Monday, June 18, 2018

Veterinarian Appreciation Day

What would we do without trained veterinarians? We're sure people enter the veterinary field with the goal of helping as many animals as they can lead a quality life for as long as possible. Most vets put in countless hours and play a key role in helping our cats live long and healthy lives. Veterinarians deserve our thanks for this dedication, care, and love of animals.

Truffle looks at Dr. Boyette as he picks her up to go to the back
Dr. Boyette and Truffle


Veterinarian Appreciation Day was created by Trupanion Pet Insurance in 2015 to "recognize veterinarians and the wonderful work they do, dedicating countless hours and compassionate care to help animals thrive" (PRNewsWire, 6/04/2015). Being a veterinarian can be both a wonderful and yet, extremely difficult occupation. I remember asking our previous vet as she was assisting with end-of-life care for Sweet Praline how she stayed so strong during this difficult time. Her response to me was, "Believe me, we lose it in the back." This phrase from her made me think about what veterinarians actually go through and how emotional and stressful their job can be. 


Dr. Strom examines Brulee's ears during her wellness exam as Jamison assists


Mental Health and Stress

Recent findings from a study conducted by Merck Animal Health (2018), reveal that veterinarians are not plagued with mental health problems when compared with the general population, but they do experience significant stress in their jobs. This study was completed through an online survey conducted by Brakke Consulting in November 2017 among 3,540 of a sample of 20,000 randomly selected veterinarians in the U.S. (DVM360 Magazine, Feb. 16, 2018). This study showed more about the "well-being" of the veterinarians. Key findings are in the chart below. It appears the key findings mimic the general population with the exception of slightly lower levels of well-being.



Daily Life of a Veterinarian

Dr. Keisler examining Brulee while she was on the scales

I've become very interested in watching the numerous veterinarian shows on television and can't believe all they go through in a day. I'm sure these snippets that are shown don't give us an accurate picture of what a normal day is like for the average veterinarian. 

According to an article in the Princeton Review (2018), the main job description for a veterinarian is to provide medical services for animals. In addition, veterinarians give advice to pet owners about the care and breeding of their pets. Some people may be surprised to learn that veterinarians also protect humans from diseases that animals can carry. The graphic below shows some of the responsibilities of a veterinarian in private practice.

Dr. Cash with Brulee during an examination


Finding the Perfect Veterinarian

Prior to Truffle and Brulee coming to live with me, I researched the local veterinary hospitals and requested an interview/visit with the veterinarians and staff. I was lucky to find a veterinary hospital close to me that is accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), has convenient hours, multiple vets, and great recommendations. All of the vets at Cherokee Trail Animal Hospital have shown the utmost care and concern for Truffle and Brulee and many have gone above and beyond to help me with research on feline cancer, microchips, bladder stones, and Persian health care. Trupanion offers four tips for finding the perfect veterinarian.

Dr. Hansche loves on Truffle and Brulee

There is a lot more veterinarians do to gain our trust and appreciation in the care they give our cats. Cherokee Trail Veterinary Hospital is AAHA accredited, a Cat Friendly Practice Gold, and the vets and staff are getting Fear Free Certification. 

Brulee and Truffle waiting in their Sleepypod® Mobile Pet Beds to be examined

We'll talk more in August about preparing your cats for a visit to the vet on Take Your Cat to the Vet Day. In the meantime, we want to meow out a huge thank you to Drs. Boyette, Macaulay, Keisler, Strom, Hansche, and Swenson for all that they do to help us maintain health, happiness, and quality of life.


Spread your support for your veterinarians and say thank you to them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Tag your veterinarian and use the hashtag #veterinarylove. Remember to thank them on your next visit, too.

35 comments:

  1. What a wonderful day dedicated to wonderful people! We can't imagine what our world would be like without our vets!

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  2. My human has never found a vet clinic she's utterly fallen in love with. We like our current vets at the clinic we go to, but we don't unabashedly love them. We do appreciate them lots, though!

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  3. We sure do appreciate our wonderful Vet team, some of us have been seeing them too much lately though!

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  4. Our vet retired and we're lost without him! We haven't been able to find someone that we all like. Would you believe there aren't many cat friendly practices in NYC? Unbelievable!

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  5. We’re glad you have such great vets to take good care of your girls.

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  6. We like our vet (and everyone there).

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  7. We're glad we found a good vet, but we would love to see cat friendly practice in Switzerland. Purrs

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  8. Looks and sounds like you girls have the best in veterinary care there. Tell Mom Paula how much her phone call to us meant to us. You two can really talk! MOL!

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  9. We miss our vet at Mercy Vet in Washington. We so appreciated that office

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  10. I never knew all this! Especially the facts about mental health and vets. Gives me a new appreciation for everything they do to keep our cats healthy!

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  11. I couldn't agree more that Veterinarians deserve our respect and appreciation! They go school as long as human doctors do and make a fraction of the income. I did find it very interesting that only 24% of young Veterinarians would recommend vet med as a career choice. That is sad to me but understandable. I pinned this as well. It was that good. Thank you!

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    1. I found some of the statistics very surprising, too. Thank you for pinning this.

