In his own words: Veterinarian Lance Gorrindo
Name/Title: Lance Gorrindo/DVM, Carson Valley Veterinary Hospital
Number of years in this position: 10 years at Carson Valley Veterinary Hospital (My first job since graduating Colorado State University Veterinary School in 2004. I decided to return home and work at my father’s practice and carry on his legacy.)
Education: Four years Santa Clara University for undergraduate work – I majored in biochemistry; four years at CSU
Favorite flick: “Saving Private Ryan”
What’s on your Ipod: Classic rock -- Bob Seger, Eagles, America, Creedence, Fleetwood Mac
Pets: One dog (Nala) and one cat (Momma kitty).
Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us about Carson Valley Veterinary Hospital and the duties of your position.
Lance Gorrindo: Carson Valley was first opened in 1957 by Dr. Keith Cornforth and eventually Dr. Steve Talbot, as well as my father, Dr. Robert Gorrindo, who joined the practice in the 1970s working mostly on cattle and large animals. Eventually the practice became more focused on smaller animals as the valley populated. People, especially retired couples from California, moved into the valley with their pets, creating a large demand for pet health care. Today, we focus strictly on small and exotic animals.
NNBW: Why did you decide to become a veterinary physician?
Gorrindo: I was always around it with my dad. I respected and idolized him more than anyone else, and I wanted to fill his shoes and take over the practice eventually. Growing up, we had 60 to 70 head of sheep and our family was active in 4-H, as well as showing sheep. I have been around animals my entire life and decided that animal health care was going to be my niche
NNBW: What part of your training proved to be the most difficult?
Gorrindo: Surgery. Veterinary school gives you very little surgical training and most of my surgical teaching came from my father and his partners, Dr. Talbot and Dr. Ross.
NNBW: What do you like most about working as a vet?
Gorrindo: Being able to problem solve difficult cases with patients that cannot tell or give you any direct information or clues. Many people today view their pets as children or family members, and the ability to save a pet’s life for a family is priceless. I also really enjoy talking with clients because a majority of them have been friends for the last 10 to 20 years, and it gives me a chance to catch up with them and their families.
NNBW: What’s the most challenging aspect of the profession?
Gorrindo: Trying to help clients evaluate their pets’ quality of life and make end-of-life decisions with them.
NNBW: What type of animal is the most difficult to work with? What’s the easiest?
Gorrindo: Fractious cats can be very tough. Mean dogs are relatively easy to work with but cats have so many sharp weapons that can hurt. The easiest animal I have worked on is probably a guinea pig or a duck. My favorite dog breed to work on is either a Golden Retriever or Labrador.
NNBW: In all the animals you’ve worked with, does one particular one stand out? Why?
Gorrindo: This question is tough because I have seen so many interesting pets and cases in the last 10 years. I think my favorite pet would be Lenny, who is a 180-pound Newfoundland. He was suffering from chronic hemorrhages around his heart, and my father and I were able to perform surgery on Lenny’s heart sac, saving his life. I performed that surgery three years ago, and Lenny is still doing great today.
NNBW: What was your very first job?
Gorrindo: I worked on the Hone Ranch at 12 years old, stacking hay, vaccinating cattle, irrigating, building fence, etc. This stress-free job was perfect because I was outside all day, soaking up sun, getting exercise, and enjoying the fresh air. Although I only made $3 an hour, I really enjoyed it and continued to develop a strong work ethic instilled by my parents.
NNBW: If you could have another career, what would be your dream job and why?
Gorrindo: I would love to work in Alaska as an outfitter. Flying bush planes and taking people on challenging sheep hunts would be a dream come true. Nature is always calling and reminding me of everything she has to offer. When I am not working, I am in the mountains or sagebrush camping or hiking.
NNBW: How do you spend your time away from work?
Gorrindo: Hiking, camping, fishing, shed/antler hunting. I also enjoy firearms and reloading. Long-range shooting has become a passion within the last five years.
NNBW: If you could live your life over again, what one thing would you change?
Gorrindo: I would have had my kids earlier. I was selfish with my time and told my wife that I never wanted children, but after all her harassment we had our first son, Bridger. I never realized I could love someone as much as I love him. I wish I had him 10 years earlier so I could have my best friend on all my adventures.
NNBW: What did you dream of becoming when you were a kid?
Gorrindo: An F-14 pilot. I was obsessed with flying fast jets after watching “Top Gun” too many times. I am not sure if the VHS player or the tape finally broke but it was a sad day when the kids couldn’t watch the movie anymore.
NNBW: Why did you choose a career in northern Nevada?
Gorrindo: I chose northern Nevada because my roots have always been here and I wanted to take over my father’s practice. Nevada has so much to offer in the wilderness and is a fantastic place to raise a family. I hope one day that my kids want to take over the practice my father left me, making Carson Valley Veterinary Hospital a multi-generational, home grown, quality practice.