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Does Your Patient Need a Chiropractic Adjustment?
Humane Endings The Moral Dilemma of Economic Euthanasia
Doctor Omar Farias
August / September 2023
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Copyright August 2023. PetVet Magazine is published bimonthly by Barkleigh Productions, Inc, 970 West Trindle Road, Mechanicsburg PA 17055. Postmaster: Send change of address to Pet Vet Magazine c/o Barkleigh Productions, Inc., 970 West Trindle Road, Mechanicsburg PA 17055. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. Editorial offices: 970 West Trindle Road, Mechanicsburg PA 17055. (717) 691–3388 FAX (717) 691–3381 Email:
Dr. Omar Farias - Promoting Equal & Fair Treatment Within the Veterinary Community
Eliminate Back to School Stress
PetVet’s advisory board is here to help ensure quality content to motivate & educate Veterinarians and their staff.
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Courtney A. Campbell
“My passions ultimately drove me towards becoming a veterinarian, but when I was growing up I briefly flirted with the idea of becoming a magician. As a veterinarian, the ability to save lives, keep animals healthy, and strengthen the human–animal bond makes me realize there’s nothing more magical than that.”
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Jenifer Chatfield
DVM, Dipl. ACZM, Dipl. ACVPM

“People should be so lucky as to get to be a veterinarian. The broad-based education empowers us to be successful in multiple fields and affords us the opportunity to choose how we spend our professional time.”
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Julie Legred
“I have worked in many areas of veterinary medicine and veterinary technology over the last thirty five years, and it is amazing how far our profession has grown and paved the way for the betterment of animals’ lives and happiness, as well as improving public health issues. It is an honor for me to be a part of this advisory board to offer additional education and opportunities to grow in our profession.”
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Lisa Powell
“I have had the privilege of working with a variety of animals in my career and my passion has allowed me to be involved in teaching veterinary students, interns, residents and other veterinarians. I continue to enjoy going to work every day to help critically ill dogs and cats, and love the client interactions as well. I am proud to be a part of this advisory board to help teach and spread my love for this profession to others in the veterinary community.”
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Kathryn Primm,
“Animals mean so much to the human condition. It is my privilege to make lives better every day! I cannot imagine myself in any other career.”
We want to make sure we are providing safe spaces for all individuals regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. This can be done by simple things like sharing your pronouns or having them in your name tag or work signature.
– Dr. Omar Farías
Senior Manager of Scientific and Academic Affairs, Hill’s Pet Nutrition & President-Elect, Pride Veterinary Medical Community (Pride VMC)
"Neurodiversity in the Veterinary Profession"
By Elycia Degenhardt, BA, CVT

ost of you have likely heard of neurodiversity, but you may not know what it is referring to and how it impacts your veterinary team. While neurodiversity is a very broad topic with evolving research and education, there are widely applicable steps you can take in the workplace to better support neurological variety.

*note* I use identify-first language (autistic rather than person with autism) at times in this article. Individuals may have personal preferences as to the use of identify-first or person-first language regarding themselves. I am autistic and use identify-first language when it applies.
Does Your Patient Need a Chiropractic Adjustment?
By William Ormston, DVM
spinal x-ray

ne of my good friends greets people with the question, “How’s your atlas?” instead of the usual, “How are you?” True chiropractic is based on the spine and the central nervous system. The atlas is the first bone of the spine, located at the base of the skull or right behind an animal’s ears. A principled chiropractor will almost always adjust the atlas.

When we forget the whole and start to look at individual segments of the body, it is difficult to see how the atlas can be a problem, no matter what the symptom is. When we begin to expect healing to occur due to outside intervention, it is difficult to understand how the atlas can help so many problems with so few side effects.

It is very easy for any veterinarian to see if the atlas is moving correctly. The ability of an animal to bend its head and neck around so that it can see behind itself is called lateral flexion. The motion begins at the junction between the occiput (base of the skull) and the atlas. There will be about 10 to 15 degrees of lateral flexion at this first joint.

If that joint is misaligned or subluxated, then the first motion occurs between the atlas and the axis (the second cervical vertebra). The only motion that occurs at this second joint is rotation. When the first motion at the top of the neck is a rotation instead of a lateral flexion, it locks the entire neck out, causing it to be stiff and unable to bend properly.

When the atlas is out of alignment, it can actually put pressure and maybe a little torque on the brainstem. This puts direct pressure on the animal’s brain, disrupting the flow of messages through its central nervous system and affecting its body in a multitude of ways. The brainstem controls the flow of messages between the brain and the rest of the body, and it also controls basic body functions such as breathing, swallowing, heart rate, blood pressure, consciousness, vomiting, and whether the animal is awake or sleepy.

