5 reasons you want a veterinarian on your team in a zombie apocalypse

Found this article on the AVMA website and it made me giggle. Very appropriate for the Halloween season and the return of The Walking Dead on tv!

5 reasons you want a veterinarian on your team in a zombie apocalypse

In several episodes of AMC’s zombie series The Walking Dead, a new character introduced to the show, Dr. Hershel Greene, helps treat and save the life of a critically injured child. Dr. Greene, however, is not a physician, but a veterinarian.

Image CC BY 2.0 Dan Hollister
Now, under normal circumstances, of course, we would never recommend that a veterinarian treat a human, but in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, well … physicians might be hard to come by, governing boards and malpractice laws are out the window, and if one of your party is bleeding to death, a veterinarian just might give that person the best chance of survival.
Which got us thinking … how else might a veterinarian prove useful in a zombie apocalypse? Here are our top 5 reasons you’d want a veterinarian as part of your zombie apocalypse team:
  1. They have a better chance at surviving: In the event of a zombie apocalypse, survivors are at a premium, and losing members of your group will make you much more vulnerable. The biggest risk is getting bitten by a zombie. Well, who’s better at avoiding bites than a veterinarian?
  2. They can provide medical care: Again, pre-apocalypse, see your physician. Post-apocalypse, if a physician isn’t available, you couldn’t do much better than having a veterinarian treat your (non-zombie-bite) wounds and illnesses. Veterinarians spend at least four years post-grad training to care for ALL species, so while the general anatomy might be slightly different, they’re probably not going to be overwhelmed by the prospect of working on human patients.
  3. They can take care of the animals: With electrical grids down and gasoline no longer in production, you’re going to be relying on animals much more: Dogs for protection, horses for transportation, livestock for food and labor. A veterinarian will make sure these highly valuable animals are well treated, healthy and performing at a high level.
  4. They can make sure your food is safe: Without grocery stores, restaurants or refrigerators—not to mention state and federal oversight—obtaining, storing and preparing food will provide a whole new set of challenges for most people. Veterinarians have experience in ensuring food safety and testing; many work nationally to ensure food safety at processing plants and distribution centers, or across the globe working to make sure food for our troops is safe to eat. Unsure if the remaining meat from a deer carcass ravaged by zombies is safe to eat? Consult the veterinarian!
  5. They can find a cure: Veterinarians are experts at studying the causes and distribution of diseases, or epidemiology. They’ve been invaluable in determining the source and distribution of several diseases that pose risk to humans, such as rabies, SARS, and West Nile virus. Veterinarians might be able to determine what causes people to turn into zombies and develop a cure. Why aren’t animals infected? Perhaps there’s an epidemiological clue there!
Veterinarians bring an enormous amount of talents to the table: They’re trained to treat all animals, from mice to elephants, from aardvarks to zebras and everything in between. They have expertise in animal welfare, food safety, environmental protection and public health. They work all over the world, in all types of fields, helping to ensure the health of animals and people. And, in the event of a zombie apocalypse, they might just be the most valuable survivors of all.
Talk to your veterinarian today about his or her zombie apocalypse plans!
Published in: on October 15, 2013 at 12:34 pm  Comments (1)  
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Happy Halloween!

 

 

I hope you have a spooky, fun, and safe Halloween!

Published in: on October 31, 2012 at 1:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Halloween Safety

 

Decorations

We all love lit jack-o-lanterns, holiday lights on strings, gauzy spider webs, and fake fog (from machines or from dry ice)—these are what help to make Halloween spooky and fun! Pets, on the other hand, don’t understand that lit candles, lanterns, electric lights and their strings are dangerous. Instead of lit candles, use small, battery-operated lights. If you’re using dry ice to create a spooky mist, keep pets (and small children) out of the fog. It’s made of carbon dioxide gas and pets (and children) can suffocate and die. Remember that anything new will spark the interest of your pet, so make sure to keep electrical cords and gauzy spider webs up or out of the way  where pets can’t get to them.

People Treats Are Not Pet Treats

Chocolate can be very poisonous to pets because of a substance called theobromine. Dogs have a hard time metabolizing it. Even small amounts, like a snack-size bar or two, can be deadly. Gum, chewy candies, hard balls, and the like, can be choking hazards or cause GI upset. It’s not only the treats themselves that you have to worry about, either. Pets that find candy on the floor (or raid the candy bowl) will often eat it in its entirety. This includes the wrapper! Foil and plastic are not digestible, so these substances can become lodged in your pet’s digestive tract. Make sure you keep treats out of reach and that you supervise any little humans around who might accidentally or purposely share their candy with pets. You might want to keep a special pet treat bucket handy with carrot sticks, low-calorie dog cookies, or their normal dog food if you feel the need to treat!

Open Doors

Constantly opening and closing doors for trick-or-treaters is a risk. A frightened pet could easily bolt through an open door. Don’t think that just because your pet never goes near the door, or might be afraid of the outdoors that they can’t panic, make a bad decision, and disappear out into the night. Make sure your pet is wearing an appropriate collar and ID tags on Halloween night. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

Strangers

Halloween is a scary time for some pets. People they think they know dress up, put on masks, and don’t look the same. At the same time, strangers come to the door knocking or ringing the doorbell over and over again! This can be very confusing for a pet. If your pet seems nervous or worried, (or you know they are the nervous type) keep them in a quiet room with the door shut. Turn on the TV, play some music, and leave some toys for them to play with. Don’t take your pet out trick-or-treating with you. Some otherwise well-behaved pets may bite or bolt if they are scared or stressed enough. A scary mask can frighten a dog or cat, so be prepared and don’t take any chances.

Cats

Cats are at risk of being pet-napped or harmed during the Halloween season, especially black ones. It is an unfortunate fact. If you let your cats go outside, it’s best to keep them indoors during the Halloween season. I would also warn that ANY black pets be kept under watch when they’re outside at this time of year.

Pet Costumes

Lots of us enjoy dressing up our pets in cute costumes. When choosing a costume, remember that most animals don’t like to have any unusual clothing on their bodies. It can make them scared, irritated, or uncomfortable. If you do dress up your pet, start with something simple and see how your pet reacts before putting on costumes that are more complicated. For some pets a Halloween-themed collar, leash, or bandana may be festive enough! Make sure any pet clothing is properly sized and adjusted. If it’s too tight, it can cut off circulation to a tail, leg, or ear or cause a pet to choke. Too loose, and your pet can trip on it or get it caught on something. Make sure pets can see, smell, and hear through their costumes. Make sure to never leave your pet unattended when in costume in case he or she becomes scared, tries to chew it off, or gets it caught on something. Serious injury can occur, especially in cats, with anything tied around their neck or chest. Keep the costumes simple and only dress up consenting, outgoing pets.

 

I hope these tips help you and your pet(s) have a safe and fun Halloween!