Animal Health Reality Show Series Highlights Animals Large and Small
By Rania Richardson, PfizerWorld Correspondent Network
Reprint from Pfizer World June 29, 2012
Gigi, Shih Tzu-Poodle mix, is profiled in "Veterinarians on Call" on Animal Health’s YouTube Channel.
Nothing slows down Gigi, a black and white Shih Tzu-Poodle mix, but that was not always the case. A degenerative disc problem required surgery that led to complications, including paralysis. Her future looked dim, but after close observation and rehabilitation by veterinarian Dr. Stacy M. Kenyon, Gigi is back in business. Now she goes everywhere her owners go, with the help of a cart that supports her hind legs.
Gigi’s story is chronicled in an episode of the Pfizer Animal Health (PAH) YouTube series “Veterinarians on Call" that follows vets as they care for their animal patients. Calling Gigi “inspiring,” Dr. Kenyon says, “She never gave up. She worked her way through recovery, through a lot of painful circumstances, and just was determined she was going to move again.”
Gigi’s dog tale is the first episode to feature pets. The series began with stories of livestock vets treating pigs and cattle on farms and ranches. The four-to-five minute unscripted “webisodes” highlight a gamut of vet responsibilities, such as delivering a piglet, performing artificial insemination of cows, and, from the pet series, preparing shelter cats for adoption. The most popular episode follows a vet who is a new mother as she cares for calves on her family’s dairy farm, with her own infant strapped to her chest.
According to Rebecca J. Cisek, Senior Director of U.S. Communications, Pfizer Animal Health, “Animal health is inextricably linked to human health. Animals make us happier, they make us healthier, and they nourish us. The role of vets in animal health is critical. They are equivalent to physicians in the human health world. It’s important for all of us to have an appreciation of the great work they do and be supportive and understanding of how they’re doing it.”
Because the series was developed primarily to advocate on behalf of veterinarian customers, PAH products are never mentioned in the webisodes, and Pfizer’s sponsorship is noted only in the closing credits.
Expanding beyond farm animals was a logical step. Cisek said, “Because many pets are considered members of the family and because they age so quickly, we are trying to show the real need for twice-yearly visits to prevent and address potential health issues that may arise as the pet ages. Data show that there has been a decline in visits to vets for preventive care and we’re trying to do our part to raise awareness and turn around this trend. The webisodes provide real-life experiences that people can relate to. An ongoing dialogue with a vet is as important as taking your kids to the doctor.”
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Rania Richardson is an Administrative Specialist for Operational Improvement and Excellence in New York.