The world was not all puppies and kittens last year. 2020 was difficult for almost everyone.

快猫vip破解版黄短视频But, at least for veterinarians in Greenwood, there still were plenty of doggies and kitties. Life for veterinarians goes on, even if they’ve had to change the way they operate because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

These days, pets, for the most part, are dropped off outside veterinarian clinics and then later returned to clients in the parking lot. Inside, things continue mostly as usual for the doctors.

快猫vip破解版黄短视频Their profession is unique. They attend just as much school as most human doctors, but earn much less. Their patients can’t lie to them, which vets say is a good thing; however, the pets also can’t talk to them. It requires the vets to do a lot of diagnostic work. And, unlike human doctors, vets routinely must euthanize their patients.

快猫vip破解版黄短视频It’s no wonder the suicide rate among veterinarians is high compared to other professions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2018 that female veterinarians were 3.5 times as likely, and male veterinarians were 2.1 times as likely, to die from suicide as the general population. The CDC said long work hours and easy access to euthanasia solution is among the key factors contributing to the suicide rate.

快猫vip破解版黄短视频Greenwood veterinarians realize the reality of this and say they try to maintain a good life/work balance. Most were very young when they felt the calling to go into veterinary medicine.

快猫vip破解版黄短视频“As soon as people started asking me, and I knew what a job was, I wanted to be a veterinarian,” said Dr. Caitlin Cochran of Chinquapin Animal Hospital in Greenwood. “When I was a little girl, that’s what I wanted to do. My motivation then was that I loved animals. As I got older, I realized there is a lot more to it than just loving animals.”

快猫vip破解版黄短视频And what does the public think about her job?

“They definitely think my job is rainbows and kittens and puppies all day,” Cochran said. “It’s not. People realize that when they bring their older animal in for euthanasia. One of the most common things I hear is, ‘I don’t know how you do this job. I don’t know how you do this part of it.’ Yeah, but a lot of people assume we play with animals all day and that it is pretty easy.”

快猫vip破解版黄短视频There is a big difference between treating humans and animals, Cochran said.

“It’s basically just a big puzzle,” she said. “You have to really learn their body language and learn to understand when they’re in pain, because they can’t tell you. We rely a lot on diagnostics, which is why a lot of people get frustrated — because we can’t just tell you by looking at your pet a lot of times.”

As for the suicide rates among vets, Cochran said, “It just has to do with the emotional stress.”

She said it starts in vet school because “no one really tells you how much it costs.”

“It’s insane, the debt-to-income ratio we have and are expected to pay,” she said.

快猫vip破解版黄短视频Cochran has dogs, cats and kittens. She has to switch from being a diagnostic doctor to being a pet owner at night.

“That’s hard sometimes,” she said. “Sometimes you just want to go home and get away from it. So, sometimes there is a little burnout at home. But the diagnostic portion never cuts off. I go home and look at my animals all the time, and I’m like, ‘What’s wrong with you?’”

Dr. Adam Eichelberger, of Kinard Animal Hospital, has a father who is an obstetrician in Greenwood and a mother who was a farmer.

“One of the people I idolized growing up was our family veterinarian,” Eichelberger said. “He was always there. (My mother) had 30 or so horses, and kittens and dogs and sheep and goats and everything.”

快猫vip破解版黄短视频The vet would come to their farm regularly.

“I think I was impressed someone would come to our place and could help the animals, even though they couldn’t communicate with them,” he said. “He had a passion for it and he enjoyed it. As I matured, it (becoming a vet) seemed to make sense.”

He said he know from a young age he wanted to be a vet. Watching the house-call vet kept him focused, he said. He participated in 4-H and shadowed veterinarians. He said the nice thing about being a veterinarian is that it’s a broad career. He can teach, he can work for the government in the regulatory field and can help with food inspection.

快猫vip破解版黄短视频After college, Eichelberger worked with horses. He did a residency in reproduction.

快猫vip破解版黄短视频“My dad being an OB kind of combined my mom’s passion and my dad’s passion,” he said.

快猫vip破解版黄短视频He worked in the horse practice for a while in Arizona and Florida before moving back to South Carolina.

“I really enjoyed it, but work was my life,” Eichelberger said of being a horse vet. “Being a large-animal vet is kind of tough because there’s no emergency clinics. I learned in the middle of my career that I wanted to provide for my quality of life. I had one veterinarian tell me that being a horse vet is a way of life. It’s not a job. And I was like, ‘You know, I want to go home and spend time with my family. I want to be able to relax and do some of the stuff my dad did with me when I was younger. I just didn’t want work to be everything.”