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  12. Loved reading this post as I can relate to it working as a veterinary technician. People don't realize how under-appreciated veterinarians are! A good percentage of pet owner's always think that "we're in it for the money" when it's true that veterinarians only benefit from a FRACTION of the income. Thank you for writing about this. :)

    P.S. - It looks like you have a wonderful team of veterinary professionals for your kitties.

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  13. We loved our whole veterinary clinic team in Southern California. We don't have a lot of choice here in Amador County so can't do much shopping but we have found one we are happy with. We can tell she truly loves her job and we are grateful for her.

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  14. IT is really comforting to have a vet you trust and like. It sounds like Truffle and Brulee have some awesome ones!

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    1. I'm pretty pleased with the care the girls receive from each of these vets. We have our favorites, but are comfortable with any of them.

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  15. We adore our vet. They are a very progressive office. I do worry about stress with them though. It is a hard profession.

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  16. I love our vet, he is so patient with both of us and always teases me that I am too much of a Jewish Mom LOL. Amazing profession and I so much respect for them

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  17. I'm so glad Truffle & Brulee have an awesome Vet hospital. When we lived in Phoenix we had an amazing Veterinarian, Dr. Foster. We moved to NY and he subsequently retired. He was the best and we miss him dearly. I found a Vet with 24 hour emergency service and an ambulance but I wish I could find a Vet close enough that was also AAHA certified.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

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  18. Great tribute to what sounds like a great vet! I LOVE our vet too...tried a few - but they are the best!

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  19. Thanks for the reminder. I've been meaning to take some cookies into the vet's office. They work hard!

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  20. A good veterinarian is worth their weight in gold. They need to be cherished and treasured.

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  21. My vet is a single vet practice. She gets no breaks for vacations or long weekends. I don't know how she does it. Her many vet techs help, especially when she is not there, but still, I have seen her work only a few days after having knee surgery! I have suggested to her vet techs that she get another part-time vet, just so she can get a break!

    She does a great job and I wouldn't trade her for anyone else!

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  22. Sandy's comment rang loud bells with me. Our local vet (RIP early 2018) was a total animal guy, and did not take a break or holiday in 25 years+ of practice. His love for animals was total. His loss was felt by the whole of the local pet loving community. We hold this day in his memory.

    It is rare for us to read long posts without losing patience because people stray off topic but not this post. A lovely piece, Paula, and written from the heart.

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    1. Thank you Marjorie. I'm so sorry for your community's loss of a wonderful vet. I do have a couple of favorites in this group of vets, but all are great.

      Thank you for the compliment on my post. I'm working on the rebranding in advance with some of my posts before the official new page kicks off next month.

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  23. You are lucky to have found such a great practice. I find the mental health statistics scary. A couple of prominent vets have taken their own lives too. It seems like there is a definite lack of support for vets. The double edge sword of caring for animals themselves and dealing with pet parents who love their animals so intensely.

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  24. I was just thinking today how brave and strong veterinarians must be mentaly to euthanize sick pets when it's the right thing to do. I know I couldn't do it even if I knew it was the best for the pet. We really have to apreciate our vets who go above and beyond to help our furry family.

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  25. Great post. It's good to know that veterinarians have real emotions when dealing with end of life care. I was always curious how they can remain so composed. I'd be an absolute mess. Musch respect to all the wonderful vets that care for our furkuds. I'm feel really fortunate to have had really wonderful vets involved in my cats lives. It's really a blessing.

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  26. I had no idea there was a day to celebrate veterinarians. Although, I absolutely agree there should be. What would we do without them?! I imagine some days are extremely doffdiffi in their line of work. Reese and I just visited her vet for her annual appointment. We travel an hoho and a half to see D. Mudde. He is an incredible vet and equally fantastic person.

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  27. Wonderful post. The statistic that less than one quarter of younger veterinarians would recommend their career choice to a family member or friend is certainly concerning. We need knowledgeable and compassionate vets. Reading statistics like that one make me wonder what needs to systemically change to support vets.

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  28. Such a great post! We just love our vets and entire hospital staff! They are so amazing, are always available to me, and has saved my Gibson over the years a few times! Our lead vet and medical director has so much knowledge he has always been happy to share. I've learned so much from them both. Cheers to Veterinarians! And always appreciate those amazing, caring, and loving ones.

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  29. We have several very good caring vets near us. They sure do work hard and go through a lot of stress. That summary doesn't include all the research they have to do to keep up and make good diagnoses and recommend the best treatments. Unfortunately Kilo hates any vet and so it is a real challenge as I do not want him knocked out for just a regular visit. We go back to his rescue's vet when needed now which is an hour away or call mine. We are looking for a solution.

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  30. I really appreciate our vets at Happy Tails. They love and remember our dogs every time I come in and even though Yoshi and Echo can be bad patients, the vets do not get frustrated with them. I've gone to several different vet offices and this one really makes me feel valued as a pet owner and that my pets matter to them. When I finish school and become a vet, that is the kind of vet I want to be. I want to make sure the owners know that they matter to me and that their pets matter to me.

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