The rise in outdoor temperatures is a sure sign that spring is here, and with the change come ticks.
When the weather warms it’s safe to assume that ticks are out looking for their next meal. Although the arachnids are found throughout the United States, deer ticks, also known as blacklegged ticks, are common carriers of Lyme disease. They often are found in wooded areas and along forest trails, primarily where their preferred host, the white-tailed deer, is located.
For veterinary clinics, spring is a time to educate pet owners about flea and tick season, and to recommend preventive measures such as parasitic control and vaccination against Borrelia burgdorferi, or Lyme disease.
Animal cruelty is an unfortunate, horrific reality involving innocent beings that are unable to speak up for themselves. Veterinary professionals have a moral, ethical and, in some states, legal obligation to be the voice for these victims.
Animal cruelty is a catchall statement for offenses that include neglect, abuse, abandonment, animal fighting and even practicing veterinary medicine without a license. State laws vary in whether animal cruelty is deemed a misdemeanor or a felony, and they even go so far as to detail which animals are included. For example, New York laws cover “every living creature except a human being,” while in Alaska, protected animals include vertebrates but not fish.
One of the most difficult conversations to have in the veterinary industry is “the talk”—the end-of-life and euthanasia discussion.
How does one approach clients to tell them their beloved companion must cross the rainbow bridge after 15 or more years together? How does a veterinary practitioner discuss options or bring up memorial keepsakes? What do you do if euthanizing is the only ethical and humane option but the client doesn’t want to let go?