In Memory of Louise O’Dwyer

A small tribute to Louise to recognise her amazing work and life.

Nothing we can say or do will be enough, but we wanted to remember her in some small way.

Louise O’Dwyer

(February 7th 1974 – May 5th, 2019)

In memoriam.

On the 6th May we received the devastating news that Louise O’Dwyer had passed away suddenly at home, on 5th May 2019.

Louise O’Dwyer was an amazing veterinary nurse – a wonderful ambassador for our profession, and a lovely, kind hearted and thoughtful person. Her loss has had a tremendous impact on so many people.

Nothing we can say or do will be enough, but we wanted to leave a tribute to Louise to recognize her amazing work and life in some way.

About Louise

Louise, who was born in 1974 and from Wigan, Greater Manchester, gained her Diploma in Advanced Veterinary Nursing (Surgical) in 2004 followed by her Diploma in Advanced Veterinary Nursing (Medical) in 2007.

She spent 15 years working at PetMedics in Manchester, firstly as head nurse and then clinical director, before moving to our emergency and speciality hospital in Manchester in October 2015 to take up the position of clinical support manager.

Louise contributed to over 35 books, journal articles and book chapters, and lectured worldwide on all aspects of anesthesia, emergency and critical care, surgery and infection control, within the UK, Europe, Scandinavia, Australia and USA.

In 2018, she became the first veterinary nurse from the UK to be elected president of the Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians.

Louise was one of the world’s leading emergency and critical care veterinary nurses and a huge influence on the thousands of vet professionals who encountered her through her lectures, practical guide books and journal papers.

She won several awards for her exceptional contribution to vet nursing, including the BSAVA’s prestigious Bruce Vivash Jones Veterinary Nurse Award and the RCVS Golden Jubilee Award, which is given in recognition of outstanding contributions to the advancement of small animal veterinary nursing.

Thoughts on Louise

Lou was not only an inspirational Veterinary Nurse, who achieved a remarkable amount in her career and helped to push our profession forwards in so many ways – she was also a lovely, kind person with so much character. She was so sensible, with her ‘no-nonsense’ northern stance; so funny, and yet so thoughtful.

I remember going to a talk by Louise on wound management, which must have been about 18 years ago, and thinking ‘she’s fab!’ and my opinion never changed.

We were so lucky to have Lou as a tutor for ONCORE, and I was honoured and privileged to have known her. She will be sadly missed by so many people, and the tributes across social media are testament to what a special person she was to so many people. Thank you for everything you did Lou. We are all so sorry you are gone.

We can only begin to appreciate how much her loss will have affected so many people – from those who never met her, but were inspired by her and her amazing work; to those who were close by her side through life. We send out sincere condolences to her family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time. Please, if you need help, or just someone to talk to – reach out.

Samaritans:  116 123

Vetlife: 0303 040 2551

Anonymous email support:

Written by Jill Macdonald