic goal.

“My dad would drop me off at school, and I would go in the front door and leave out the back,” she tells Veterinary Practice News Canada. “I wasn’t interested in school.”

After barely finishing high school, Lowe landed a job as a dental assistant (for humans), making six bucks an hour. She worked at the clinic for two years, but realized it wasn’t what she wanted to do.

“I decided this was not my life plan, and I would have to go to university to get out of my small northern town and my minimum wage job,” she says.

Thinking she would pursue human dentistry, Lowe started taking classes to improve her high school marks and pick up some of the essential science classes she missed the first time around. She took some pre-dental courses at the University of Manitoba (UManitoba), but her dream of working with animals inspired her to apply to the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) at the University of Saskatchewan (USask).

“Once I finished my pre-requisites with a high-ranking GPA, I thought, ‘What if I become a dentist and still want to be a vet?’” Lowe says. “From there, I gave my all to veterinary medicine.”

These days, Lowe is an assistant professor in the college’s department of small animal clinical sciences. She also operates the veterinary dentistry clinical service, where she sees referrals from USask’s Veterinary Medical Centre, as well as the Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park & Zoo.

Veterinary Practice News Canada recently caught up with Lowe—who lives in Saskatoon with her husband, Jeff; their sons, Keaton and Miller; two cats, Leia and Kiki; and Lola, their 17-year-old, six-toothed Shih Tzu—to learn more about her journey to veterinary dentistry and get some tips on how companion animal veterinarians can prioritize dental conversations with their clients.

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