Country Vet

It doesn’t take long to see that Dr. Charles Troup (DVM ’68) is beloved in his small town of Center Point, Iowa.

For 50 years, “Doc” Troup has cared for the animals – both large and small – of this tiny eastern Iowa community. Earlier this year, he hung up his stethoscope for the last time, retiring from the Center Point Veterinary Clinic.

On this day, the community came to honor and listen to 50 years of “Doc” stories. He spoke to a standing-room only crowd at the Center Point Historical Society Depot Museum on a Sunday in late July where his vintage veterinary equipment is on display.

Doc answers a wide variety of questions, remembering his years treating dogs, cats, cows, horses and even an elephant.

“There was a guy north of town who had been given a retired retirement,” Doc told the crowd. “The elephant went down. Now I didn’t know anything about elephants but I called a veterinarian at the San Diego Zoo.

“We tried everything, got her through the night and the next day but unfortunately we lost her.”

That was the type of veterinarian Doc Troup is. To validate that all you had to do was see heads nodding and smiles of those in attendance that Sunday afternoon.

Doc preferred to work on large animals – maybe not as large as an elephant – but he readily admits he was more at ease with cattle, pigs and horses, although “there got to be less and less of those animals and a lot more dogs and cats over the years. I haven’t seen a pig in 10 years.”

He regaled story after story of unusual veterinarian cases – from the time he delivered a buffalo calf, lassoed a pig, did C-Sections on a horse, and removed an arrow from a dog. “I never had that happen before and never had it happen since.”

When Doc ran out of stories, members of the audience came to his rescue.

“You amputated a leg of our cat and she’s still hopping around thanks to you.”

“You came out and helped our cow with a difficult birth and I couldn’t believe a small town vet could do such an amazing thing.”

“He never turned away a stray animal. He would call around until he found that dog or cat a home.”

Doc claims he was never late for a calf birth even when it was 10 degrees below zero. Although he was kicked more times than he would like to remember, he was also never seriously hurt by an animal.

“It’s been a real hoot,” he says.

July 2018