Thursday, November 8, 2018

Does a fear of needles impact the way that you pursue medical tests or treatment with your pet? You're not alone

An article about needle phobia on the Canadian news site came onto my radar this morning, and I found it to be important for good reason. It highlights how challenging it can be for those—human OR animal—who are on the receiving end of the needle, and the need to create neutral or positive associations during these interactions for both species. 

Are you one of the many families in my care who are active caregivers with a profound fear of needles? Has it affected the way that you might like to pursue medical tests involving needles for your pet, and more importantly, how well you’re able to adhere to temporary or long-term treatment strategies for them involving injections or sub-q fluids? Have you chosen to forgo treatment altogether, or as some families have decided to do, make the choice to relinquish and re-home your pet because the fear was too great? 

You are not alone in this. It’s very common, and in this space, you are not judged or shamed for it. Though they're less likely to convey the aversion to needles to their veterinarian or vet staff, I frequently hear stories from people, existing clients and new families alike, about how they struggle with it as well as the accompanying guilt and self-shame. I work closely with them to find alternatives and strategies so that they can manage a treatment regimen, and when the situation really calls for it, offer respite service so that they can have a mental break from it

You can read the article, which includes ideas on managing needle aversion by clicking here. 

Lorrie Shaw is a Certified Professional Pet Sitter, Certified Pet Loss and Grief Companion, and owner of Professional Pet Sitting, where she specializes in ancillary pet palliative and pet hospice care. She's also a member of Doggone Safe (where she completed the Speak Dog Certificate Program), as well as the International Association of Animal Hospice and Palliative Care, Pet Sitters International, Pet Professional Guild, International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (supporting member) and Ann Arbor Area Pet Sitters. Lorrie can be found at She tweets at @psa2.

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