Dr. Micky Trent
Dr. Micky Trent
Dr. Micky Trent, DVM, MvSc specializes in soft tissue surgery, equine wound management and minimally invasive surgery. She is also the veterinarian for St. Paul’s Como Zoo and consults with The Minnesota Zoo.
Trent was raised in Georgia where as a kindergartner she displayed a passion for ponies and at age eight began taking riding lessons. She worked throughout grammar school and high school in hunter jumper stables and worked her way up from cleaning stalls to teaching riding and schooling horses.
As an undergraduate at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, she majored in zoology and was equally attracted to science, medicine and veterinary medicine. Trent also enjoyed studying the psychological basis for behavior. During college one of her jobs was green breaking horses at hunter jumper stables and exercising hunt horses for a stable in Chapel Hill.
Despite her explicit love of horses, it took some time for Trent to decide upon veterinary school over medical school. “After considering a summer job working all day inside a human hospital I realized I wouldn’t want to do that for the rest of my life.”
During veterinary college at the University of Georgia in Athens, she made another decision.
“I decided I would either own horses and do small animal work or I’d work with horses and have dogs,” said Trent, who now owns two “very hairy” Bernese mountain dogs with whom she competes in agility, tracking and drafting.
She rode often between her internship in large animal surgery at Cornell University in 1981 and 1982 and her residency at the University of Saskatchewan from 1983 to 1985 and the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1985 to1986. However, she had to reduce her riding after several knee injuries incurred while playing college soccer during her residency.
Along the way, Trent enjoyed support from a variety of distinguished teachers.
“Dr. Nat White at Georgia helped direct me into equine practice, and showed me what dedication to quality is,” she said. “Dr. Don Smith was a mentor when I was intern and resident in Wisconsin, and during my residency in Saskatchewan, Dr Peter Fretz, an equine surgeon, involved himself in asking me ‘what do you want to do? Does it fit with your skills?’”
Her skills range widely but she particularly enjoys minimally invasive and laser surgery, and has helped develop an active laparoscopy service in the equine clinic.
“I am very attached to horses,” said Trent. “I love the way they move, I enjoy interpreting what they are going to do, and I feel comfortable around them. They are a challenge, as well. With dogs and cats you can make things happen, whereas with a horse you need to work with them to get what you need to happen. It’s a kind of cooperative effort. And every horse is different.”
As a faculty member and, from 1992-2000, as the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Trent has been able to fulfill another desire—to teach and to improve veterinary education methods.
“I seem to have accumulated a lot of knowledge about how the variety of ways that people learn and how to set a system up so they can learn effectively,” said Trent. “I like to see the students get clinical experience early in the curriculum. Most students learn in part by experience, and adult learners who learn in the context of how they will use information will remember information in a functional way. Doing things earlier gives them a clinical context to tie in more basic information. It is much more likely to go into long term memory and be retrievable when needed.”
She believes the Leatherdale Equine Center benefits that kind of active learning in many ways.
“This new facility incorporates things that help us in teaching as well as in clinical service and research,” said Trent. “It has camera systems so students and clients can see surgery as it occurs, and cameras in the lights so we can show the surgical field a lot better and discuss it. Our new digital video systems provide excellent computer images from our laparoscope and arthroscope. We can teach with these visuals a lot more effectively.” “The atmosphere and the equipment quality are an enormous improvement, and it is very nice to have things designed to facilitate efficient lameness and performance evaluation all in once place,” said Trent.
Dr. Micky Trent is board certified by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons