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The subject of intentional breeding or meat rabbits is prohibited. The answers provided on this board are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet.  It is your responsibility to assess the information being given and seek professional advice/second opinion from your veterinarian and/or qualified behaviorist.


Home Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Opinions on work issue

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    • Bunny House
      1241 posts Send Private Message

      So I work at a vet clinic and we see dogs, cats and cattle but rarely bunnies. I take my buns to another vet who is rabbit savvy as I have been for a while and just got a job here a month and a half ago but have been shadowing since the beginning of December so I’m not too new there but kinda new. Yesterday the front receptionist and a tech were talking about showing animals in 4H as they are all country, which I am too, but they don’t seem to necessarily see that pets should be treated as family. So they were talking about getting the tech to have her daughter ( few years old) to get 5 bunnies and raise them for 4H. The receptionist said to just get a dog crate and put one in there and that would be sufficient enough for it to live there and to show 3 and not do anything with the other 2. And she’d probably keep them outside as they have a dog inside already. And then she said when her daughter is done, to kill them and to eat them. Of course, I wanted to throw up hearing that. I couldn’t believe someone would say that about an animal. That’s like raising a dog to show them and then eat them when you’re done-not humane at all. They seem to think bunnies are like cattle and they aren’t like a dog where you keep them inside and treat them as a kid.

      Of course there’s no many things wrong with this. And then we had a bun who came in yesterday with two guys, with its incisors growing curly and so the vet took wire cutters and cut them with the bun fully awake. And the vet didn’t even sedate it or ask for the diet the bun is on. Which if it was on hay it probably wouldn’t have been like that, and the incisors weren’t together, they had a gap in-between each set.

      How could a 3 yearly take care of 5 bunnies, monitor their poop and eating habits, and check their health?And of course if they get sick they won’t want to pay to treat it because the bunny is just for show. And how can people who treat animals disregard an animals life like this? This is the only clinic that isn’t bad and I need the hours and letter of recommendation for vet school for applying this Fall so I can’t leave.

      I just want to throw up seeing and hearing these things. And of course I’m younger than all of the people who work there so I can’t tell them they need to change how they view animals but I don’t know what to do. 

       I shadowed at the vet I take my buns to but she yells at the techs and talks bad about them right infant of them so I stopped there.

    • Azerane
      4402 posts Send Private Message

      It’s very hard being in the vet industry. Not only do you have all the people who treat their animals like their children, but then you have all the people who don’t. This care doesn’t always mean that it’s bad care or neglectful, but it can be different to what we find acceptable. The trouble is if there’s no cruelty involved, all you can do is suggest other options for food/ care/ housing or whatever it may be while respecting their decisions. Obviously as a vet or vet nurse you get a bit more leeway to say “no, this is unacceptable, you need to change these things” but for the average person I can’t go around calling people cruel because they feed their cat the cheap supermarket brand of food, even if I do think it’s an unacceptable choice.

      Meat rabbit discussion isn’t permitted on the forum so I won’t comment on that

      Learn what you can, take people’s opinions with a grain of salt. Accept that people care for animals in different ways that aren’t always agreeable and use it as a learning tool. How can you educate without offending? Do these other care methods offer anything that can be incorporated into my care methods? and so on. The more you know, even about upsetting things, the better you can help a wider variety of people and animals ?

    • Bunny House
      1241 posts Send Private Message

      Having such a heart for animals is a blessing and a curse. I just can’t stand the possibility of these bunnies being neglected and I’m right there and could say something but it not change their mind. It’s so heart breaking.

      I know I’ve been exposed to so many wrong things in animal care that I remember to never do with my animals and of course this will make me a very caring vet but it’s hard being in these situations when I’m “too young” to say anything even though I know more than them in certain situations

    • Mirpanda
      43 posts Send Private Message

      That is just sick. People like that shouldn’t own animals. I don’t understand how people can be so cruel! Humans are animals too. Have some empathy, for real. I don’t think I would have been able to hold my tongue. I commend you for being able to stop yourself from saying something nasty, that takes true strength.

    • FlemishDad
      114 posts Send Private Message

      I’m sorry this is so hard on you. The painful reality is that most animals in the US are kept as livestock and not as companions and other than in very urban or upscale veterinary clinics you’ll have to deal with those animals and their owners too.

      You obviously care a lot for animals. If you stay, you will help a lot of them, and their owners too. But you can’t help them all, and you will have to learn about a lot of animals that suffer for various reasons, and that’s going to hurt. The question for you is whether the real benefit to the animals, and the joy you will get from the times you can help, is worth the hurt to you learning about what the less fortunate animals suffer.

      I have two suggestions that might make the joy greater and the pain less. One is a technique from the author Rachel Naomi Remen, who treats doctors dealing with burnout from the fact that they, somewhat like you, have to deal with a lot of others’ pain and suffering, most of which they can’t help much with. She advises keeping a daily journal of one thing that touched you, one that surprised you, and one that inspired you. I’d also suggest that you include at least one thing *you* did that day to improve some animal’s life, if you can.

      The other is to look at the work of the animal welfare scientist Temple Grandin. She works to improve the lives of livestock animals, even to the point of more humane slaughterhouse treatment, fully knowing the eventual outcome for these animals. She is quite gifted, and has made a number of treatment improvements standard in the industry by demonstrating that more content animals are more profitable as well. There was a mildly fictionized movie made about her.

      I hope it works out for you and you find a way to use your gifts for the benefit of both yourself and others.

    • Meg
      345 posts Send Private Message

      The advice of others here is great, and I especially agree with FlemishDad.

      FWIW, I’m one of those bleeding-heart animal lovers (vegetarian, the whole nine yards) and personally I know I could *never* be a vet. Not just having to see suffering animals, but especially seeing people treating their animals in ways that are just not OK with me, would be too hard. Seeing signs of neglect, and/or people not wanting to give their pets life-changing or life-saving treatment because it’s mildly expensive, and/or people even wanting their pets “put down” for spurious reasons — I couldn’t handle it. I would end up adopting like hundreds of animals. ;9 And I would want to punch people, a lot. It would just be a huge problem. ;D I’m glad that there are people with thicker skin, stronger stomachs, and less judgment for the “different” attitudes toward animals that some people have, who can handle being vets, because that is not me!! ;D I’ve met lots of really empathic vets who seem to sincerely love animals, and honestly I don’t know how they do it. (Maybe you could interview a few about this if you haven’t already?)

      This is just my two cents, but over time I’ve come to have more acceptance for my super-sensitive nature, and stop seeing it as only a weakness/liability. I think I can use it for good, and I try to do that in my work. I guess my point is, don’t let anyone tell you you’re “too young” to have a valid viewpoint, or that you need to be less sensitive/caring to be successful. You have good instincts and you should trust them, wherever they lead you.

    • LittlePuffyTail
      18092 posts Send Private Message

      I’m sorry to hear what you are going through. It is definitely hard loving animals so much in a world such as this. I know I could never work at a vet. Just from things I’ve seen while at the vet with my animals. Such sadness and careless people. One of my good friends recently quit her job as a vet assistant because she just couldn’t handle the emotional part of it. You are obviously stronger than me in that you are still able to function and do your job.

      FlemishDad, thanks for sharing your great advice.

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