Pressure on the brainstem can cause changes in behavior and the inability of the animal to perform at 100%. Parts of the brainstem have a role in maintaining homeostasis—the body’s ability to adapt and survive in the environment. There are nerve tracts in the brainstem that play a large role in maintaining tone, balance and posture, especially during movement.

Hit the Road! The Benefits of Mobile Veterinary Practice title
By Zach Mills, DVM

he love of animals is one of the driving forces in the veterinary profession, but with the increase in demand for veterinary services, the added work can become overwhelming and veterinarians have less time to spend with pets in our clinics. In addition, veterinary professionals must deal with pet and caregiver stress, along with personal stress, and there is not enough time to meet demand, often leading to burnout.

DVM Stephanie Wolf is one of many veterinarians who experienced burnout when she worked at a clinic. Aside from the workload, she said that the emotional rollercoaster between appointments was a big contributor: “You’ll go in one room and give really bad news, then in the next room you’re delivering puppies,” Wolf said. “It was really emotionally intense.” This stress ultimately motivated her to leave her job at a clinic and join a mobile veterinary company, where she was able to maintain a healthier work-life balance and significantly reduce work stress.

In addition to reducing the risk of burnout, the mobile veterinary model has proven to provide the following benefits as well.

Petvet Profile
Dr. Omar Farias typography
Promoting Equal & Fair Treatment within the Veterinary Community typography
By Jen Phillips April
Photos Provided By Dr. Omar Farías

ike many veterinarians, Dr. Omar Farías can trace his love of science and animals back to a young age. Now, he’s an industry veterinarian at Hill’s Pet Nutrition and an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights.

“I was the kid that asked for a microscope and a chemistry set as gifts. I even volunteered to dissect a frog when my class dissection in 7th grade got canceled. Sorry, Froggy!” Dr. Farías shares.

Later, he volunteered with a veterinary hospital in Puerto Rico. “I knew then that I wanted to be a veterinarian. The compassion, knowledge, and impact of the veterinarians whom I was helping were amazing. The gratitude of their clients and the difference they made in those pets’ lives immediately hooked me. I wanted to emulate those veterinarians,” he recalls.

Humane Endings: The Moral Dilemma of Economic Euthanasia typographic title with a blue vector silhouette illustration of a woman holding a bunny in her arms
By Dr. Andrew Ciccolini

recent report by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals1 revealed some mind-boggling statistics. About one-quarter of pet owners in the U.S. reported they couldn’t get veterinary care when they needed it and 43% said they couldn’t afford it. As a result, 15% percent of those pets ended up being euthanized. Every year, millions of pets, that otherwise are considered healthy, treatable and adoptable, are put down due to their owner’s inability to pay for treatment—a situation defined as “economic euthanasia.”

Limited access to veterinary care can have tragic consequences, and not only for pet owners who increasingly consider their companions as family members. Telling clients you can’t help them because they have no money is also emotionally taxing for the veterinary teams.

"Start Off On the Right Foot with a Successful New Hire Program"
By Louise Dunn

hen a potential candidate makes that initial contact with the interviewer, first impressions speak volumes; the look of the resume, the postings on social media, the attire the person wears for the interview, and even the handshake gets included in the notations about the first impression. The candidate is also affected by first impressions; the look and actions of the team and the interviewer, and the hospital’s appearance (inside and out). First impressions are critical. But what about first impressions on the first day on the job?

The first impression for that first day on the job is not about the new hire. No, on the first day on the job, it is about the veterinary practice and the new hire’s first impression of the team and culture. Is the team welcoming? Is management prepared? Is the trainer organized? Are things ready for the new hire, or does the new hire wander around watching and waiting for someone to offer direction?

Eliminate Back-To-School
mother with 2 children working on a laptop
By Renee Machel

ack to school…What does this mean for you specifically, though? Perhaps a stressor, a relief or maybe something in between? You may even enjoy shopping for school supplies. But there can be a dualistic nature to what you’re experiencing, where one aspect is something you like and another aspect brings you some level of anticipatory anxiety or registers as a dislike. One study has even shown that 60% of parents lose sleep during this season.1

This article will outline some practical strategies that I have found to be extremely helpful as a working mom that can make this school year your least stressful and most restful year ever! But first, let’s establish two big buckets that we’ll cover in this article, even though there are more: 1) Schedule and 2) Budget.

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The Bridge Club is a critical conversation company initiating meaningful conversations to elevate veterinary medicine. Their mission is to connect, engage, and grow veterinary medicine and the services provided. To see what they will be talking about next, visit
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This quarterly subscription box for veterinary techs and nurses, created by a veterinary nurse, focuses on self-care items as well as items that can be used in a clinical setting.
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left: cover of Groomer to Groomer Vol. 30 Ed. 12; right: cover of Pet Boarding and Daycare Magazine Vol. 7 Ed. 3
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