The vet working to improve the medical treatment of wildlife

One of the hedgehogs Laura Frost homed in her hog hospital

“Vets receive little training in treating wildlife,” says Laura Frost. “That’s something I’d like to change.”

One of the hedgehogs Laura Frost homed in her hog hospital

Laura is a Wolfson Bye Fellow and the College’s new Preclinical Director of Studies for Veterinary Medicine. She’s spent many years in private practice, including two years as clinical director of a multi-site practice, and in 2020 she began working at Wood Green, The Animal Charity.

Laura is used to treating and caring for wild animals. She has even converted her garage into a ‘hog hospital’ for the rehabilitation and release of hedgehogs.

“I’ve recently released all of my summer babies and am now waiting for the autumn juvenile season to start,” she says. “I have enough room for about twenty hedgehogs at a time.”  

Recently, she’s been trying to increase the amount of wildlife treatment education within veterinary training. She delivered a second-year lecture in wildlife at Cambridge, and is now working on a final year equivalent.

“It can be intimidating when wild animals are brought into a practice,” she says. “I aim to help fellow vets to feel more in control and more confident when they are faced with an uncommon scenario. What we want is better welfare for wildlife and safety of veterinary staff through appropriate handling of wild animals.”

For Laura, this means establishing basic principles, whether it’s pain relief or fluids, so that wildlife are given the appropriate first aid care, a lifeline until specific wildlife organisations can take over.  

Laura’s role at Woodgreen is both a clinical and teaching role, with three final year students on the rota every week – and guiding students is clearly something she deeply enjoys. “I do a mixture of routine and more complex procedures with trauma cases. Teaching has rejuvenated even routine surgery such as cat spays,” she says.

As a Director of Studies, Laura is well positioned to guide developing vets at Wolfson.

“It’s a big jump from A-Levels to studying Veterinary Medicine,” says Laura. “As a practicing vet, I guess I bring to the role a sense of the light at the end of the tunnel – that despite the hard work and challenging times during the course, the career it opens up is very rewarding. I can also help pinpoint the details which are important – those details you need to absorb in order to thrive in a practice.”

You can read more about Woodgreen, The Animal Charity, on their website. And you can find information about how to help UK hedgehogs on the Hedgehog Street website or on the SWC website

Find out about studying Veterinary Medicine at Wolfson

You can read all about studying Veterinary Medicine at Cambridge University as a Wolfson student – including admission information, qualifications, and funding – on our website.