Veterinary Medicine in the Time of Covid-19


As we reach November first, the number of Covid-19 cases are increasing in Massachusetts and other parts of the Northeast.  We are all exhausted with the hardships imposed by the Pandemic.  However, unfortunately, we need to be more careful than ever.  This includes the way we care for our pets and where we spend time indoors.  The good news is the fact we do not have transmission from pets to people.  The concerning news is that we must obey the recommendations of the CDC and local government authority as it applies to human contact. 

Most veterinary practices provide two ways to provide care.  Some cases can be resolved by telemedicine.  We can receive photos and video via text messaging or can communicate via Facetime.  Sometimes, for some medical conditions we can get a history and resolve the problem without you having to visit the hospital in person. 

Other situations do require a visit.  Appointments for vaccinations, medical diagnostics, surgery and dentistry do require admittance into a veterinary facility.  This is done with the utmost of care and can be achieved without the client going into the facility.  In this case, the patient (your pet) is greeted in the parking lot by a veterinary assistant and brought into the hospital where it receives the required appointment, medical treatment, surgery or dentistry. 

The staff and veterinarian wear the appropriate PPE and the pet owner does not have to be exposed to an environment where other clients have occupied. It is desirable for the veterinarian to discuss the treatment and plan with you and for this reason I like to meet with my clients in the parking lot at an appropriate distance outside, minimizing the risks and creating a social environment that I personally enjoy and believe is an important part of the veterinarian-client relationship.  In larger, very busy practices, the routine may include phone communication rather than personal communication while outside. 

The bottom line?  Your pet can receive veterinary care during this time of pandemic.  When walking your pet outdoors, always wear a mask when greeting other pet owners.  If you or a family member has been in contact with anyone testing positive or showing any symptoms of disease, please advise the veterinary receptionist in advance of your visit.  In that case, a telemedicine appointment is the only good option. 

During these stressful times we look forward to seeing you and your pet and wish you and your family good health as canine and feline companions become even more important during this period of semi-isolation. 


health sciences, animal welfare, veterinarian, veterinary medicine, telemedicine