Given that most vet and pre-vet students are passionate about caring for animals, it is no surprise that many of us have pets of our own. Given our knowledge of and exposure to the field of veterinary medicine, you might think that our pets would be in excellent health and we would be able to avoid emergency trips to the vet due to amateur slip ups, such as leaving chocolate out for Sparky to get into. If that’s your impression of us, I’ve got news for you: our pets are no different than your pets; they still get into sock drawers, devour string, chocolate, or anything else that might be lying around.
In the few months that I have been to UC Davis, almost everyone I know has brought their pets to the teaching hospital for one reason or another – often for emergencies. Be it a blocked cat, a 10-month old pup with a sudden onset of hindlimb lameness, a dog that devoured a box of chocolate covered pecans, or a rat with a rapidly growing mammary tumor that showed up overnight, our pets face the same issues as yours. Fortunately for us, we receive a discount on services offered by the veterinary hospital, making the best veterinary care available for our pets more accessible to those of us on student budgets.
Nevertheless, sometimes the best veterinary care is not enough for our pets and there is nothing that can be done to prolong the inevitable. Although all of the aforementioned cases were actual issues that my classmates and their pets faced, the latter is beyond even the most skilled veterinarian’s scope of practice. However, like many of you, even when the end is near we will spoil our “babies” shamelessly. Persephone will receive lots of love, kisses, treats, and any food her little heart desires in her remaining days with us. My heart goes out to her parents, who I know love her and will miss her terribly when she is gone.