Pulse - July 2021 - 14

Caring Almost Too Much
Sometimes it's hard not to become overly attached to patients and owners in the veterinary
setting. Animals with chronic conditions, for example, are frequent visitors to the
hospital. And over time, the bonds made with the animal and owner and the veterinary
staff can be intense.
This is all fine when the animal's condition is stable or improving. But when the situation
deteriorates to the point of euthanasia, it can be extraordinarily hard on everyone
involved. " This is especially true in small towns, " said Taggart, " where everybody knows
everybody, and we get to know the pets almost as if they were our own. "
The problem with becoming too attached to pets or clients is that it can interfere with
the neutral, objective, supportive role the RVT needs to play with regard to counseling
clients on end-of-life issues, at least within their purview. And this is where a fine line is
drawn between empathy and sympathy.
While feeling empathy for clients at or around the time of euthanasia is a natuAnimals
with
chronic
conditions, for
example, are
frequent visitors
to the hospital.
And over time, the
bonds made with
the animal and
owner and the
veterinary staff
can be intense.
14
ral response, it does little to truly comfort the owner. Knowing that somebody " hurts
like they do " only highlights the difficult decisions that need to be made. But by separating
one's own feelings from those of the client-by expressing sympathy rather than
empathy-the RVT is able to provide tangible avenues of support. For example, being a
sounding board for the client, who often turns to the veterinary staff as the " only people
who understand. "
" It's just having somebody there to reassure them they didn't jump into it too soon, or
that they didn't let the pet suffer, " said Taggart. " Or just letting them know the pet was
lucky to have had them in its life. I don't want them to feel that I pushed them in a certain
direction, " added Taggart. " I just let them give me their take on it... give them somebody
to say it out loud to. Because sometimes, you just need to say it out loud to stop
thinking about it. "
" Each RVT should have an approach about end-of-life conversations, " said De La Torre.
" Because ultimately, it is a conversation, and you need to read the audience and the situation
in order to then act accordingly. Actually, I think it's easier to know what not to say
than what to say, " added De La Torre. " But the universe does help you when it's time to
deliver an appropriate, compassionate message. "
" We Are Not Isolated Pieces of DNA "
In his book, Kindred Spirits: How the Remarkable Bond Between Humans and Animals Can
Change the Way We Live, Allen M. Schoen, DVM, MS, writes that " humans have an 'inherent
need' to be connected with life and lifelike processes, " and that " we all are genetically
predisposed to be close to animals, plants, and nature. "
In other words, humans and animals are forever and inextricably intertwined.
" Humans definitely are animals, " said De La Torre. " The problem is that humankind
often gets in its own way, making things more complex than they need to be. We only
need to take a moment to observe our animals in order to recognize the simplicity and
purity of just being. " P
JULY 2021
PULSE
yz

Pulse - July 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pulse - July 2021

Pulse - July 2021
Chapter Meetings & Calendar
President’s Perspective
SCVMA Profile
Pulsepoints
The RVT and the Human- Animal Bond: Exploring the Interspecies Connection
Practical Pathology
Medical Leeway
UC Davis Update
Tools For Success
Angel Fund
Dear Tabby
The RVT
Industry Insights
Quick Reference
AVMA Diplomates
Digital Photography For Veterinarians
Resources
Disease Table
From The SCVMA Office
Pulse - July 2021 - Pulse - July 2021
Pulse - July 2021 - Cover2
Pulse - July 2021 - 1
Pulse - July 2021 - 2
Pulse - July 2021 - Chapter Meetings & Calendar
Pulse - July 2021 - President’s Perspective
Pulse - July 2021 - SCVMA Profile
Pulse - July 2021 - Pulsepoints
Pulse - July 2021 - 7
Pulse - July 2021 - 8
Pulse - July 2021 - 9
Pulse - July 2021 - 10
Pulse - July 2021 - 11
Pulse - July 2021 - The RVT and the Human- Animal Bond: Exploring the Interspecies Connection
Pulse - July 2021 - 13
Pulse - July 2021 - 14
Pulse - July 2021 - Practical Pathology
Pulse - July 2021 - Medical Leeway
Pulse - July 2021 - UC Davis Update
Pulse - July 2021 - Tools For Success
Pulse - July 2021 - Angel Fund
Pulse - July 2021 - Dear Tabby
Pulse - July 2021 - The RVT
Pulse - July 2021 - Industry Insights
Pulse - July 2021 - Quick Reference
Pulse - July 2021 - AVMA Diplomates
Pulse - July 2021 - Digital Photography For Veterinarians
Pulse - July 2021 - 26
Pulse - July 2021 - 27
Pulse - July 2021 - 28
Pulse - July 2021 - Resources
Pulse - July 2021 - Disease Table
Pulse - July 2021 - 31
Pulse - July 2021 - 32
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Pulse - July 2021 - From The SCVMA Office
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Pulse - July 2021 - Cover4
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