New large animal vet joins practice in Cass

Published 5:46 am Saturday, January 6, 2007

By By MARCIA STEFFENS / Niles Daily Star
CASSOPOLIS – Working with an animal much larger and taller doesn't bother Dr. Nicole Boyland, but she does have her share of broken bones.
During her internship in northern Virginia, Boyland was trampled by a horse and suffered a broken back. For three months she could only lay in pain.
Her back has healed and the 2005 graduate of Michigan State University has come closer to her Rochester home, joining the Bergman Veterinary Medical Center at 906 E. State St. in Cassopolis. She started in December.
Her goal to become a veterinarian started 18 years ago, when she was 8 years old and her black Labrador was hit by a car. The vet saved the family pet and inspired a young girl.
"I have always liked animals and this has been my focus through school," she said. Luckily, she liked science.
She rode horses and showed dressage, even competing for Michigan State while she was in graduate school.
"I broke my leg while riding in college," she said. "It goes with the territory." If she had become a small animal vet, she anticipated getting bitten.
Horses are her favorite animals, and it is hard for her to not have one for herself since she sold hers to help pay for medical school. She does get to travel to Lexington, Ky. to visit a friend who works on a race farm.
When a horse is lost, she said she tries to not get emotional. One sad case she shared was a 12-year Tennessee Walking horse, a family pet with botulism and laminitis, which she treated for three months.
She likes Cassopolis, finding it "quiet and friendly."
In her own rented home, Boyland has two cats and a pit bull mix from the humane society.
"I like meeting new people. Everybody has been very nice. It is a good mentoring environment for me," she added.
One vet has been very helpful.
Dr. Garry Fedore of Cassopolis has taken her under his wing, showing her the way to clients' homes so they can treat the horses, cows, pigs, lamas and other large animals.
Although some clients first think Boyland is Fedore's daughter, or too young to be a doctor, she expects they will come around.
The Bergman center has three large animal vets and two small animal vets. Boyland appreciates having other doctors with whom she can discuss difficult cases. In the case of emergencies, they also treat small animals.
"I am very happy to welcome her to the area. We waited a year to find a good vet. They are hard to find," said Fedore. "We are looking forward to a busy spring."
Boyland used to ski and snowmobile, but the weather hasn't cooperated with her return to Michigan.
Still, she said she doesn't mind the mild weather, adding that much of her work is done outdoors. "Sometimes we get to be in a barn," Boyland said.
One of her hobbies she plans on pursuing is taking scenic photographs to take advantage of the sights around southwestern Michigan. She also likes to read books about horses and mysteries.
Boyland has one sibling, Christina, 22, who is studying nursing at Oakland University.