Weekly Veterinary News Roundup: ‘Could Curbside Services be Set to Stay?’

weekly veterinary news

Catch up on this week’s top headlines with the weekly veterinary news roundup, presented by VetX International.

Could Curbside Services be Set to Stay?

During 2020, the most widely adopted COVID-19 prevention measure in veterinary care was curbside service. Whilst many veterinarians reluctantly began offering it to clients, curbside pickup and dropoff for pets has transformed the way many practices operate. 

For Dr Robyn Limberg, a veterinarian who owns her own practice in Michigan, curbside service has been a blessing and a curse. 

Whilst she has missed face-to-face contact with her clients, 2020 was one of her highest grossing years. 

‘Some [clients] miss the face-to-face interaction with me’ Limberg said. But ‘many love the increased efficiency and the ease of sitting in their car while [their] pet is being cared for’. 

‘Elderly clients like it, especially during our cold Michigan winter. And parents with babies like it for the same reason, not having to come out in the cold.’

Dr. Beth Fritzler, a VIN practice management consultant and a partner at a Seattle clinic added that:

‘Curbside service has prompted the profession to examine its processes’.

‘We’ve developed some things that I think going forward can be really positive, despite all the negatives of all of this. There’ve been more silver linings than I would have ever thought’. 

It is therefore clear that despite curbside service’s distinct disadvantages, it could be (partly at least) here to stay. 

To read more, click here: 

https://news.vin.com/default.aspx?pid=210&catId=3115&Id=10141296

Zoo Veterinarians Struggle Under Financial Pressure

Many veterinarians working in zoos across the US, UK and Canada have lost their jobs due to pandemic related losses. 

Animal parks including Vancouver Aquarium, in Canada, and Living Coasts in Torquay, England are some of the few casualties of the pandemic. Both parks have closed over the last year, putting their staff out of work. 

The extent of zoo closure’s is very much dependent on social distancing measures in each country. Whilst Brookfield zoo in the US has been able to admit 25% of it’s capacity, zoo’s in England are currently strictly closed due to the national lockdown. 

Although zoo’s have taken a massive hit during this period, many are optimistic for the future and are preparing to reopen for this summer. 

‘I don’t foresee any [more] zoo closures right now, given the trends with regards to vaccination and the economy writ large’ said Dan Ashe, chief executive of the U.S.-based Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

‘Of course, if we have a relapse and things deteriorate again, then all bets could be off.’ 

To read more, click here: 

https://news.vin.com/default.aspx?pid=210&catId=616&Id=10153259

Vet Practices Urged to ‘Go Green’ With New Checklist 

Vet Sustain, the British Veterinary Association (BVA), British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA) and SPVS are urging vets to go green with a new eco checklist.

The checklist includes four areas of action. These areas include :responsible resource use, sustainable operations, responsible medicine use and team sustainability. 

Vet Sustain founder and director, Laura Higham said: 

‘Veterinary professionals and members of the vet-led team are extremely well positioned to show leadership in sustainability, in their workplaces and in their communities… our new checklist helps veterinary teams to put their sustainability intentions in to practice, through a number of practical steps that will ultimately support the wellbeing of our patients, ourselves and the natural world.’ 

BVA junior vice president, Justine Shotton added that:

‘We know that lots of our members are passionate about the environment, and the ‘Greener Veterinary Practice Checklist’ is a great place to start for any veterinary team wanting to work in a more environmentally friendly way’. 

To read more, click here:

https://www.vetsurgeon.org/news/b/veterinary-news/posts/practices-urged-to-go-green

Proposal for Northern Ireland’s First Vet School Has Been Welcomed by the Institute for Global Food Security

A proposal for Northern Ireland’s first vet school has been welcomed by the Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS). 

The director of IGFS, professor Nigel Scollan, said that having the vet school would be a huge advancement in the animal welfare and agri-food sector in the country. 

‘This is very welcome news’ he said.

‘The need for a veterinary school for Northern Ireland is evident and pressing and the strategic timing is very appropriate. There is considerable relevant expertise already based within Queen’s, AFBI, Ulster University, CAFRE, DAERA, and within the commercial animal-health sector to deliver a veterinary curriculum and contribute to wider health and life sciences.’

‘As well as providing skilled professionals, a veterinary school would deliver research and innovation activities that would drive economic growth and attract inward investment.’

To read more, click here:

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/business/ulstergrocer/food-and-drink/agri-food/nis-first-vet-school-would-benefit-agri-food-sector-40230669.html

One Third of Kiwi Clinics are Owned by Corporate Groups

Over the last couple of years, dozens of clinics across New Zealand have been bought up by corporate groups, many of them from overseas. 

Corporate ownership is even more prevalent in cities, with almost half of companion animal vet clinics in Christchurch now owned by offshore corporate companies. 

This has led to the launch of ‘IndieVets’, a collective of veterinarians that support locally owned clinics. 

Dr Steve Merchant, former president of the New Zealand Veterinary Association stated that:

‘We think community-owned clinics offer something special that Kiwis will want to retain. When the vet works and lives in their community, they really get to know their local families and their pets, often across generations.’

‘Many pet-owners might also prefer that the money they’re spending at the vet is going back into the local community and the New Zealand economy.’

The cooperative aims to level the playing field for independently owned clinics, by giving them access to buying power, resources and support. 

To read more on this story, click here:

https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK2103/S00501/who-owns-your-local-vet-clinic.htm

How to Fit Mindfulness into Your Self-Care Routine 

Although a little stress can be good for mental functioning, incorporating a routine of self-care is key to building resilience and preventing burnout in the workplace. 

Here are a few ways to incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine. 

 Stay Hydrated 

Throughout the day it can be easy to forget to replenish yourself. Taking a water bottle to work and staying hydrated throughout the day is key to maintaining good mental functioning throughout your shift.  

Get Some Vitamin D

Working inside for a prolonged amount of time can be bad for our mental and physical health. Taking the time to venture outside the clinic for your lunch break (or even to take a walk around the block) can be a good way to get that much needed vitamin D. 

Get Your Stretches in 

Although fitting a workout in during the workday seems rather unlikely, doing stretches between clients can be a nice way to unwind. Try doing stretches that improve flexibility to improve mobility throughout the day. 

To find out more tips and tricks, click here:

https://www.brit.co/self-care-tips/

If you missed the veterinary weekly news last week, check it out here.

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