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Features September 2017 Issue

Coming to a Veterinary Hospital Near You: A Social Worker

Tufts veterinary school social worker Eric Richman and his own canine pal, Dexter. While Mr. Richman comforts Tufts clients, Dex comforts Mr. Richman.

Coming to a Veterinary Hospital Near You: A Social Worker

A new trend in helping dog owners cope with illness, death.

“The man was a Korean war veteran, pretty elderly, but his PTSD was still very severe,” says Eric Richman, MSW, LICSW. “That’s why his Labrador retriever was both a service dog and a therapy dog. The dog’s presence helped keep him calm and able to go about his business. So when his pet became sick — bloody diarrhea — his anxiety level started escalating rapidly. That’s when the dog’s veterinarian asked me to step in."

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