How Are Vets Affected By Coronavirus?
While the global pandemic has shut down many businesses across the world, there are still a few essential services open across Australia. Some of those services include veterinary clinics, and many are being overrun due to an increased number of people staying home and walking their dogs, playing with their cats and just generally being around their favourite animals. From broken bones to bites from other pets, what is a severe enough injury to warrant taking your animal to the vet right now? Here is a quick rundown of how vets are responding to COVID-19 and the preparation you should do before visiting.
Delay Any Non-Essential Procedures
Just like their human counterparts, many vets are delaying non-essential surgeries and appointments due to COVID-19. This is not because pets are at risk of contracting the disease but because their human owners should be trying to stay away from contact with other humans as much as possible. If you had elective surgery for your pet planned and can manage the risks in the meantime, then it is advisable to try and postpone it if your vet hasn't already done so. When restrictions and coronavirus cases start to ease, so will this rule.
Social Distancing Measures
All vets have implemented various social distancing measures, and these can differ from practice to practice. When you arrive, you may be asked to wait in your car or outside the clinic if there are too many people inside the waiting room. You should definitely wear a mask and bring hand sanitiser with you (although your vet likely will have hand sanitiser there, as well). Vets may take fewer appointments than they ordinarily would to space out the risk and allow for cleaning. They also may ask you to wait outside while they perform any procedures they need to do. Whatever they ask you to do, it is important you follow it, lest you be turned away.
There are no Australia-wide regulations when it comes to specific approaches to preventing COVID-19 at the vet. While social distancing is a broad rule across the country, there is no specific rule for vets. That means your local vet will likely have their own standards and policies that you should look up online before you go. Some may even shut down for the duration of the quarantine. If your pet has a serious ailment or injury, you can get them help during this time, and regular medication will also be available to pick up. Just remember to be patient, as COVID-19 has made everything much more frenetic and likely will cause delays in every area of life.
To learn more, contact a vet.