When New York native Nyssa Levy was younger, she figured out pretty quickly that a dog was a woman’s best friend. Developing a love for all furry friends at an early age, Levy was always passionate about animals, but wasn’t sure how she would react to seeing accidents or injuries.
“I always knew that I wanted to work with animals,” she said. “But was initially hesitant about working in an animal hospital – I used to be super squeamish about blood and injured animals. Now, many years later, dealing with trauma and all kinds of injuries and illnesses is a common part of my job.”
After studying animal science at Cornell University in upstate New York, Levy went to be a veterinary technician and worked in a small animal hospital for a few years. Then, she attended graduate school at Iowa State University to study immunology, and after moved to Lansing in 2012 to intern at Michigan State University.
During her Spartan years, Levy landed an internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery. She spoke about her formative years.
“This is where I developed a love for emergency and critical care medicine,” she said, “and ended up staying on for residency training, specifically in small animal Emergency and Critical Care medicine.”
Her residency included an additional three years of specialized training and ended last summer – followed by a full-time faculty job at MSU College of Veterinary Medicine; an experience she describes as fortunate and exciting.
Job duties for the recent resident grad include treating and teaching, while overseeing the clinic’s Emergency Room/Intensive Care Unit. Levy also aids students in learning both in the classroom and hands-on research and practice.
“There really is no ‘typical day’ for me, which is part of what I love about it,” said Levy. “Similar to a human emergency room, we never know what patients we will see that day and treat mostly dogs and cats with a variety of illnesses, injuries and more.”
Michigan State University’s veterinary hospital recently underwent a massive renovation to its ICU, which Levy said is a state-of-the-art care provider to Michigan’s furry friends and their families. The facilities on the campus of the university are fully equipped to provide specialized critical care in special cases, like dialysis and ventilator support for animals ranging from dogs, cats, horses, cows, pigs, sheep, goats, bunnies, hamsters and more.
Though the job is stressful and demanding, Levy admits that she is thankful for her supporting friends, family and fiancé who all help her focus on the positive. When she’s not busy saving man, or women’s, best friend, she can be found playing tennis and exploring the mitten state.
“Even after living here for four years, I am constantly finding new spots – from outdoor places to explore with my fiancé and our dog, to new restaurants and shops around town,” she said.