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The weekly rundown of veterinary news for the time-poor vet, presented by VetX International

US Study Reveals Younger Vets Have Higher Burnout Rates

A recent survey from Veterinary Integration Solutions (VIS) named burnout as one of the most negative issues significantly impacting the veterinary profession. The study also revealed a shocking statistic: The younger generation of veterinary professionals, those under age 30, had the highest rates of burnout.

Study results revealed that while most veterinary professionals find their work meaningful and satisfying, burnout rates are increasing.

Respondents noted dangerously high levels of both physical and emotional exhaustion as well as high levels of distress. They also said they dreaded thinking about their sky-high workload.

According to study results, not only were the younger generation of veterinary professionals more prone to burnout, but were also more physically exhausted and less enthusiastic than any other age group surveyed. 

“It’s harder for them to handle long hours or experience frustration from other factors such as the lack of control when dealing with problems at work,” says Ivan Zakharenkov, DVM, chief veterinary officer of Veterinary Integration Solutions.

AVMA Reports ‘Significant Shift in Mindset and Culture’

A new report from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) surveyed recent graduates, practice managers, and other professionals for an overview of current industry-wide strengths, changes, and opportunities. 

The group’s workplace data showed an annual increase of about 2.5 percent in the number of active veterinarians in the U.S., with women dominating the industry (representing more than 60 percent of the workforce).

The industry, the association predicts, may see a significant shift in “mindset and culture” as experienced workers retire and young professionals take the reins. These changes, AVMA says, could present “fresh business and marketing opportunities for employers looking to attract new team members”.

The AVMA also recommends that practices adapt their marketing strategies, including digital and social media, to increase sales of food in an increasingly competitive market.

AVMA’s full report can be viewed here:

Mars’s Biggest Pet Care Deal of 2020

Mars Inc.’s veterinary business has agreed to buy five specialty referral centers in Britain for up to £100 million ($133.2 million), continuing a recent drive by the U.S. company into the European pet care market.

In a statement, Mars Veterinary Health International president Alejandro Bernal spoke only generally: “Pet care has been an important part of Mars for over 80 years and this strategic acquisition reaffirms our commitment both to the pet care industry and veterinary profession.”

Charles Hall, who covers the pet care market as head of research for British investment bank Peel Hunt, said the deal will see Linnaeus achieve nationwide coverage in the U.K. “The price is steep, but it would have been very expensive to do organically,” Hall said. (Organic growth involves growing internally, rather than by acquisition).

For Pets at Home, the transaction marks a complete exit from specialty referral practice and leaves the British company to focus on its 440 general practice clinics and 451 pet stores. “For our shareholders, the disposal proceeds provide the group with additional resources to accelerate growth across our customer-focused pet care platform,” Pets at Home chief executive Peter Pritchard said in a statement.

The Future is Bright for Next Generation of Police Puppies in UK

West Midlands Police is known as a world leader for its puppy programme, with the unit working alongside government agencies on a global scale to improve canine welfare. Now with the support of new partner Batt Laboratories (BattLab), the programme will be expanded with the addition of the first full-time veterinary member to the dog unit’s dedicated team.

RVN Jennie Smith said: “I am incredibly proud to be the first veterinary nurse to hold my position at the dog unit. This reflects a real commitment to our dogs’ health and well-being, but also ensure we are breeding with the best possible outcomes…Our puppy development health programme is among the best in the world, and we are pleased to have the support of BattLab and its team of boarded veterinary pathologists on hand to run the tests we need, and help advise us.”

Francesco Cian – lead clinical pathologist at BattLab and author of the Diagnostic Dilemmas column in Vet Times – said: “We are excited by this partnership…The dog unit’s work to establish a formal breed health programme will, I have no doubt, benefit from the comprehensive range of tests we offer and improve well-being for these talented canines.”

One Third in UK Would be Prepared to Purchase a Smuggled Puppy

Dogs Trust has urged the Government to act after almost a third of puppy purchasers admitted they would be willing to buy a puppy even if they suspected it might have been smuggled into the country.

