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Features December 2017 Issue

Assessing Caregiver Burden for Pet Owners

Although hard to tell from this picture, Chili still has a scar on her belly from the operation to remove her cancerous tumor. The ordeal turned Marilyn Davison’s life upside down. Read about what she and Chili went through in the box on page 4.

Assessing Caregiver Burden for Pet Owners

The toll that caring for a sick or dying animal takes — and how you can relieve the stress.

When researchers turned to social media to recruit people for a study that would look at the extent of the psychological and social burdens that come with caring for a sick pet, the overwhelming majority of those who responded to the call were women. Tufts veterinary social worker Eric Richman, MSW, LICSW, isn’t surprised. Mr. Richman, who used to work in the human healthcare system, says that “when talking about human medicine and chronic illness, the caregiver is often female.” And that role, rightly or wrongly, often extends to caregivers for dogs.

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