A woman is urging pet owners to ‘be kind and understanding’ to their veterinary team when their animal is receiving treatment from them – they want the best for your pets

The woman claims 'veterinary medicine is going through a crisis'
The woman claims ‘veterinary medicine is going through a crisis’

A veterinarian has been left heartbroken after three of her colleagues committed suicide due to the stress of their job.

The woman is urging pet owners to “be kind and understanding” with their veterinarians as most of them are struggling to “keep their heads above water”.

Speaking to Reddit, the vet claims “veterinary medicine is going through a crisis” – and it doesn’t seem like it will get better any time soon.

She said: “We’re doing our best as a profession to help you and your pets. Veterinary technicians and the staff that support them are fighting a losing battle to help their patients.

“Every week, I read one to three obituaries of colleagues who have committed suicide. Veterinarians have a much higher suicide rate than the average. As to why, it’s a complicated thing. Unlike what most people expect, euthanasia isn’t really on the list.”

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She has seen a lot of vets quit their jobs due to stress
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Image:

Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Explaining how the job impacts her team’s mental health, she states “home euthanasia and end of life care is less stressful, frustrating, and heartbreaking than practicing general or emergency medicine”.

“Every general practitioner and emergency room veterinarian with even a couple years’ experience has seen neglect and abuse that breaks your heart,” she adds.

“We see avoidable and unavoidable tragedies that grind down our souls. On top of this, we are often blamed for things beyond our control, and have to endure verbal abuse and emotional blackmail from pet owners.

“Many clinics are running their doctors ragged, often double and triple booking them to get everyone in.

“Of course, this leads to a worse experience for everyone, as the vet and techs are run into the ground, and pets and owners get a fraction of the time that should be dedicated to them.

“This isn’t done out of any greedy desire, but simply a desire to help.

“When someone says ‘my pet started acting sick this morning, they need help’, we don’t worry about the rest of it and just want to do what we can to make them feel better.

“But being run heavily overclocked five to six days a week (often with on-call if you are in a rural area), where one mistake can kill a patient, while suffering constant moral injury breaks you down.”

Wanting to make a change, the woman is urging owners to treat their veterinary team with “empathy and kindness” because all they want to do is help your pet.

She said: “I know it is stressful and frustrating when your dog is sick, but please give us the grace that we’re doing the best we can (we are, I promise you that).

“And please don’t blame the vet for pricing. We don’t set, nor have any control over, prices. We can’t work things out with you because we don’t have the authority.

“The overwhelming majority of vets are associates. Even if I donated my skills and time for a procedure, I can’t donate my staff’s, the OR, the hospital’s equipment, or the materials.”

The Samaritans is available 24/7 if you need to talk. You can contact them for free by calling 116 123, email [email protected] or head to the website to find your nearest branch. You matter.

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