Cooperative Veterinary care is a term that most people are familiar with in the context of zoos, sanctuaries and wildlife rescues where trainers work extensively with their animals, using positive reinforcement, to obtain blood samples, perform treatments or administer medications.
(Below: Dr Gloor petting a Baird’s Tapir prior to an exam and drawing blood from a White Rhino during a veterinary school externship at White Oak Conservation Center- both trained to not only tolerate these activities - but they would seek out these interactions!)
The reality is, however, that cooperative veterinary care in small animal companion medicine has been a neglected topic, only recently gaining traction. Imagine how much easier vet visits would be if your dog or cat was willingly participating in their care? The same goes for at home treatments, nail trims, medication administration, etc…!! The amazing thing about early socialization, desensitization & counter-conditioning and truly working on cooperative veterinary care is that the human animal bond between pet and their care-giver becomes so much stronger.