Dogs Trust’s consumer research polled 2,000 people in the UK who had either bought a puppy or were looking to buy one in the future.

It revealed 30% of people would be willing to buy an illegally imported puppy and 44% would be willing to buy from an online advert despite 41% saying they knew someone who had a bad experience or been scammed and 60% saying they were concerned it was easier to be scammed since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dogs Trust veterinary director Paula Boyden said: “We want people to understand that buying an illegally imported puppy has huge implications for both the pups – who have to travel miles across borders in awful conditions – and the mums who are basically breeding machines.

“Too many would-be dog owners simply do not pay attention to where their puppy comes from, and this must stop. We’re urging people to be patient, do their research and take measures not to buy into this cruel industry, which results in horrendous suffering to the dogs involved.”

Canadian Animal Charity to Give Free Veterinary Care in December

A Richmond-based animal welfare charity will choose a worthy recipient every Friday in December to receive 100 percent subsidized in-hospital care to pets whose families are affected by hardships due to COVID-19.

Thanks to a generous donation, the Regional Animal Protection Society (RAPS) is able to fully subsidize in-house veterinary services for four very needy pets during the month of December at its animal hospital.

“During the pandemic, RAPS has shared many heartbreaking animal stories with the public and raised funds to care for the animals at RAPS,” said RAPS’ CEO Eyal Lichtmann. “But we also realize that the great majority of animals needing care reside in people’s homes, not at shelters.

“People at home, caring for animals, need help also. That is why RAPS’ mission is to help animals and their people. So this Giving Tuesday, RAPS is giving back to people in need.”

“We are here to listen and we are here to help. But we need the assistance of the public in helping us choose these special financial assistance recipients. We want to hear from the public who they think we should help.”

Lichtmann said RAPS has already provided $2 million in full or partial subsidies since its hospital opened in 2018 in the grounds of the Richmond Auto Mall.

Zombified: Dead Mink Resurface From Mass Grave in Denmark

Mink that were culled in order to stop the spread of a mutated version of Covis-19 are resurfacing from their shallow graves.

Denmark ordered all farmed mink to be culled early this month after finding that a mutated coronavirus, which infected 12 people, showed decreased sensitivity to antibodies, potentially lowering the efficacy of any vaccines.

Less than two weeks after thousands of mink were buried at a military area in western Denmark, hundreds of them have resurfaced from the sandy soil after starting to decay, according to the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration.

The mass graves are guarded 24 hours a day to keep people and animals away from the graves until a fence has been constructed, it said. Authorities say there is no risk of the graves spreading the coronavirus, but residents have complained about the potential risk of contaminating drinking water and a bathing lake less than 200 metres from the mass graves.

Veterinarians Share Doses of Gratitude

The year 2020 has presented unprecedented circumstances a-many, yet veterinarians across the US have shared moments that brought them gratitude. They show that sometimes it is worth taking stock and reflecting on a ‘moment’, no matter how small.

Dr. Gabe L. Bercz of Paw Print Animal Hospital, Ohio said: “Doing a follow-up on the poor dog with the terrible skin condition that you just knew was sarcoptic mange (but couldn’t verify on skin scrapings) and two weeks after giving ivermectin on a hunch, the dog is completely normal and happy.”

Dr. Amanda L. Perkins, Cat Hospital of Metairie, Louisiana: “Holding a cat’s face in my hands and looking into their eyes. I love cats SO MUCH. They haven’t gotten old after eleven years in practice as a feline-only vet.”

Dr. Robyn Limberg, Riverview Veterinary Center, Michigan: “The hospitalized dog, greeting its owner who has just arrived to take it home. Such unbridled bliss is rare in the human world!”

Dr. Marianne Williams, Animal Emergency Clinic, California: “I, too, even after 35 year in practice, enjoy the things that are doctorish, like pulling on my surgery gown and introducing myself to clients. ‘Hello, I’m Dr. Williams,’ and I think, ‘WOW, how cool is THAT??!!!!!’.

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