The Veterinarian story
“The doctor of the future will not give medicine, but will draw the patient’s attention to the body, diet, finding causes and how to treat them.” Thomas Edison
What it takes to be a veterinarian? People choose this profession out of thousands of others. Is a person who has been trained in the science of animal medicine, whose job is to treat animals who are sick or injured. Basically it’s a doctor whose patients don’t talk or don’t express themselves in a ‘human’ ways, afraid of them and at the end never say thank you.
Sounds not very welcoming, but most of veterinarians can confirm the fact that it’s a absolutely rewarding experience of being helped to save animals life, or improve the pets condition, and see a happy face of the owner.
Vets are mostly women and it takes 6-10 years in total to become a veterinarian depends on the country. Though the pet industry shows phenomenal growth strike, vets as professionals are on decline with roughly 5% a year (newcomers versus those who leave the job). Some of the fact that baby boomers are leaving, but it also has to do a lot with compassion fatigue and burnout. Another sad truth a few people can even image, but vets are in extremely high risk group of suicides (roughly 10% of those who leave the job end up suicides in USA only). More and more groups emerging to help people overcome difficult moments, such as Not One More Vet and Veterinary Confessional Project.
Among the health issue with pets, vets try to influence the pet owners in different ways. Its obvious they want to see more responsible pet owners and more happy pets, which is in fact not so hard to do, but they cannot make it alone and that’s why Equals is on a mission to help them deliver the message.
So starting from your new puppy or kitten, embrace the fact that it’s a living creature that needs to be educated and raised in very similar way as human kids raised, with dignity and mutual respect. Buying insurance or starting a savings account for your animal is a smart thing to do. Because that little animal will grow up, will get older, get sick from time to time, and there will be discussions around him or her what is medically possible to do about and what you can financially afford and what your lifestyle actually allows you to do in terms of management of chronic disease in your pet.
The best thing you can do from the beginning is of course offer the appropriate nutrition. Vets are doctors and most of the time the nutrition background they have is from those sales agents from the pet food companies who supply functional diets. So stay alert and judgemental about their choice, especially when they recommend straight away commercial pet food or a limited functional diet, because every limitation cause a shortage of nutrients and most importantly pet get mentally tired of eating same food every day (no matter how balanced it is).
Another good idea is not to give pets as gifts (even to your children). Because dogs and cats are not only our financial commitment, but one of time. Pets need love, they need socialization, they need training, they need exercise and mental stimulation on a daily basis. And in vet practice its more and more frequent case when people bringing their pets and asking for sedation or tranquilisers or anti-anxiety medication because their young animal bouncing off the walls and they just cant handle it at home, when really this animal needs a training class and more exercise.
But the biggest thing you can do is to partner with your vet to be a proactive member in the health of your pet. No matter how healthy is your pet, its highly suggested to show him or her to your vet once a year for examination. The prevention of disease is both financially and health wise more beneficial. Diseases not only way more treatable but sometimes even reversible, and far more options available to vets when they got it in the early stage.