Episode 47

Large Animal Abuse: Learning to Listen to Your Spidey Senses

ANIMAL ABUSE REPORTING, PART IV: Large Animal Abuse SEE ALL EPISODES »

Although egregious animal cruelty is easy to spot, there are more subtle forms of neglect and abuse that can be more difficult to define—even when you are familiar with a species’ typical behaviors and normal health measures. But how do identify abuse in those animals you rarely, if ever, work with?

Even so, most veterinary professionals know it when they see it. They just need to pay attention to their instincts.

In this episode, we are joined by Drs. Dennis Summers, Ohio’s state veterinarian, and Alina Vale, official veterinarian for the California Horse Racing Board. Together, they dig in to the subtleties of large animal abuse and neglect: It’s not as simple to define as small animal abuse, and it’s often much more subtle. They discuss what it looks like, how and why it happens, and how often it occurs.

Most importantly, they explain how veterinarians who have less experience with large animals—particularly small animal practitioners and new graduates—should handle suspected cases… And it all starts with listening to your gut.


Episode Guests

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Dennis Summers

DVM, DACVPM

A former large animal practitioner, Dr. Summers is Ohio’s state veterinarian and acting chief of ODA’s Division of Meat Inspection.
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Alina Vale

DVM, M.S.

As an official veterinarian with the California Horse Racing Board, Dr. Vale investigates equine fatalities and conducts post-mortem examination reviews. 
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Cover photo by Ruslan Sikunov from Pexels

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