At the park near the Duboce Triangle in San Francisco, 5 pm dog fun hour. About 40 dogs run around, chasing balls and wrestling, while the owner’s fans and ’90s hip-hop release a flashing sound.
One Chihuahua group called Honey lounges on a chair with a blue turban and a pearl necklace. Its owner, Diana McAllister, feeds her home -made meals from a blue Ziploc bag, then puts some into her own mouth.
And after two years at home with the disease, it is clear that for many of these people, their dogs are their children.
“I always say, dogs are people, so I love him,” said Yves Dudley, looking at his 9-month-old collie-schnauzer in the grass.
Nationwide, 23 million families conceived a new animal in the first year of the disease. Others, working from home, began to observe their animals daily, noticing symptoms such as vomiting or wheezing. The impact of rising animal health concerns is shaping a corner of the medical world that isn’t as well known as doctors and nurses: medical professionals.
The high intensity and short duration of the disease has plagued clinicians as well as other physicians and nurses, and the management of chronic dilemmas and heart failure is leading. here in many ways. At the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ veterinary hospital in San Francisco, many doctors and technicians have left, having to cut their hours, said physician Kathy Gervais.
According to dog owners, they have to wait months to choose a doctor or travel to a doctor farther from home to take care of them.
“Getting your dog to see a doctor is as competitive as trying to buy Coachella tickets online,” said Laura Vittet, whose goldsmith, Gertrude, is one year old. with part. “You have to wait on the phone, you have to be ready to update your browser. It’s a very powerful experience.”
Gervais said he works for 12 days, constantly zigzagging from new dogs to dead cats. And all the time, he cared about people.
“To these people, and even more so now, this is their love,” she said, thinking deeply of the people who own the clothes and coif and cook for their dogs. “This is their nature, that’s what they live for. And for the medics, it’s really hard for us to pull the line.”
Even before the onset of the disease, the mental health of vets experienced empathy overload and compassion fatigue. They take the burden of euthanizing animals that can be rescued, but the owners can’t – Gervais says his job is to euthanize about five animals each day. Some angry people abuse, abuse animals or threaten them online.
“I dare you to try to talk to a doctor who for more than five years hasn’t seen a person commit suicide,” Gervais said. “Unfortunately, I can count more than 10 fingers: classmates, co -workers, people I’ve met.”
One in six physicians considered homicide, according to studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Female physicians were 2.4 percent more likely to die from homicides than the general population, and 80 percent of physicians were female. The risk of male physicians was 1.6 percent higher. The most common is the euthanasia drug.
In the first few months of the illness, Gervais saw things getting better. She helped organize the Veterinary Mental Health Initiative, which provides free support groups and one -on -one assistance to physicians in the country.
All assistants have medical level training, said founder and leader Katie Lawlor, also a psychologist, and they are all familiar with the issues facing doctors.
“Burnout, fatigue, driving panic attacks, how to communicate with two managers, co -workers and customers if you’re under stressful or very stressful times,” he says. “And the loss of their animal companions.”
The planning helped Razyeeh Mazaheri create the anxiety she felt every day caring for animals in an office outside of Chicago last year. The clinic is usually closed to two or three times as much. As a new doctor – Mazaheri graduated from vet school last spring – juggling many cases is daunting.
“I think if I’m wrong, it’s a problem. And if I make a mistake and kill someone, that’s my fault,” he said, tearing. “I just knew I was on fire.”
Through support groups, Mazaheri was able to see others expressing her concerns and she learned the tools to take care of them. The project, which is held under the Shanti Project, has specialized groups for crisis physicians, vet technicians, graduate students, such as Mazaheri, and for long -term physicians, such as Kathy Gervais, whose age is 20 or 30 years.
“People look at me sometimes when they see me so tired, going,‘ Kathy, go, ’” she said.
“I’m not ready to work because the bottom line is, I want my job. It’s a job. It’s a passion. And it’s hard to get away from that,” he said. “But if it kills me on the side, I hope I can just say, ‘Yeah, it is. I’m done.'”
This story is from NPR’s interview with KQED a Kaiser Health News (KHN).