Not One More Vet (NOMV)

In 2014, a new Facebook group was started called Not One More Vet (NOMV) by a wonderful veterinarian named Nicole. She was pained by the death of Sophia Yin from mental illness. Nicole thought this Facebook page would be a good way for close veterinary friends to talk about the stresses that we go through and to hopefully make an impact, however small, in veterinary medicine. It could be a place to start changing the way we view mental illness and suicide as a profession. Even the CDC has noticed that veterinary medicine has an unusually high number of anxiety, depression, and suicide, to the point that the CDC has been working on figuring out why this is the case. There are many theories, including access to methods, frequent explanation and belief that euthanasia is often the best (or only) option, perfectionism, compassion fatigue, and many others.


I was lucky enough to be asked to join this group about 2 weeks after it began. I have made new friends and seen a change in my own mental health for the better. In August of 2016, I heard that there was a backlog of people trying to join the group, but it was becoming more and more difficult to verify that people were in fact veterinarians, so I saw a need and offered to help. The group of 4 admins (Nicole, Carrie, Jason, and David) jumped on the offer and the as more veterinarians were approved to join, the requests to join came in exponentially, we have added 2 additional admins (Nora and Leigh to help as our international contingency has grown dramatically). As of today (April 1, 2017), it is no joke, but the group has reached 11,400 members! Wow, is it a lot of work to keep track of everyone and see that when they cry out for help, we are there to give it to them.

Despite having so many veterinarians connected and doing a lot to help them, we have not been able to stop the suicides. We have stopped some of them, and multiple people have come to us to share their stories of coming back from the abyss of depression and the edge of suicide and surviving. Until we can reach them all, we are not done. For this reason, Nicole, Carrie, Jason, David, and I have started Not One More Vet (non-profit status pending). On that page, we have resources available for anyone in the midst of a mental health crisis. There is also a location on the web page for veterinarians to register to join the Facebook group, as well as links to Your Daily Dose, our self care blog, and ways to contact us for speaking engagements, donation information, or general questions.

A fellow veterinarian was given this “Veterinary Survival Kit” along with the mentioned items after speaking to a middle school class!

 

If you are a pet owner and appreciate your veterinarian, please let them know! Some days we go from a euthanasia to a new puppy appointment to a giving devastating news to a family to a sick animal that just needs a little extra help to get better. We do our best to be positive and support you. We may not be able to say it, but sometimes, we (and our support staff) need your support, too. A hug, a smile, a kind word, or even some chocolate or fruit can go a long way.

Are you a veterinarian or have a loved one that is a veterinarian that you think may need help? Please contact us. We would love to help and serve you!

Are you prepared for an emergency?

As the USA, and other parts of the world, are dealing with storms, flooding, and so much more, are you prepared for an emergency?

If you have seconds or minutes to seek shelter in a tornado or minutes to hours to seek higher ground in floods, do you have a plan?

Is your cat amenable to being grabbed and taken into a storm shelter? Can you get your cat into a carrier or on a harness and leash in under 60 seconds?

Is your dog acclimated to being in large groups? Is your dog reactive to the sight, smell, or sound of other dogs?

Do you have copies of your animal’s vaccine and medical history?

Being prepared is not just knowing where to meet in case of a fire or natural disaster.

Notice she is wearing a harness and leash and in her carrier.

Notice she is wearing a harness and leash and is in her carrier.

What do you need to be prepared for your pets?

  • Have copies of documents:
    • vaccination history, including current rabies certificate
    • medical and surgical history
    • microchip number (make sure your information is up to date and have an out of the area contact number as well)
    • veterinarian’s name, address, and phone number
    • municipality or state license or other identification
    • if your pet is a service animal, have your documentation for that as well
  • Extra food and water in portable containers. Don’t forget the bowls, too!
  • Medications
    • Heartworm and flea/tick prevention
    • Prescription medication
    • Over the counter medications that your veterinarian has recommended (such as for allergic reactions)
    • Don’t forget toothbrush and pet toothpaste (You are brushing your pet’s teeth every day, right?)
  • Easily accessible leashes, carriers/crates, collars or harnesses
  • A plan for a location to go to that accepts pets, and know to locations of veterinarians near-by

What can you do to prepare your pets?

  • Take the time to train your cat to wear a harness and leash and to load into a carrier, may mean the difference between life and death or having to leave your fuzzy friend behind.
  • Train your dog to wear a basket muzzle. Some emergency shelters will not allow dogs without a muzzle due to the risk of injury to people and other animals. A basket muzzle, allows the dog to eat, drink, pant, and prevents the dog from biting or eating things that are not meant to be eaten. This is most important for dogs that are reactive to the sight, sound, or smell of other dogs. Remember that even the most mild-mannered dog may snap and bite when in a stressful and chaotic situation.
  • Acclimate your pets to car rides, or be prepared for vocalization, vomiting, and general dislike of the trip for everyone.
  • You may even want to consider getting a life vest flotation device for your dog, and get him or her used to wearing it, especially for short nosed breeds such as pugs, French bulldogs, bulldogs, boxers, etc.

These are just a few ways to help protect yourself and your furry family members in the case of an emergency. Do you have any tips or recommendations to share? A story about an emergency evacuation or natural disaster and how it effected your family?