Compassion fatigue is the combination of emotional, physical, psychological, a spiritual exhaustion and depletion that can result when we are repeatedly exposed to another’s pain and suffering.

It is a negative aspect of veterinary medicine, and like it or not, it is a normal consequence of working in a helping profession.

You are not alone in how you feel, we assure you of that. There are resources to help, below are some that fellow RVTs have utilized and found helpful.

Please reach out if you feel that you are experiencing compassion fatigue, also note that MOST benefits have an Employee Assistance Program so that you can access counselling without direct charge to yourself, it takes a simple phone call. Counselling can be done in person, via phone or virtual meeting.

General Compassion Fatigue Information from Canada (Nursing study but still relevant):

A book on Compassion Fatigue in Veterinary Medicine. Helpful quizzes, case studies, and worksheets to not only help prevent compassion fatigue before it starts, but also to combat it once it occurs, improving the quality of life of everyone involved:

A book on Compassion Fatigue in the Animal Care Community – cited in several articles and journals:

Todays Veterinary Nurse Article on Compassion Fatigue:


Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention

Suicide Prevention Planning