M. Phyllis Lose

Women in STEM
Women in STEM
M. Phyllis Lose

Birth: November 15, 1925

Death: September 30, 2019

Specialty: Equine veterinary science

Major Contributions:

1st female equine veterinarian in U.S.

3rd U.S. woman to earn a horse trainer’s license, the youngest person to do so at the time

Opened the first privately owned equine veterinary hospital in the U.S.

Wrote five books including: Blessed are the Brood Mares and Blessed are the Foals

Image Via Horse Nation

When Dr. M. Phyllis Lose earned her degree of veterinary medicine from the University of Pennsylvania in 1957 she was one of three female graduates and the only one to go into large-animal practice, concentrating on equine care.

She was no stranger to horses, at nine she had convinced her parents to help her buy a horse and keep it in the garage. When she was thirteen and the horse could no longer stay in the garage, she remedied this problem by renting an unused barn down the street and opening her own horse boarding facility. Two years later she began exercising horses at a local racetrack and convinced the track stewards to allow her to test to become a trainer, being certified at the age of nineteen. During this time, she also was learning to become a show jumper herself, riding her mare, Cassadol, to victory in the Devon Horse Show Open Jumper Class.

After graduation she worked hard to establish herself as a competent equine vet taking on whatever cases came her way in an effort to build her client base. As part of her practice she opened two equine hospitals and she credits her cleanliness and sterilization methods with her record of zero post-surgical infections. She provided veterinary services to the Barnum and Bailey Circus, the Philadelphia Zoo, and the Lipizzaner Stallions. In her over thirty-year career, she also provided hospital services and pastures for injured or retired police horses.

She developed surgical procedures for the correction of club-footed foals, the removal of ovarian tumors, as well as the removal of urinary bladder stones.  Lose also developed techniques for cataract removal in foals and older horses, bilateral guttural pouch patency, and treatments for navicular syndrome.

In 2000 she relocated to Florida after her dog, Oscar won a contest and was cast in a movie. Even at the age of 73 she wasn’t ready to retire from equine care and she took state boards earning a license to practice in Florida and returned to working at a track, this time as a veterinarian.  The author of five books including Blessed are the Brood Mares and her autobiography No Job for A Lady she lived in Florida until her death in 2019.

Suggested by Jennifer Lee.

Written by Angela Goad


Horses in History: The Dr. M. Phyllis Lose story (Horse Nation)

First Woman Equine Veterinarian Reflects On Her Career

M. Phyllis Lose, V.M.D. A life of Abundant “Firsts”

A Dog’s Life: The Oscar Lose Story (IMDB)

Dr. Margaret Lose Obituary

See Also:

M. Phyllis Lose (IMDB)

Wikipedia: Navicular Syndrome

The Merck Veterinary Manual: Guttural Pouch Disease in Horses