If you have a pet, you have likely wondered about the status of your local veterinary clinic. Veterinary medicine is suspended in a state of uncertainty. We do many surgeries, from spays and neuters to exploratories to splenectomies. Of course, to do this, we need to use sterile gloves, sterile gowns, and face masks. The human medical field is in desperate need of these things to save lives. NY is expected to run out of PPE (personal protective equipment) in a matter of 2-3 weeks.
Further, vet clinics are places of significant comingling, which puts veterinarians and all of their staff at risk, as well as those bringing in their pets.
Some states have already told veterinarians to discontinue all non-essential surgeries (nevermind that there is significant debate amongst the community on what constitutes essential). Other states have done nothing. Some clinics have locked their doors to prevent clients from coming inside, while others have completely closed their doors.
There is no easy answer for veterinarians. I am not currently working, because my first priority is Hazel.
On the bright side, YOU can help. Here’s how:
- Do not go into the veterinary office for routine grooming visits. Your dog’s nail trim can definitely wait. If it can’t, Youtube has plenty of videos on how to DIY it.
- Wait on annual vaccines. Most veterinary clinics have moved to vaccines given every 3 years (distemper, parvovirus, feline VRCP). Those that remain yearly are Lyme and Leptospirosis for dogs and sometimes FeLV for cats. A delay in vaccination in an adult animal is unlikely to be of any significant concern, so try to avoid these visits.
- If you need to pick up preventions or medications (flea, tick, heartworm, treatment for chronic conditions), call your veterinarian ahead of time (at least 24 hours). Ask if they can bring them to your car.
- Do not plan for routine procedures until the pandemic is under control. Dental cleanings can wait. Spay and neuter can also wait.
Please keep this in mind when planning for your pet. Protect our veterinarians too!