I was recently lucky enough to attend a Veterinary Conference for the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) in Austin, Texas. What a great city. I started my CE by learning that Austin is the live music capital of the world. As soon as we got off the plane there was a small band playing in the airport entertaining the tired travelers. Almost every restaurant and bar had someone playing some type of instrument or singing. People sang on the streets, played guitar in the parks and entertained us in the hotel lobby.
I also learned that there is a large bridge on Congress Avenue called the Bat Bridge. Batman does not live there but over a million small bats live under this bridge. At sunset these bats leave the bridge over a 20-30 minute period. Crowds gather on the bridge and under it at sunset to watch streams of bats flying out from under the bridge and forming large black clouds in the sky that then move down the Colorado River to find their nightly meal of insects.
The Conference itself had a lot to offer us as well. One of the newest ideas in Veterinary Medicine was introduced to many attendees – Fear-Free Veterinary visits. It is designed to help the pets that are scared of the vet overcome their fears and have a more positive experience there.
If Fluffy is too scared to get in her carrier and go to the vet then Fluffy won’t be getting the best preventive health care and may be missing out on the early detection of disease. Fear Free techniques are designed to help calm pets, ease their fears and prevent further emotional trauma in pets that are already scared of certain situations. By using treats, pheromones, catnip, gentle handling, non slip warm surfaces and calming medications if needed we are going to work on helping those cats and dogs who are scared during their vet visits.
Please don’t hesitate to ask Baxter Animal Hospital about this (even how to get your Fraidy Cat into his carrier!) We are all going to work on doing our best to institute Fear Free and take the Pet out of Petrified.
Written by Baxter Animal Hospital