As a child, Dr. Hickling loved to spend time playing with and learning about animals on farms owned by friends and family. Her fascination with biology and physiology led to a decision that she wanted to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. In practicing veterinary medicine, Dr. Hickling enjoys the continuous learning experience that veterinary medicine provides, and she fosters her learning by reading journals, attending seminars, and with ongoing discussions with colleagues.
In 2010 Dr. Hickling was awarded Manitoba Veterinarian of the Year. She has volunteered for the Canadian Animal Blood Bank and is grateful to the donors and their families for their continued support in this valuable service. She is also a member of the Peer Review Committee, an organization charged with making decisions on complaints lodged against practicing veterinarians. Other areas of professional interest include emergency medicine, oncology, pocket pets, and exotic pets.
Dr. Hickling recognizes that each animal is individual and unique. She believes that a key factor in veterinary medicine is listening to owners' questions and comments to help direct treatment for pets who cannot speak for themselves. Apart from diagnosing and treating diseases, she believes in doing whatever is possible to control pain and make animals comfortable.
In her personal life, Dr. Hickling and her partner Brad have two children. Their first child Aiden was born in 2003 and their second, Keira, in early 2006. Both kids love stopping by mommy's work to visit all the animals. As far as pets go, they've adopted Mishka, who joined the family in 2003 when her former owner moved to India, Phantom, who was found as a kitten in 2009, and the most recent addition Clover, a high-energy border collie cross they adopted on St. Patrick's Day from Winnipeg Animal Services.
Dr. Hickling's outside interests include music, cycling, and gardening. She has even been known to cycle to work in -30 weather. She regularly volunteers at the Winnipeg Folk Festival and the Winnipeg Fringe Festival. Concern for the environment and the welfare of all animals has led her to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle.