Browsing "Veterinary Issues"

Rabid Kitten in New Jersey

It’s hard to find somebody who doesn’t love kittens, and the desire to help a defenseless stray is perfectly natural and noble — but as the following story illustrates, once you bring diseases into the equation, especially ones of the zoonotic (and fatal!) variety, it puts all of your animal and human friends at risk.

Rabid kitten traveled within 3 counties, N.J. health department says

The owner found the kitten in Edison on Nov. 12. The owner grew attached so quickly, that the feline accompanied its new master on errands throughout central New Jersey over the next 11 days.

[…]

There were no signs the kitten was infected with the potentially deadly virus until Nov. 23, when it stopped eating and became fatigued. Paralysis in the back limbs set in the next day.

During these 11 days, the kitten was taken to a career center, hospital, and Thanksgiving party, potentially exposing as many as 12 people to rabies. Thankfully, while rabies is a fatal disease, postexposure treatment is virtually 100% effective if administered promptly. Stories like this highlight the reasons NAIA is so focused on proper medical care and vaccinations, transparency, and common sense when it comes to transporting companion animals — especially ones without a known background.

Stray Kitten

Jan 14, 2017 - Veterinary Issues    No Comments

AVMA HOD Passes Resolution That Supports Responsible Breeders!

Great news: the American Veterinary Medical Association House of Delegates (AVMA HOD) has passed a resolution amendment that supports responsible breeders!

Amendment 2:

“To maximize the health and welfare of companion animals, the AVMA supports research in genetic and inherited disorders to better educate the profession and breeders on identifying and minimizing inherited disorders in companion animal breeding programs. To assist with this, the AVMA encourages veterinarians to pursue continuing education in the emerging area of genetic disease in companion animals. The AVMA also encourages veterinarians to educate breeders, companion animal owners, and the public on the responsibilities involved with breeding and selecting companion animals.”

This resolution amendment replaces an earlier breeder proposal that, while no doubt well-intentioned, was problematic due to its imprecise language and potential for unintended consequences.

VetAndDogBlog

Education, cooperation, and trust between animal experts will lead to happier, healthier animals, and this resolution amendment expresses that ideal admirably. We thank the AVMA HOD and all people involved who helped — the AKC and various AKC dog clubs, NAIA supporters and board members (with a big hat tip to Drs. Arnold Goldman and Marty Greer, and to Julian Prager), as well as individual letter writers!

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Dec 16, 2016 - Veterinary Issues    No Comments

AVMA Launches Cyberbullying Hotline, Online Reputation Management Service

If you are reading this blog, you no doubt know at least a few veterinarians (or hey, maybe you are a veterinarian!), so do a quick mental survey and ask yourself: do you know anybody — anybody — who pursued the profession out of a desire to “butcher” or “mutilate” animals? Think hard now! OK, didn’t think so. As with any profession, veterinarians differ in skill, experience, and temperament, but you are going to be extremely hard-pressed to find one who doesn’t care deeply about healing animals and improving their quality of life.

The simple fact of the matter is, if somebody is willing to commit the kind of time and energy it takes to become a veterinarian, they probably like animals. This doesn’t stop detractors from assuming bad intentions or cruelty on the part of veterinarians, or even smearing their reputation, however: according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), 20% of AVMA members report that they have been cyberbullied or received false reviews.

Cyberbullying and false claims doesn’t merely harm on a professional level, they are psychologically damaging, and in at least one tragic instance, harassment was a contributing factor in a veterinarian’s suicide. This is a lot more serious than a snarky Yelp review. So to address this growing issue, the AVMA has responded by launching a new hotline and reputation management service to help veterinarians fight back against cyberbullying.

Veterinarian Checking Kitten

Having worked for more than a quarter century educating the public on the difference between animal rights and animal welfare, having exposed deceit and hypocrisy on the part of animal extremists, it’s safe to say we know a little something about how nasty and personal things can become in the world of animal ethics. It remains to be seen how effective these programs will be at protecting veterinarians from abuse and false reviews, but addressing the issue itself is essential, and we hope the AVMA is successful.

We asked NAIA board member Arnold Goldman, DVM, MPH, his thoughts on these new programs, and he was decidedly enthusiastic in his response:

As veterinarians serve animal owners and their animals in the public square, they are just as vulnerable to malicious behavior by those with an agenda, as is anyone else. While thoughtful people may disagree on what constitutes good public policy, or proper animal care, no one should be subject to personal attacks online or otherwise. Unfortunately there are those in our society who may act thoughtlessly or unkindly towards those they may disagree with, or those who they feel may have wronged them. In today’s digital world, cyber-bullying is a favored tactic for those individuals. I am proud that the AVMA, my national professional society, has been and continues to be a leader in providing its members, my colleagues, with the resources necessary to protect themselves from unfair and unkind online attacks. As such, AVMA provides its members a hotline as well as on demand reputation management counseling. For this reason, and so many others, every veterinarian should be a member of AVMA. AVMA stands up for the veterinary profession.

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