Veterinary medicine’s shameful secret: Making it up as we go along?

We need to be more open with ourselves and our clients about what we don’t know

Half a dozen people clustered around the treatment table, and the 20-lb tan and white dog lying unconscious in the center of it. One nurse performed chest compressions; another smoothly squeezed the rebreathing bag every six seconds like clockwork. Other techs adjusted monitoring equipment, prepared drugs for injection, or stood ready to assist if needed. A few feet away, the dog’s owners sobbed and called out to him to stay with us, not to go. As the time-keeper counted down the last 10 seconds of the CPR cycle, I stood there with the paddles in my hands, the steady keening of the defibrillator announcing its readiness.

At the two-minute mark, all activity ceased, except for one doctor ausculting the dog, and all eyes turned to the ...


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