Dr Stephen King says he is chuffed to be awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for service to veterinary science.
Dr King, who comes from humble beginnings on a small farm on the Murrumbidgee River in NSW, served the Tasmanian community as a vet for 55 years.
The University of Sydney graduate said he was chuffed to be honoured for his service despite not knowing who nominated him.
"Pretty chuffed yeah, I don't know who nominated me or whether its a single person or a group or one of my former employees or present employees," he said.
He said he's pleased whoever nominated him thought he deserved it.
"I don't know that I'm deserving of it but I'm pleased that whoever nominated me thought I was."
Dr King who has loved animals all his life became a vet after being inspired by a teacher at high school.
"I went to an agricultural boarding school in New South Wales and one of the staff there was a vet, so he sort of sowed the seed."
The now 83-year-old started his career as a veterinary pathologist with the Tasmanian Department of Agriculture in 1960.
After four years as a pathologist, Dr King moved to Hobart to work in clinical practice before moving back to Launceston to start his own practice four months later.
He is a hall of fame and life member at the Launceston Greyhound Racing Club as well as a former board member for Tasmanian Greyhound Racing.
"I always had a love for horses so I got involved with horses and the greyhounds, I worked the greyhounds for 50 years as the on-course vet for the greyhounds with my colleagues," he said.
"I'm 83 and I've hardly had a mishap in all that time as far as my health is concerned and I was lucky to work with some very talented people."
Dr King credits much of his success to the people he has worked with over the years.
"I'm delighted to have had a lot of excellent staff... I've had a good run," he said.
Over his career, he has seen the veterinary profession develop.
"Today there is just a heap of new information coming about on disease and how do you diagnose and new equipment," he said.
"Virtually our profession is mimicking the medical profession."
Dr King said if he had one tip for young vets now it would be to be kind and courteous.
"Be courteous, be kind to your clients and your patients and endeavour to keep up with the latest," he said.
Dr King said when it came time to retire four years ago he was quite happy to go.
"I felt that my brain wasn't in the business of learning any more about veterinary science and I was happy to go," he said.
Now he is just hoping he's still got some time left to enjoy his and his wife Cheryl's retirement.