Area Veterinarian Helps Lead Prevention Efforts Against Vet Suicides

Sept. 15, 2019 8:55a 

(WGTD)---If you own a pet, consider this, the next time you’re at the vet: The suicide rate for male veterinarians is twice the national average while the rate for female vets is three-and-a-half times the national average. Those numbers are from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Melanie Goble, who practices in the area in a relief capacity, is a board member of the national suicide prevention group, “Not One More Vet.”

Goble was in the WGTD studios last week to participate long-distance in an Oregon Public Radio program about the problem. Goble says she thinks two things drive the numbers: High student debt and something she calls “compassion fatigue."

"A lot of times it's some of the difficult interactions that we have," Goble said on the program. "Unfortunately as good as we might be we don't always have a positive outcome. And even if we do have a positive outcome there's a bill."

For one thing, Goble recommends pet health insurance.

Another thing to consider when it comes to vet suicides: Unlike physicians, veterinarians are often called upon or need to euthanize their four-legged patients.

Pet owners, she says, can make a difference. "I cannot tell you how much it makes a difference when someone comes in and says thank you," Goble says. "It changes everything for us." 

Goble, a UW-Madison graduate, runs her relief business from her home in Manitowoc.