Study Shows a Rise in Mental Health Issues
Nearly 10% of U.S. veterinarians reported serious psychological distress in 2021, a jump from 6.4% in 2019, according to Merck Animal Health’s updated Veterinary Wellbeing Study.
Among the leading stressors identified in the pandemic-era study were student debt, a shortage of qualified veterinary staff and anxiety linked to possible exposure to COVID-19.
“Veterinary medicine is a profession that comes with the great satisfaction of caring for animals, but it also includes risk for mental and physical burnout as well as compassion fatigue,” said Joseph Hahn, DVM, executive director of Merck’s U.S. Companion Animal and Equine Professional Services. “Our third well-being study in partnership with the AVMA is key in defining the underlying turbulence that is increasing these stressors across the profession while helping us identify the most impactful solutions to energize and strengthen mental health for current and future veterinarians, technicians and support staff.”
The survey included responses from 2,495 veterinarians and, for the first time, hundreds of clinic staff members.
The prevalence of serious psychological distress among staff was 18.1%, compared with 9.7% for veterinarians. “In addition, half of staff respondents (49.6%) and approximately one-third of veterinarians (30.5%) reported high levels of burnout,” Merck reported.
Of the respondents who reported distress in 2021, 33% indicated that they “had healthy methods for dealing with stress,” the report added.
Merck, which announced the results in partnership with the American Veterinary Medical Association, awarded a $100,000 grant to support the AVMA’s Train the Trainer program.
Purina Pro Plan Diet Helps MMVD Patients
Nestlé Purina PetCare has started shipping a new dog food formulated to slow the progression of myxomatous mitral valve disease.
Available in dry and canned varieties, Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets CC CardioCare Formula can be given in the early stages of MMVD.
“Research conducted by Purina over the past decade has revealed that dogs with early MMVD do not produce energy as efficiently as dogs with healthy hearts, a factor that plays a causal role in the pathogenesis of the disease,” said Jason Gagné, DVM, DACVIM (Nutrition), the director of veterinary technical communications for Nestlé Purina PetCare.
Among the diet’s ingredients are amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, vitamin E and medium-chain triglycerides, a combination that Purina called its Cardiac Protection Blend (CPB).
“In a clinical study, the CPB found in CardioCare was shown to support cardiac function and slow the progression of mitral valve disease while helping stabilize mitral regurgitation, reduce left atrial enlargement and stabilize cardiac parameters as measured by echocardiography in dogs with early stage MMVD,” the company stated. “In addition, CardioCare can be fed to dogs with more advanced mitral valve disease or other conditions that benefit from moderate sodium reduction.”
Coming April 1: Covetrus Pulse Operating System
Covetrus is planning the April 1 launch of what it called the veterinary industry’s first all-in-one, cloud-based platform.
“With Covetrus Pulse, veterinarians will be able to create, renew and approve prescriptions, communicate with clients and coworkers, personalize dashboards, and customize with preferred third-party apps, all from one central operating system to fit their practice’s needs,” the company reported.
According to Covetrus, “Nearly 70% of the veterinary professionals surveyed would prefer an all-in-one platform to run their practices, as opposed to the current standalone practice management software (PIMS).”
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