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Veterinarians in 2020: Better Times Ahead

Oh, 2020. We’re all going through it, and as economic and health concerns still take up most of the headlines, it’s essential that we all pause and think about what’s going right, in our lives and in the world. Not all of it is bad news — for instance, did you know that dogs can detect Covid-19?


We want to focus more of that positivity on veterinarians.


As of late, veterinary-focused news stories and social media posts have covered angry clients, long waits, and the struggle to get pet owners on board with new veterinary protocols. But there are plenty of signs that the veterinary world is adapting, and for many clinics, business is booming. More clinics have started using telemedicine to treat patients, and a whole new generation of pet owners is growing up in a world where vets are never more than a video conference call away.


Let’s take a quick break from bad news and remember a few things that make being a vet one of the most rewarding jobs in the world.


Veterinarians in the News


These are our favorite stories about veterinarians triumphing in the face of adversity, and giving both wild and domestic animals a better quality of life.


Wildfire Veterinary Heroes


It’s been tricky for veterinary students to get the hands-on experience they need during a pandemic. But one group of vet students in California has been thrown into the deep end. The VERT (Veterinary Emergency Response Team) has deployed to the wildfire zone to help with search-and-rescue missions and provide emergency aid to approximately 600 animals in the vicinity of the North Complex fire.


Gorilla Knee Replacement


Dr. Mike Casey, an orthopedic surgeon, assisted the veterinary surgical team at the Knoxville Zoo operate on the knee of a young gorilla. He informed his patients he’d be out of the office for a day, and when he told them why, “They got a big kick out of it. They were less interested in their own knee problems and more interested in Andi the gorilla,” he told CBS news. Andi has since recovered nicely and returned to the zoo.


New Wings for a Hawk


Veterinarians in El Salvador grafted a new set of wings onto a large-beaked hawk. Its owner had tried to cut down its wings to keep it from flying. Luckily for the hawk, a surgical team performed a 2-hour surgery that gave the bird back his ability to fly, using feathers from a hawk that had already died. El Salvadoran Authorities say that this hawk is part of a larger trend of keeping wild animals in captivity.