It shouldn’t happen to a vet – risk of injuries

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Almost two-thirds of vets in the North East have been injured at work in the past year, a new survey shows.

The British Veterinary Association’s (BVA) study found that 61.5 per cent of vets who responded in the region reported injuries, ranging from scratches and bites to kicks and crushing.

All of those who completed the survey in the North East said they had been bitten, and 75 per cent had suffered scratches.

Companion animal vet Douglas Palmer, who has worked in Northumberland, said: “You do run risks as a vet working with pets. I once developed a cracking black eye from a dog that bit me on the eyebrow. The dog was wearing a muzzle that was just a bit too big.”

The BVA has urged veterinary teams and pet owners to work together to improve safety in surgeries, and provides guidance for vets on reducing the risks and dealing with dog bites. Owners should inform the vet if their pet has shown anxious behaviour on previous visits to the surgery, and to understand if the vet takes measures such as muzzling dogs or restraining cats.