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Boronia

Queensland vet pinned up against wall after showing owner the bill

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Boronia   

 

https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/queensland-vet-pinned-up-against-wall-after-showing-owner-the-bill-20200525-p54w0q.html

 

Dr Bale is one of the veterinarians who will talk about the industry and mental health in the industry on an SBS Insight https://www.sbs.com.au/news/insight/a-look-at-australia-s-veterinarian-crisis?cid=sbsnews:edm:newsam:relation:news:na:na

Queensland vet pinned up against wall after showing owner the bill

Jocelyn Garcia
By Jocelyn Garcia
May 25, 2020 — 7.38pm

Veterinarian Dr Margie Bale saves a dog's life and is pushed up against a wall by the collar by the dog's owner.

She operates on a horse in the middle of the night and receives a hurl of abuse by the owner over the bill.

Dr Bale offers to help but asks for the fee and is judged and thrown out of a property by an owner.

Queensland veterinarian Dr Margie Bale loved working as a clinical vet but the pressures of the job made her turn away from it.

 

Queensland veterinarian Dr Margie Bale loved working as a clinical vet but the pressures of the job made her turn away from it.

The stories of the pressures Dr Bale endured are endless, but not uncommon.

 

Veterinarians are almost four times more likely to take their own lives than the general public, a 2018 Suicide in Australian veterinarians report says.

A 2011 United Kingdom report, Measuring the mental health of the veterinary profession: psychometric considerations, also states they are twice as likely to die by suicide as other healthcare professionals.

Dr Bale said she had enough of working at clinical practices after 20 years.

She said at the age of 26, she was working in a sole practice on the Gold Coast.

"I was on call for two-and-a-half years, working every day and being on call overnight," she said.

 

"We’re happy to work with the animals and that's what we’re trained to do but unrealistic client expectations make it incredibly challenging."

Dr Bale said she had treated a cattle dog with bowel problems in the middle of a night, operated on a horse who ran into a barbed wired fence until 2am one morning, and saved a Maltese terrier's life on another occasion.

"It was about 11pm on a Saturday night and I got the call from a client - I could tell he had been drinking - about his Maltese terrier who had eaten an entire barbecue chicken," she said.

"The dog couldn't breathe. I did what I had to do to help the dog and thankfully, it was a good outcome but I was dreading giving the owner the bill.

"With that he launched into a huge tirade of abuse, saying that I was money hungry and that if I really cared that I would've done it for free."

 

Dr Bale said he became more aggressive and grabbed her by the collar and pinned her against the wall.

"I've never been assaulted before, I was just bewildered," she said.

"I ended up talking him down and he left but the bill was never paid."

 

Dr Bale said the abuse from clients about bills, the low wage and long hours made her walk away from practices.

"Three colleagues [died of] suicide from pressures of being veterinarians," she said.

 

"The pressures of running a clinic, the emotional intensity of the job, and people always questioning our ethics over handing the bill after saving their animals' lives - it wears you down."

Dr Bale is one of the veterinarians who will talk about the industry and mental health in the industry on an SBS Insight episode at 8.30pm on Tuesday.

Edited by Boronia
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My brother, long retired, ran his own veterinary hospital for over 30 years.  My blood still runs cold when I recall some of his stories. Unpaid bills were the least of it and he was constantly being told “if you loved animals you’d do it for free.”

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tdierikx   

We have one client at our clinic that we try to only schedule appointments when there is a male vet on shift... and if it's an emergency, we always have a second person (nurse) in the consult room to ensure against intimidation from that client. His dog is lovely, but he's a bit of an arsehole... mostly he tries for the standover and pushing for discounts, he's never been physical, but we do our best to counter that possibility. He's less likely to try intimidation on a male vet...

 

T.

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My vets and vet staff mean the world to me. It makes me so sad that they are exposed to this kind of suffering. Back when I was a teen (in the 70s) I did work experience at a chemist and I still remember the chemist telling me how people would get angry at paying the cost of medicine to make them well and save their life but think nothing of blowing their cash on a night of drinking or a holiday. Same mentality isn't it.

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asal   

and to be an "ethical" breeder your supposed to sell your puppies for less than it cost to raise them.

 

BUT................ it is not the people wanting a puppy saying that. It is fellow ANKC members who can afford to sell their puppies for less than it cost to raise them. 

 

Friend is a vet and he too says so many of his friends have ended it because of the stress. Green dream being the one of choice

 

 

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tdierikx   
3 hours ago, asal said:

Green dream being the one of choice

Actually that isn't the one of choice @asal, as you are out to it before you can get the right amount into yourself... there are MANY other S8 drugs that can be used however...

 

So sad that wonderful caring and hardworking vets (and nurses) have to leave the profession due to needing to preserve their mental health. A couple of my TAFE teachers are ex-vets... one of them (she told us) precisely for that reason.

 

T.

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asal   

only repeated what I was told, its tragic anyone should be pushed to that, daughter did work experience with a few vets as she had indended doing vet science... was shocked at how stressful the job is so did medical science instead, wasn't the pets that were the problem, it is the owners

Edited by asal
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