Dr. Robin Sturtz
As the newest member of the Crawford family, I’m delighted to have this opportunity to talk a bit about veterinary practice. First, though, I want to thank everyone at Crawford Dog and Cat Hospital: the doctors, the technicians, the assistants, and the staff. They have made me feel welcome and have given me all the support I need. Many thanks!
Although I do love all animals (well, except spiders), I have worked solely with felines since I graduated from veterinary school in 2004. Cats are an endlessly fascinating species. Their personalities vary from calm and people-oriented to very active and….not so people-oriented.
The science of ethology is the study of animal behavior, especially normal behavior in their typical environment. What we learn about this can help us devise ways to work with them in an “abnormal” environment, such as a hospital or clinic. In addition, we can also rely on medications and nutraceuticals (chemicals that are not drugs but can help with certain behavioral or health problems). We use many supplements, techniques, and sometimes medications, to decrease your cat's stress and make your visit easier. Feel free to call us before your appointment so that we can help make the experience as pleasant as possible for everyone.
We talk a lot about the Human-Animal Bond (HAB, for short). Cave paintings in Lascaux, France, dated to 20,000 years ago, depict animals, not humans. The importance of the animal for food, clothing, and shelter is evident.
The nature of the relationship we have with domestic animals varies quite a bit from family to family, and even country to country. In many places, animals are used for work, or for play, but are never brought into the house. In some countries, what we think of as companion animals are quite rare, and food animals are of far greater importance.
In the US and many other countries, however, pets are considered as family members. We value their companionship, are fascinated by their behaviors, and do everything we can to make them happy and healthy. What they give us in return is love, and actual health benefits. (and hairballs)
Watching fish swim has been known to cause human blood pressure to decrease. People with dementia, such as patients with Alzheimer’s syndrome, can improve their personal hygiene and communication when they get regular visits from a pet – even as little as half an hour, once a week. Children who have communication issues such as speech and language delay can become more interactive when working or playing with animals. A famous example is the interaction between horses and children on the autism spectrum. In many cases, the HAB is so strong that many homeless people who have pets will refuse to go into a shelter because animals are not allowed. Recognition of these facts is crucial in working with people in these situations.
The fact that you bring your animal companion to the veterinarian shows how strong that bond is. We applaud your caring!
I look forward to meeting everyone, furry and otherwise, as we go along. I am in the clinic on Sundays, for our cat only office hours. Stop by to visit, say hello, or to tour our new feline boarding area.
Have a wonderful new year!