Putting Down the Vet Clinic I Loved

By Christy Corp-Minamiji, Salon

We sealed the envelopes yesterday. I commented to our technician and our office manager that it felt like euthanasia, a really prolonged euthanasia. As I slid the moistened sponge across the gummed edges, I felt my mind detach in the same way it does when I draw Pentobarbital into a syringe. Except, this time the death hit closer to home; we were serving the execution notices on our own jobs.

Conventional wisdom has held for decades that veterinary medicine is a “recession-proof career.” I think, on a profession-wide scale, this may be true, but not with large animal vets. In hard times, people may continue to seek the same level of care they always have for a dog or cat whose upkeep may total $40/month. But when the animal in question is a horse, boarded for hundreds of dollars a month and whose value has plummeted, or a cow, when feed costs are sky-high, reality dictates cutbacks — yes, even to veterinary care.

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