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!