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Broaden your support options for bereaved and grieving clients

Talk Overview
The role of helping clients in veterinary practice can be a source of job satisfaction, however the emotional labour associated with client interactions can also contribute to psychological distress in veterinary staff. Clients may present with a variety of reactions, often involving underlying complexity linked to the animal relationship. When an animal patient reaches end of life, the impact on both animal owners and veterinary staff can be devastating. For some individuals, the end of the enduring relationship between animal and human can trigger severe psychological distress, and occasionally suicide. Understanding factors which can influence an individual clients’ vulnerability to experiencing distressing grief and loss responses may help veterinary staff respond more effectively. Although it is recognised that veterinary staff would benefit from training in communication and social support skills for grieving clients, the support required by some vulnerable and distressed clients is sometimes beyond the scope of veterinary practice.  This presentation will discuss potential areas and resources for expanding support options for bereaved and grieving clients.


Arora, A., Clarida, K., Forero, M.L., Steffan, M. & Zamora, D. (2020). Pet loss best practice guidelines for veterinary teams. Seneca College & VCA Canada. Retrieved from:
#VetFest 2020
VetFest 2020
#VetFest 2020