Posts Tagged 'veterinarians'

Minimal input

Veterinary professor looks at beef production trends.

In some cases, animal care has been overlooked, and demand for some veterinary services has declined.

He said higher vet costs and lower animal values mean sick and unproductive cattle are more likely to go untreated.

Deaths and illnesses that occur on the range or in the feedlot are often viewed as inconsequential.

“Raising cattle is not fun like it used to be,” Janzen said. “Guys used to get out there and pay (closer) attention … because there was value in it.”

He said the new system of beef production is part of a larger trend that is sometimes called minimal input animal agriculture.

Cure animals

The sexual politics of vets.

In the 1960s, women comprised 10% of the students studying veterinary science. Now 79% of the student population is female—and that means the practice of the profession is shifting according to their preferences. Fifty years ago, most veterinarians looked after large animals that were destined for our plates. Now, 60% of practitioners work only with “companion animals,” that is, pets.

Although it’s not only women who are driving this shift, Murray Jelinski and his colleagues at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine discovered that the more common desire among female vets to cure animals, not just make sure they make it to the abattoir, plays a significant role.

Vet lit

Dean of Ontario Veterinary College recommends reading; OVC to host first Veterinary Medicine and Literature Symposium May 9 to 11.

For Stone, it makes perfect sense to turn to literature to express feelings, introduce ideas and describe events that may be familiar, or foreign.

For years, she has urged veterinary students to make books and poems part of their busy lives while they’re describing cases, dissecting tissue and studying a curriculum heavy with anatomy, physiology, pathology and the other sciences. She encourages them to write creatively.

Stone feels strongly that reading books, poems, short stories and plays — particularly when they’re about animals — helps veterinarians to understand emotions, study ethics, navigate the myriad of relationships they’ll have with pets and pet owners, and make difficult life-and-death decisions.

“It allows students to talk about their concerns in a safe environment as opposed to when there’s an owner and animal already involved,” Stone says.

Literature helps them to think about what it means to be a good vet, and reminds them, amid their exams, dissections and course work, why they wanted to become vets in the first place.

Pets and class

On the cost of euthanasia.

. . . local veterinarians were charging anywhere from $113 to $200, plus tax. That’s not counting the extra $100 to $250 for cremation; depending on whether I wanted the ashes disposed of or returned. I was able to find a couple of veterinarian clinics in Peterborough that were less expensive – one charged only $66 – which begs the question; why the disparity in costs? I’m sure they all use the same drugs and the same amount. Two of the clinics contacted only euthanized its own clients.

Now, I’m not saying money is more important than the love and respect for and from a pet, or that veterinarians shouldn’t be paid for their services, but what if I was a single mom, or working a minimum-wage job, or recently lost my job? Does that mean I shouldn’t have a pet because I can’t afford to have my animal humanely euthanized? The cost for a dog, depending on size, is even higher.

Most loving

Dog dies after owner unable to immediately make deposit to emergency vet.

“They denied me treatment and she is dead hours later,” Kerr said. “It is tragic. The hospital could have got the money later and now I have lost a piece of my life. I have lost a family member and the most loving dog ever.

“I can’t even be at home right now because she isn’t there. What is ironic is the brochure from the hospital says, ‘day or night we are here for you pet.’ ”

No reason

Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association bans tail docking and ear cropping.

“In my opinion, Dobermans and Great Danes look great with their ears down and their long tails, so there’s no reason to mutilate them by causing them to meet an arbitrary breed characteristic that has been around for so long that we can’t remember why it’s been around in the first place,” said Dr. Frank Woodbury, a veterinarian in Halifax.

Mary Spinelli, a Doberman breeder in Dartmouth, disputes any suggestion that ear cropping and tail docking is cruel, and therefore can’t see any need for the new rules.

“There was no impetus from anybody in the dog community to say, ‘Please, consider this procedure,'” she said.

“These procedures have been performed for the better part of 100 years. They’re not new, they’re not revolutionary and, by and large, they’re not cruel. They’re done in proper conditions.”

Spinelli said a Doberman’s tail is removed when the animal is about two days old, while the ears are cropped at eight weeks.

She finds it hypocritical that the veterinary association is still allowing the declawing of cats.

“They have no qualms whatsoever about declawing cats, which is a far more invasive procedure done when the cat is significantly older,” she said.

Purely cosmetic

Vet’s against ear cropping and tail docking.

“It’s obviously a painful procedure and if there is no medical reason for it, why would we do it?” says Langelier, whose Island Veterinary Hospital is among all but one clinic on Vancouver Island that won’t crop ears or dock tails of puppies for purely cosmetic reasons.

“More and more veterinarians, especially the newer vets, are opposed to it,” says Langelier. “They take issue with inflicting pain for appearance.”



Yann Martel's Beatrice & Virgil


Trevor Herriot


Erika Ritter


Toronto's cat problem


Don LePan


Don LePan's Animals


Justine Pimlott's Cat City


Erika Ritter's The Dog by the Cradle, the Serpent Beneath