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An early lesson on the human-animal bond
Orlando, Fla. –– Reality-show veterinarian Holly Knor learned to trust the strength of the human-animal bond as a toddler more than three decades ago. Her faith in it continues today, guiding the care she gives her patients.
ORLANDO, FLA. –– Reality-show veterinarian Holly Knor learned to trust the strength of the human-animal bond as a toddler more than three decades ago. Her faith in it continues today, guiding the care she gives her patients.
Dr. Holly Knor
Just 2 years old when she wandered away from her mother at a zoo 37 years ago, Knor slipped through the bars of a holding cage to feed her sandwich bag of peanuts to a baby elephant, standing near its mother.
Knor's mother, who managed to coax her daughter back through the bars to safety, recalls that her child showed no fear of approaching the animals, doing so simply because she thought the little elephant might be hungry.
Knor told the story while making a presentation sponsored by Vetri-Science at last month's North American Veterinary Conference in Orlando .
Her early bond with animals was strengthened through her teen years, when she apprenticed at a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., veterinary practice near her home, and has continued into adulthood as the basis of her career, she said.
Featured on Animal Planet's "Emergency Vets" television show, Knor is a doctor at Alameda East Veterinary Hospital in Denver.
Advances in research, medicine and therapy, she said, have led to steadily improving care for animals. While veterinarians are trained to administer care and be advocates for animals, Knor said it is necessary to remember her profession's primary responsibility –– to allow a pet owner to make the final decision on what they view as the best care for a pet.
"The job of the veterinarian is to offer information and options. It is ultimately the pet owner's job to decide," Knor said.
Fortunately, today's veterinarians often find themselves working with owners who are willing to do all they can for their pets, she added.
Recalling a young couple sobbing in her office after making the decision to put down their dog that was immobilized by arthritis, Knor said she is thankful for recent veterinary-medicinal advances that have prolonged the lives of many animals.
She discussed the strength of people's connection to animals as part of her presentation, "Arthritis and the Human-Animal Bond: Our New Responsibilities," in which she introduced study results on a product for canine arthritis.
An estimated 14 million dogs suffer from joint problems. It is the sixth leading reason for dog owners to seek veterinary treatment, according to the pharmaceutical firm Vetri-Science.