Video Outlines Mental Health Crisis Among Veterinary Professionals

A sobering new video produced by Dr. Carrie Turnbull of the Staunton River Veterinary Clinic in Virginia might come as a surprise to many pet owners.

The suicide rate among veterinarians is significantly higher than the rate for the general population.  One study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that female veterinarians are 3.5 times and male veterinarians 2.1 times as likely to die from suicide than the general population.

Dr. Turnbull notes in her video that many veterinarians tend to be high-achiever, type A personality types, and they are strongly affected by the stressors inherent in their jobs, such as unsuccessful treatments and patient deaths.

She also notes that vets can experience financial stress and many carry a significant amount of debt for years after veterinary school.

Do you have friends or family in the veterinary profession?  Dr. Turnbull recommends checking in with them to see how they are doing and if they are getting the help and support that they need.

You can watch Dr. Turnbull’s video below and learn more about this issue on the American Veterinary Medical Association’s website HERE.  There is also a Facebook group called Not One More Vet that provides help for vets in need of support.

 

FACE “Animaltarian Awards” Honors La Jolla Veterinary Hospital

On September 29th, FACE will be hosting our Animaltarian Awards, honoring some of our local San Diego area animal heroes.  We’ll be profiling each award recipient in the coming weeks, starting with our friends at La Jolla Veterinary Hospital!

La Jolla Vet has been taking care of pets for nearly 70 years.  They consistently rank among the best veterinary practices in San Diego.

La Jolla Vet has also been a dedicated supporter of animal welfare in San Diego, including FACE’s mission to end economic euthanasia by providing financial assistance to pet owners seeking critical veterinary care.

Among the many ways La Jolla Veterinary Hospital supports FACE is their annual Paws & Pints charitable fundraiser held every summer.  This year alone $15,000 of donations raised at the event went to help fund FACE’s life-saving work!

The hospital also often sponsors FACE’s annual fundraising events, like our Bags & Baubles shopping event and Invitational Golf Tournament, allowing us to raise more funds and help even more pets.

Additionally, Hospital Director Stephanie Coolidge serves on FACE’s Advisory Committee, lending her expertise and knowledge about the veterinary industry to provide strategic advice and guide organizational decisions. Stephanie says about the hospital, “Animal welfare is our lifestyle. Not our job, our hobby, nor a fraction of what we do. It is who we are and FACE encompasses all that we believe in.”

Thank you La Jolla Veterinary Hospital for all that you do, we are grateful for your support!

 

Banfield Releases 2019 State of Pet Health Report

Banfield Pet Hospital’s annual State of Pet Health Report analyzes data from over 2.5 million dogs and half a million cats that are patients at their veterinary offices in the US.

You can check out the full report on the Banfield website, including interactive features like checking on the most common pet health issues in your state, by dog or cat.

What are the most common pet health issues seen at Banfield?

  • Dental calculus (tartar)
  • Overweight
  • Otitis externa (ear infection)
  • Luxating patella
  • Nuclear sclerosis (cloudy eye)

Banfield also reports a significant increase in the diagnosis of osteoarthritis in both dogs and cats.  They note that this increase is primarily due to the growing problem of obesity in our pets, as extra weight puts stress on their joints.

Skin allergies are also commonly seen in the pets brought to Banfield.  The three most common are:

  • Flea allergies
  • Food allergies
  • Environmental allergies

Be sure to keep your pet at a healthy weight and talk to your veterinarian about any health concerns you have about your best friend!

 

 

Tips on Reducing the Stress of Vet Visits for Your Dog

The website Companion Animal Psychology is a great resource for dog and cat owners interested in learning how to better understand their pets.

The site recently published some helpful advice on how to ensure that your dog is as calm as possible during trips to the vet’s office.  The tips are based on research published in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science, which you can find HERE.

The researchers found that many factors can increase your dog’s stress at the vet, including prior negative experiences, the dog’s individual genetic makeup, and upsetting sights, sounds, smells, etc. at the vet.

Another cause of fear is something called “trigger stacking”—the combination of stressful experiences that can go into a vet visit (being put in a carrier, being restrained, etc.).

Here are just a few recommendations for helping dogs that feel anxiety about going to the vet.  Be sure to read the full article for more information!

  • Avoid feeding before a visit so your dog will be interested in treats given by staff at the vet’s office.  Treats are good rewards after unpleasant procedures like vaccinations.
  • Bring a blanket or toys from home to help comfort your dog.
  • Stay with your dog during the exam/consultation, and any other procedures if possible.

  • Get your dog used to car rides, carriers, and routine physical handling before trips to the vet.  Nail trimming and ear cleaning at the vet’s office can help accustom your dog to being there.
  • Very stressed dogs can wait in the car rather than the waiting room.  Muzzles and sedation can also be helpful in extreme cases.

 

3D Printing Gives Dachshund Second Chance at Life

Patches, an adorable 9-year-old Dachshund, developed a tumor on the top of her head that grew aggressively until it began to press on her brain and eyes.  Veterinarians knew that they needed to remove a large portion of her skull to treat her.

Patches needed a new “skull” to cover the opening at the top of her head.  The solution?  A 3D printed titanium implant custom made to fit Patches!

Veterinarians performed a 4-hour operation, removing the tumor and attaching the implant to her skull.

While 3D printing technology has been used successfully to create artificial limbs and lower jaws for animals, using it for a skull plate is unusual.

Veterinarians note that a high cost, complicated procedure would be most effectively used in a case like Patches—when a pet cannot survive without the implant.

Click HERE to read an article about Patches, and check out this video documenting her incredible story:

 

Image:  Dr. Michelle Oblak