For many vets, their choice of a career was a ‘calling’, something they knew they wanted to do from day one. But for Dr. Philipp Schott, it was fairly late in his schooling before the occupation even crossed his mind.

“I was heading to university and I had no idea what I was going to do. I went through the catalog and I was going through alphabetically and saw Theology,” Schott said.

“I was really hoping there was something else after it. I finally saw veterinarian medicine. I couldn’t think of any objections. So I gave it a try and before you know it, I’m at 30 years of practice,” he said with a laugh.


Schott currently practices at Birchwood Animal hospital in Winnipeg.

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Following the three decades of treating all kinds of animals, Schott felt it was fitting to share stories he’s encountered.

“I always liked writing as a hobby. I was writing about travel and whisky. No one really wanted to read that. I came to realize people are very interested in what I do for a living,” Schott said.

Philipp Schott has helped all kind of animals during his 30-year career.

Philipp Schott

So Schott started a blog, and eventually put together stories and essays for his book, Accidental Veterinarian.

There’s one story, Schott said, which has become a fan favourite.

“I explored fish medicine when I first started out, which in retrospect was a ridiculous idea. Who brings a fish to the vet?” Schott said.

It took awhile before Schott finally had a case come through the doors.

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“A pet shop owner came in with an ice cream pail. There were two fish. One was covered in colourful spines – almost looked like feathers – and there was a little one stuck in the big one’s mouth,” he said.

Not only was the bigger fish eating the other, it was potentially lethal to anyone who might touch it.

“It was a lion fish. The lion fish is deadly poisonous. I knew this from snorkeling in the tropics. You can’t go anywhere near the spine.”

“So, using a quarter round we had for renovations, I made these huge chopsticks to hold the lion fish and pulled the cat fish out of the mouth,” he said.

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Unfortunately, the cat fish passed away. The lion fish and Schott, however, came of the ordeal unscathed.

Schott said his book has a variety of elements, including stories and lessons he’s learned over the years.

More information can be found here.

WATCH: Accidental Veterinarian – Tales from a pet practice

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Accidental Veterinarian: Winnipeg pet doctor shares tales of 30-year career



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