Weekly Veterinary News Roundup: The Truth About The Pandemic Pet Boom

The Truth About The Pandemic Pet Boom

The Chief economist of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Matt Salois, has claimed that long-standing backlogs, high levels of turnover, and unproductivity have driven the veterinary hiring crisis- not the pandemic pet boom.

Although the boom certainly did not help, data shows that backlogs from existing clients are driving the bulk of veterinary visits. Furthermore, protocols to protect workers against covid-19 have reduced productivity, and turnover has exacerbated busyness and burnout.

‘Yes, new clients did contribute to growth, but the bump wasn’t epic’ Salois said.

‘[T]here are other more significant factors driving a sense of busyness in practices.’

Salois stated that retool appointment reminders, task streamlining automation, and improved staff culture can all help relieve these problems.

‘Taking action to leverage technology, empower talent and engage the team are all things we can do today,’ he said.

For more, click here.

Survey Shows That The Pay Gap Increases For Vets Over Time

A survey from one of the UK’s leading veterinary business consultancies has found that the pay gap between men and women widens as they get older.

Although the initial gap was small, as professional’s careers progressed, the gap got larger. Senior male vets were paid £76,000 on average, whereas their female counterparts only received £57,350.

The survey also revealed that remuneration rates for younger vets have risen significantly, likely due to a rise in graduate schemes across the UK.

For more on this story, click here.

Fastest Vet Wins Silver At Olympics

The UK’s fastest vet has brought home a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

Laura Muir, the 28-year old vet from Scotland, broke her own record in the 1500 meter race.

The vet is a European champion and, until now, has narrowly missed out on winning medals at the Olympics and world championships.

To listen to our podcast with her, click here.

For more on this story, click here.

Aquamation Attracts Veterinary Attention

Alkaline hydrolysis (or water cremation), a water-based treatment that aids in decomposition, has seen a rise in popularity within the veterinary field.

This method is appealing as it is far more environmentally friendly than traditional means, like cremation or burial.

Dr. Daniel Annin, a veterinarian from Omaha, Nebraska, started his eco animal creation business back in 2017.

‘It wasn’t near as mainstream or talked about’ he said.

Now, Dr. Annin completes ‘at least a quarter of the cremations in Omaha’, which is for about 6,000 individuals per year.

With rising awareness of environmental issues, these trends don’t look set to stall.

For more on this story, click here.

Vets Asked Not To Lose Sight Of Zoonotic Threats Following Pandemic

The EU’s International Research Consortium on Animal Health has called for vets to learn from the pandemic by paying more attention to zoonotic viruses.

The report, co-authored by UK immunologist, Lucy Robson, reviewed existing research on animal influenza viruses. It found that while the profession has made good progress in its understanding of influenza- there remain gaps in knowledge and preparedness.

European Commission research policy officer Jean-Charles Cavitte said:

‘Influenza is a constant threat to human health and animal production worldwide.’

‘To provide evidence to support the prevention and control of influenza, and ensure the world is adequately prepared for potential influenza pandemics in the future, we need to understand the current state of knowledge and related gaps so that investment in research and innovation, and its coordination at the international level can be targeted to achieve the best results. This review is an important step in that process.’

For more, click here.

Vets Say Law Is Clear On Geronimo The Alpaca Ruling

Veterinary specialists, including a DEFA bovine tuberculosis expert, have stated that the bTB positive alpaca, Geronimo, from New Zealand, has to be put down.

The row over Geronimo’s fate emerged after his owners received the ultimatum from government officials. The pet has previously tested positive twice for bovine tuberculosis, making him a threat to public health.

Currently, a petition to save him has accumulated 100,000 signatures. Geronimo’s owner, Helen Macdonald, has exhausted all legal avenues to save him- spending around 80,000 on his plight.

Sarah Tomlinson, a farm vet and bTB expert who sits on DEFRA’s Bovine TB Partnership, said that:

‘Politically, this is going to happen. There is nothing that will change that’.

‘Ultimately it is a notifiable disease, and we have quite specific laws around notifiable diseases because they have impacts on animal health and welfare, impacts on international trade – so if we have it we can’t trade – and also for public health reasons.’

‘I have total sympathy with her [Helen Macdonald’s] emotion because it is sad, anybody that’s lost any animal or human that they are close to, that’s real. But actually, as hard as it is, we do have rules to protect the public to protect other animals to stop it spreading to them and to protect our industry.’

For more on this story, click here.

Why You Need To Stop Checking Your Work Emails Out Of Hours

We’re all guilty of peeking at our emails after work. But what implications does this habit have on our health?

A study looking at the impact of consistently checking and responding to emails out of established hours has found a correlation between frequency and stress.

The University of South Australia’s Centre for Workplace Excellence surveyed 2,000 academics and employees from 40 universities.

Regularly checking your emails not only increases stress- but also increases work pressure in and out of the office. Employees also reported higher levels of emotional exhaustion, headaches, and back pain.

So next time you find yourself reaching for your phone or laptop- you might want to think twice.

For more information, click here.

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