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Stress Free Practice Reduces Anxiety for Pets!

Moss Siddle → 30 May 2016

At Dandenong Ranges Veterinary Centre we do whatever we can to reduce anxiety for our pets and their owners. Cats are particularly catered for in this regard with a separate waiting area, completely separate cat only examination room and the use of happy pheromones (for dogs and cats - our staff don't need it, they're always happy!) throughout the surgery. Cats also have their own recovery area away from noisy dogs.

We also practice gentle handling techniques so that pets are not stressed more than they need to be during our examinations. Sometimes this means we may need to sedate some pets for thorough examination if they are in pain or too anxious. We give out lots of treats at our surgery which means some dogs and puppies race through the door and stand on the weight scales with their tales wagging waiting for their treat reward!

Our very own Dr Moss co-presented a lecture to vets from around Australia at the national Australian Veterinary Association conference a couple of years ago. The topic was "How to implement a fear free veterinary practice" with reknowned veterinary behaviour specialist Dr Kersti Seksel. Dr Moss used numerous examples from our practice that other vets around Australia can use in their practices to reduce stress.

Our stress free philosophy also extends to clients and staff. We understand that when pets are having procedures done under sedation and anaesthesia there can be high anxiety by pet owners about the associated risks. We do everything we can to make sedation, anaesthesia and all procedures to be as safe as possible for the pets including things like mandatory haematology blood screens, i/v fluids, pain relief, blood pressure monitoring and blood oxygenation levels included automatically for all heavy sedations. We routinely send photos of our patients as they are recovering to their owners so that it can be seen first hand that they are comfortable after surgery / other procedures.

Some of our staff are also trained in mental health first aid which is particularly relevant as veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses have the highest rate of suicide of any profession (surpassing doctors and dentists).