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I am a 9th grader and I am interested in becoming a Veterinarian and I have a question for that , how do you deal with Aggressive or scared animals that don't like going to the Vet?

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Julie’s Answer

I agree, this is a great question! It's my opinion that all veterinarians, regardless of which species or field they work in, should consider the emotional health of the animals under their care. A movement called Fear Free is spreading through our industry and advocates for this idea, and by the time you become a veterinarian I hope it'll be the standard.
Using the principles of Fear Free as a general practice vet, I gauge the body language of my patients and use certain types of gentle handling in order to reduce their stress. For example, many cats prefer to hide when they're scared, so I let them hide under a towel and take the top off the carrier instead of dumping them out if they don't want to walk out on their own. I also incorporate positive reinforcement with treats and toys throughout every pet's visit, and routinely recommend medications to reduce fear and stress whenever I see it, even for mild to moderate cases. Pets learn from their negative experiences and without intervention, their fear of the vet will escalate. The vast majority of aggressive pets that we see are reacting from fear, so a Fear Free approach reduces the likelihood of that happening.

If you want to learn more, check out these websites below. Maybe you can even shadow a vet at a Fear Free Certified Practice near you!

www.fearfreepets.com
www.fearfreehappyhomes.com
www.fearfreeshelters.com
www.catfriendly.com
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Priyanka’s Answer

Hi Melissa, Good to know that you are interested in becoming a Veterinarian.
Do not worry about Aggressive or scared animals you will eventually get trained to deal with them and if you learn how to deal with them you do not worry abt anything.

I advice you just concentrate on your aim. you will learn what you need eventually.
All the best !!


Thank you for your feedback, I Appreciate it. Now I am not so worried about the aggressive animals . Melissa P.

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Judy’s Answer

There are handling techniques to keep you safe-ish. You must be calm and gentle. In severe cases there is sedation or medication given prior to a visit. As you learn to read animal body language this becomes easier.
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Elizabeth’s Answer

Hi Melissa!

That’s a great question, and as Priyanka said above, understanding animal behavior and techniques to deal with all kinds of behaviors are part of veterinary training, in veterinary school, some on-the-job training, as well as post-graduate continuing training. The specific techniques vary from species to species, but in general there are many techniques to deal with fearful animals. Some involve medications to decrease anxiety and some involve handling techniques to decrease fear and provide for everyone’s safety.

Part of your pre-vet school preparation will likely be volunteering or working in different clinical veterinary situations, and you will likely be exposed to a variety of these techniques. Depending on where you go to college, you might even find some animal behavior and handling classes to take.

Elizabeth recommends the following next steps:

Visit and volunteer at veterinary clinics (this may be difficult in the current world but as life opens back up watch for opportunities. Often insurance put age limits on volunteers, but as you get through high school and into undergrad you may find more opportunities.
Explore animal science course offerings at colleges that you are considering applying too. Check out psychology and sociology classes too - human behavior and interactions are a big part of veterinary jobs too!
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