Dr. Eduardo Arroyo’s face brightens at the mention of his 3-and-a-half-year-old twins, who, he gushes, can already speak or understand four languages – topping his three.
They share his love of animals – although where horses are his passion, they have an affinity for sheep and goats.
But their mention also brings mixed emotions to Arroyo, who is in the second year of his theriogenology residency at Washington State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Arroyo’s son and daughter are nearly 5,000 miles away at home in Sweden. He hasn’t hugged them since he returned to Pullman after making a short trip home in July.
“We miss each other of course, but this is just temporary,” Arroyo said. “Although I miss them a lot, it is best for them to stay there.”
Fortunately, Arroyo’s responsibilities and caseload as a resident keep him plenty busy, helping time to pass. Theriogenology is a specialty of veterinary medicine concerned with reproductive systems. While Arroyo is seeing many different species, his focus is on agricultural animals, equines, and small animals.
He works closely with Dr. Ahmed Tibary, considered to be among the leaders in the field of equine and agricultural theriogenology. Arroyo has known Tibary for more than a decade, with the two first corresponding more than a decade ago when Arroyo was helping to plan a symposium while he pursued his veterinary degree in his home country of Argentina.
In the years that followed, Arroyo’s career took him from South America to the Middle East, where he worked in advanced equine breeding programs, including some operated by the region’s royalty. He remained in contact with Tibary, frequently reaching out to ask for his advice or thoughts on complicated cases.
“Although discussions about a case lead to learning something different, any topic or life experience shared leads to some new ideas,” Arroyo said. “I knew that I wanted to work with him so that he could share more of his experience with me and so I could learn from him.”
Arroyo is also making the most of his time working with WSU’s other faculty and experts, including Dr. Michela Ciccarelli, a theriogenologist with more of a focus on small animals. Prior to arriving at WSU, Arroyo’s exposure to small animals, small ruminants, and camelids was limited.
“We have the opportunity at this service to start the day working with a cow, then an alpaca, maybe some ewes in the afternoon, and end up the day with a stallion. Having such a variety just in one day keeps me looking forward to the next day with excitement,” he said.
Arroyo will conclude his residency in the summer of 2023 when he will return home to his family. The residency and experience at WSU will help speed the process of becoming certified to practice veterinary medicine in Sweden, where Arroyo hopes to establish himself as a leader in theriogenology. The field, especially in equine, Arroyo said, is limited in Sweden and not nearly to the level of that in the United States and other regions.
“There’s the possibility to do something big there,” he said.
And, most importantly, he will be back with his family.