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Friday, June 19, 2015

Injuries To The Vet

One of the things many people don't realize about being a vet is the very real risk of personal injury. Many of the patients we see every day have the ability and desire to hurt us.  While we take precautions and are good at avoiding most injuries, sometimes it's just going to happen.  

Here are some photos of my arms after a recent tussle with a dog.



These are scratches from the dog's nails, which happened while I was trying to restrain him.  While they aren't fun, these are minor compared to some I've had and will heal quickly.

Over the years I've been bit by dogs, cats, horses, birds, snakes, hamsters, guinea pigs, lizards, ferrets, and just about every kind of animal I've worked with.  Some of the injuries have required me to go to a doctor for treatment and antibiotics.  I know vets who have been mauled by patients, had their back broken by a cow's kick, and other serious incidents.  No matter how careful we are and how well we read body language or chose to use sedation, injuries will happen from time to time.  In fact, the risk of injury is one of the bigger stressors in my job and has been one reason why I've wanted to get out of daily practice.

This ain't an easy job!

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad I found your blog. I have a lecture I give on the benefits of low stress handling and reducing staff injury. The ptsd effect of injury on our staff is undervalued. Yes, no matter how good we are at reading body language and using low stress techniques there will be fast reacting animals that can try or will hurt us. I have found this to be a leading reason for DVM and Techs to leave practice. It is one of the unspoken problems in our profession that needs to be addressed from both prevention and care after injury
    Thank you Dr Sally J Foote DVM CABC-IAABC Okaw Veterinary Clinic Tuscola IL 61953

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