While a great many pet owners think of their Vet as the first port of call in an emergency, a surprising 85 percent of vets report that either they or a member of their team have felt intimidated by a client language or behaviour, according to a new survey.
Veterinary professionals are experiencing a high level of intimidation from clients bringing their animals into practices across the UK, according to the BVA.
Many vets commented that support staff such as receptionists often bear the brunt of threatening behaviour.
Those vets who work with companion animals or in a mixed practice are particularly likely to have experienced difficult clients with 89 percent reporting some form of intimidating experience.
The BVA's survey revealed that such behaviour is often related to the cost of treatment, with 98 percent of vets saying that at some time they feel under pressure from clients to waive fees or to accept the promise of late payment.
President of the British Veterinary Nursing Association, Sam Morgan said: "These statistics make for sad reading, but are certainly not surprising. Working within practice we have all either been subject to or witnessed that difficult client.
We understand there can be a lot of distress when pets are ill, but this is no excuse to be aggressive or intimidating to a member of the veterinary team. It's important not to feel alone in these situations and to ensure there is awareness and support throughout the veterinary team.
President of the British Veterinary Association, John Fishwick, said: "it is concerning to see the figures around challenging client behaviour and fees. Owning an animal is an important responsibility and will cost tens of thousands of pounds over its lifetime".
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