By Kelly Nicol
CROCKETT – The newest member of our community is a familiar face but with a new title.
Dr. Tyler Mackey, DVM, has long been a summer resident of Houston County and has worked as an intern the past seven years for Houston County Veterinary Hospital while he attended Texas A&M University.
Dr. Mackey has worked with the clinic as well as the youth of our county helping them prepare for livestock shows. Noting he enjoyed his time over the years, he decided he would start his career right here in Houston County.
This spring, Dr. Mackey graduated from Texas A&M Veterinarian School and has come to work full time as an Associate Doctor for the Houston County Veterinarian Hospital.
“I grew up with livestock on a farm with my family. My mom’s dad (his maternal grandfather) fed several thousand head of cattle and ran row crops. My dad’s dad (his paternal grandfather) was a hog buyer for IBP (Iowa Beef Processors) and we raised chickens and cattle in East Central Iowa — so we did a lot of our own veterinarian work,” Dr. Mackey said.
When he was in the 4-H and FFA program growing up, the family would take their cattle numerous times to the vet for dehorns, foot trims or other veterinarian care.
“That was something that really resonated with me. I enjoyed going and talking with those guys,” Dr. Mackey said. “When we moved to Kentucky after leaving Iowa, we slowly migrated South. We ran 1,200 Angus cows and had a staff vet there with us and I spent a lot of time riding around in the truck with him tending to our cattle. We became pretty close and we still talk to each other on the phone. That was kind of the root of it all, it just stuck with me as what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be.”
Dr. Mackey graduated from high school in a small community about 70 miles southwest of Fort Worth in a class with 20 other students. After high school, he went to an Oklahoma junior college where he was on the livestock judging team. Later, he transferred to Texas A&M University, where he continued livestock judging and fortunately got into vet school and stayed there.
In the last semester of veterinarian school, Dr. Mackey said it got a little difficult – but he persevered.
“It was pretty hard to stay motivated towards the end just because I had been in school for 20-plus years of my life. Then the whole Coronavirus thing hit and kept us out of the clinic. We went from having hands-on experience and life being good to sitting there on a computer staring at a screen talking to each other however many miles away,” Dr. Mackey explained. “It was pretty hard to stay engaged but I think the community support through the whole thing and the support of the staff at Houston County Vet Hospital and communicating with them knowing I was coming here after graduation, and the support from the vet school and the professors, as well as the other students, all helped to make the most of it towards the end, but, it was nothing like I would ever think I would have to experience.”
At Houston County Veterinarian Hospital, Dr. Mackey’s focus will be a little of everything – but he hopes to add working on show pigs in particular to the practice.
“The bulk of what I saw while I was here with Dr. (Michael) Allen and Dr. (Dan Lee) Craven and also with Dr. (Michael) Hanley is that we kind of work on everything. It’s kind of whatever comes through the door is what they will see. I really like that,” Dr. Mackey said.
In fact, during his time as an intern, Dr. Mackey recalled one day when they were out for several hours in the river bottom palpating cows. When they came back to the office for a cat scheduled for 4:30 p.m., the cat’s owner asked where they had been because she had never seen Dr. Allen that dirty before.
“She said ‘I just thought you were a cat vet.’ So if I could be something like that, if you bring me your cat, I’m a cat vet. If you bring me a dog, I’m a dog vet. If you bring me a show pig, I’m your show pig vet. I did spend a lot of time at clinics working on show pigs and that is something I hope to add to the practice.”
When asked about Dr. Mackey, Dr. Michael Allen stated he is really happy that Tyler has joined the team at HCVH.
“He will be a great asset to our community with his current knowledge and skills ranging from small animal, large animals and show animal medicine,” Dr. Allen said.
The Messenger would like to welcome Dr. Tyler Mackey to our community and wish him well.