NPR

Clinics Aim For Fear-Free Vet Visits For Nervous Pets

Reducing dogs' and cats' stress levels at the vet is getting a big push in a new movement within veterinary medicine, says anthropologist Barbara J. King.
Source: iStockphoto

One busy morning at the Seaford Veterinary Medical Center in Yorktown, Va., two cats brought in by their owner waited in their carriers in the lobby because all the exam rooms were filled with animals.

These two were nervous creatures, what the center's hospital Director Lowrey Reynolds told me are termed "red zone cats" — distinct from the more moderately distressed "yellow zone" or laid-back "green zone" cats. In the past, these cats have required anesthesia just to get through a veterinary visit.

Now, the cats' stress levels were ramping up, especially owing to the presence of with the body's physiology to skew test results.

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