Posted: May 20, 2011, 7:50 p.m. EDT
In 2005, while living in Connecticut, I had two ferrets needing medical attention. It was necessary to travel to Texas during that time, so I asked a well-known ferret vet if he would see my ferrets, and he agreed. Thus I became one of many who have traveled from other states to the Dallas area to have their ferrets treated by well-liked and respected veterinarian Dr. Jerry Murray. Having attended every International Ferret Congress symposium, Dr. Murray has gained a following and the respect of colleagues and ferret owners around the world.
One of five boys, Dr. Murray hails from the Northeast, with a mother from Boston and a father from Buffalo. He now counts a niece and nephew as part of the family. Even with such northern roots, Dr. Murray was a Texan from the start. When asked if he had a hero, he quickly responded, “The 1970s Dallas Cowboys. As a child those guys were my heroes!”
To this day, sports continue to be one of Dr. Murray’s greatest pleasures. To relax, he spends his time watching sports. Does he have a favorite team? Well, if it starts with Dallas … “Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavs, Dallas Stars, Texas Rangers, college football, college wrestling, etc, etc.” If there is a Dallas team playing, you can find him in the stands or in front of the television! If you friend him on Facebook, Dr. Murray will even keep you updated as the game progresses.
When not watching sports, Dr. Murray enjoys traveling, hiking/camping and wildlife photography. He has photographed polar bears, black-footed ferrets and bison, to name a few. And, his love of animals carries over into his work. As a vet he leaned toward the unusual because he was “always interested in exotic pets, so ferrets were the logical choice for me.” Moving from caregiver to ferret owner, Dr. Murray did it the old-fashioned way. He bartered for them. What did he get in return? “I vaccinated roughly 30 intact ferrets and one pot-belly pig.”
Having been a vet so long, Dr. Murray has many memories. His visit to Tennessee, for example, was to treat a snow leopard at the Knoxville Zoo and a bald eagle. “The eagle was an Exxon Valdez oil spill non-releasable survivor and part of a captive breeding program at [Dolly Parton’s] Dollywood.” As a vet, he holds our pets’ lives in his hands, and holds as his most memorable ferret experience the act of “repairing the vena cava the first time.”
At the symposium Dr. Murray will speak on Aleutian Disease Virus (ADV) in Ferrets. He will also present a Friday night workshop on “Ferret First Aid” for shelter operators. After that, he may be found listening to some classic rock or country music. His taste may be because he lives in Texas or may be because he “went to school with Garth at OSU.” He can tell you all about the time he met Willie — and answer questions about whether or not he has visited Willie’s establishment or attends his annual party. But if Dr. Murray had his way, he would sidle on up to “Lewis and Clark or one of the fur trappers like Jim Bridger” and ask them a few questions about their lives and how they survived in the wilderness back then.
Dr. Murray practices at the Animal Clinic of Farmers Branch in Dallas, 972-247-2221.
And don’t forget to check out his bi-monthly column on SmallAnimalChannel.com.
For more information regarding the June 3 to June 5, 2011 IFC Ferret Symposium in Phoenix, visit the IFC website.
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