Podcast: Australian fires’ toll on veterinarians


A new podcast episode interviews two Australian veterinarians about bush fires’ effects on wild animals as well as the help needed for the practice owners and associates who are helping right now.

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The fires in Australia have been international news for weeks now, and much of the focus has been on the toll on human victims, including the volunteer firefighters trying to battle the blazes. International donations have poured in to help them. But the toll on animals has sparked up recently, and veterinary podcaster and Fetch dvm360 speaker Dave Nicol, BVMS, Cert. Mgmt MRCVS, is aiming the spotlight on veterinary practice owners and associates who are helping to care for animal victims and whose practices may be suffering.

In a brand-new episode, Dr. Nicol interviews leaders at the multi-location Australian practice Animal Emergency Service: Director and Senior Clinician Alexandra Hynes, BVSc, MVS MANZCVS (Emergency and Critical Care), and Hospital Director and Senior Veterinarian Gerardo Poli, BVSc, MVS (Small Animal Practice), MANZCVS (Emergency and Critical Care).

The two share their understanding of the fires; the fires' toll on wild animals, livestock and firefighters; as well as worries about their colleagues as they neglect business to care for animal victims.

“There are everyday veterinarians with small practices in the areas being burnt that are struggling because no one’s coming to their business,” says Dr. Poli. “And also, they’re treating patients for free and spending resources treating wildlife.”

Dr. Poli made it clear that he and other Australians are extremely grateful for all the donations to large organizations, and he thought it was especially important to highly the Australian Veterinary Association’s own Benevolent Fund, which is distributed to veterinarians by veterinarians.

“Money has gone elsewhere, but it hasn’t actually gone to veterinarians on the ground,” he says.

While recent rains have been helpful, the fires and the danger continue, says Dr. Hynes: “We’re only halfway through summer here, so this is potentially something we’re going to be facing for at least the next month or so.”

If you want to donate, visit https://www.ava.com.au/donate and select “Donation - Benevolent fund.”

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