He said he likes the differences between treating humans and animals.

快猫vip破解版黄短视频“You don’t have to worry about some of the diseases,” he said. “If I get a needle prick, I don’t have to worry about getting AIDS or exposed to hepatitis. The disadvantage on the veterinarian side is that we do have euthanasia. We just can’t treat, treat and treat and fix everything.”

He said some clients treat their animals like a child, while others treat them like “yard ornaments.”

快猫vip破解版黄短视频Eichelberger said the disadvantage of being a vet is the high suicide rate.

快猫vip破解版黄短视频“There’s a lot of reasons for it, but I think one of the reasons is because veterinarians go into medicine and try to help patients, and sometimes we can’t. We’re out there supposed to fix everything, and then we can’t — and it’s very frustrating for someone who is driven to do that. We also don’t have a lot of the support staff that human hospitals have. I’m the HR department. I’m the leader of this hospital. I’m the financial manager of this hospital. I’m all these things, and it’s a big operation.”

He said it is harder to get into veterinarian school than it is to get into medical school. “These people are typically overachievers and have this expectation, then we get into the real world and have to do our jobs, and it’s difficult, especially when you have to make these life-or-death decisions,” he said. “It’s a difficult profession. I know I can’t fix everything, but I do my very best.”

快猫vip破解版黄短视频Eichelberger and his family have three dogs and cats and a herd of 15 cows. He continues to help his mom with her farm in Ninety Six.

Dr. Michael Walden Jr., of Greenwood Veterinary Hospital, didn’t have to look far for inspiration. His father is a vet.

“I could easily say I was just born into it,” Walden said. “I remember being a kid and hearing people say, ‘Oh, your dad saved my animal.’ That was something that always made me proud. I remember back then thinking I would like to do that too one day.”

快猫vip破解版黄短视频He said he became interested in it as a child but changed his mind as he entered high school. He likes the outdoors, so he considered going into forestry, but he returned to his passion of being a vet halfway through college.

Walden said he learned a lot from watching his father.

“At that age, it was mostly the human/animal bond,” Walden said. “I didn’t understand a whole lot about the practice. In college, I started coming up here a little bit. Doing that, I got the appreciation for communication and the difficulty of not having an animal talk to you, and being able to have to figure it out on your own. They can’t lie to you, but they can’t tell the truth to you, either.”

He said the interaction people the client and the veterinarian is more important than that of the patient and veterinarian, mainly because the pet owner knows so much more about the animal than the vet can by looking at them.

快猫vip破解版黄短视频Walden, who has two dogs and a cat, said treating animals gives him the satisfaction of knowing that the animals “depend on you to help them when they can’t help themselves.”

快猫vip破解版黄短视频He said every animal that comes in is not “just some cute little puppy that’s here for shots.”

“You get animals that are on their deathbed or animals that are in poor condition that need a lot of treatment and therapy,” Walden said. “And you have hard decisions to make. I think the thing that separates us from human physicians is that we sometimes have to ultimate treatment. It’s a hard topic. Nobody likes to talk about it (euthanasia), but sometimes you realize you just did the best thing for that animal.”

Dr. Teresa Willis, of Emerald City Animal Hospital, wanted to be a vet from the age of 6.

“I think that’s mostly because animals are just the greatest thing in the world,” she said.

As she got older, she knew she wanted to go into the medical field but couldn’t see herself working on people.

“Animals was the way to go,” she said. “I like being able to help them. They can’t help themselves. They can’t tell you what’s wrong, so, by being a veterinarian, you can do a little detective work and try to help them as well as well as their owners.”

快猫vip破解版黄短视频Willis often talks to schoolchildren about her job. She said all the young girls in second and third grade say they want to be vets.

Willis’ mother was a nurse.

快猫vip破解版黄短视频“Her work ethic probably played a big role in it (her wanting to be a vet),” Willis said. “If I wasn’t a vet, I honestly don’t know what I would be doing today. I love the fact that I get to be the one that helps the animals. I do enjoy the idea that I get to help the people, as well as the animals.”

As for euthanasia?

快猫vip破解版黄短视频“It’s tough,” Willis said. “A lot of people think you are playing to puppies and kittens all day, especially when they are young. That’s just not it. It is a very, very stressful job. Knowing that we are helping the animal go without pain, that allows me to do what I need to do. Even though it is a very difficult thing, just being able to let owners know that their decision is best for their dogs helps.”

Contact staff writer Greg K. Deal at 864-943-5647 or follow on Twitter @IJDEAL.