Coping with Animal Loss in the Research Environment Michael S' Rand, DVM, DACLAM University Animal C - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Coping with Animal Loss in the Research Environment Michael S' Rand, DVM, DACLAM University Animal C

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Ensures that the animals live in conditions that provide for their ... Impatience. Difficulty concentrating or staying on task. Severe mood swings. Irritability ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Coping with Animal Loss in the Research Environment Michael S' Rand, DVM, DACLAM University Animal C


1
Coping with Animal Loss in the Research
EnvironmentMichael S. Rand, DVM,
DACLAMUniversity Animal CareUniversity of
Arizona
2
Necessary characteristics of an animal care
worker
  • Kindness and concern for animals
  • Compassionate
  • Patient
  • Sensitive

3
Why are these characteristics necessary?
4
  • More skilled at applying restraint and other
    procedures with animals.
  • Leads to earlier recognition of signs of disease
    and distress.
  • Reduction of stress.
  • Ensures that the animals live in conditions that
    provide for their health and comfort.
  • Increased job satisfaction.

5
Historically
  • Stigmatized as subjective
  • Naming of subjects rejected

6
Coping with Laboratory Animal Morbidity and
Mortality
7
Grief and Guilt
  • These emotional responses are not individual
    isolated incidents but happen to everyone doing
    this work!

8
Caused by
  • Providing health care and environmental
    enrichment
  • Then, inducing disease or carrying out euthanasia

9
Human-Animal Bonding
  • Centers on the capacity to empathize
  • Highly developed sense of social awareness
  • Demonstrated by our ability to
  • reach out to another
  • ease each others sorrow
  • share in each others joy
  • identify with animals want to care for them
  • anthropomorphize

10
Grief may result in
  • High staff turnover
  • Loss of workdays
  • Decreased morale
  • Diminished productivity
  • Stress-related burnout
  • A callous attitude toward the animals

11
Grief can lead to
  • Disassociation
  • Anticipatory grief
  • Compassion fatigue

12
Disassociation
  • Also called detachment
  • Isolation of feelings
  • Placing physical and emotional distance between
    actions, including
  • Intellectual and professional responses
  • Intuition
  • Used to prevent internal conflict, feelings of
    guilt, sadness, bonding

13
Danger
  • Unable to feel empathy and compassion?
  • Failure to recognize behavioral changes in animal
    ?
  • Increased pain or distress ?
  • Jeopardy to research project

14
Anticipatory Grief
  • Early mourning ?
  • Detachment ?
  • Feelings of grief and guilt return at death of
    animal

15
Compassion fatigue (caused by excessive and
long-term stress) may lead to
  • Headaches
  • Stomachaches
  • Inability to sleep
  • Poor appetite
  • Impatience
  • Difficulty concentrating or staying on task
  • Severe mood swings

16
  • Irritability
  • Impaired social relationships
  • Hopelessness or frustration
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Nightmares
  • Substance abuse

17
Methods to increase toleranceto stress
  • Regular exercise and relaxation
  • Developing interests outside of work
  • Having pets
  • Religious involvement

18
  • A healthy diet
  • A good sense of humor
  • Open communication with friends, family, and
    coworkers
  • Concentrate on the benefits of research

19
Seek out professional help if
  • Feelings of frustration, fear, or a sense of
    having no control persist!

20
Additional resources for staff and faculty are
  • The Employee Assistance Counseling Service
  • The Pet Grief Support Service
  • For students, the Counseling and Psychological
    Services
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