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Suicide, suspected Munchausen syndrome by proxy and pets

Understanding the powerful effect animals can have for a person who has mental health issues. 

Understanding the powerful effect animals can have for a person who has mental health issues.

Dear Editor,

We wish to highlight for your readers, the complex nature of human mental health, its occasional interface with pet care, and the potential implications for veterinarians and veterinary staff. Here, we describe a rare case involving an emotionally disturbed client, referred to as ‘Ms A’, and the effects on her dog.

Ms A, a woman in her 60’s who lived on her own, attended a veterinary practice at least once a month and often every week, over a period of ten years. It was suspected that Mrs. A’s pattern of excessive veterinary visits with her dog was largely a means to gain attention from staff. She was not confronted with this suspicion and she presumably felt no need to attend other veterinary practices


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