Thoughts for Thursday – Visiting Your Veterinarian During Pandemic

I did not expect to visit the veterinarian this year. Our cats have remained healthy and I’d decided to postpone any annual checkups until things settled down. As it turns out, I’ve visited our veterinarian five times in the last few months. Twice to pick up Lily’s prescription food, then Lily’s health began to fail. As some of you know our dear Lily passed away Sunday from kidney failure. I’ll write more about that when my raw pain subsides a little.

What’s it like to see a veterinarian now? You must wait outside with your pet, wearing your face cover until someone comes out and acknowledges you. A tech or the veterinarian will question you, then swish your pet away into the clinic where he or she is examined. The veterinarian will return your pet and, at that time, discuss their findings and any recommended treatment. Yes, out in the parking lot. The receptionist/tech will bring you any meds, you hand over your credit card, and she will bring you a receipt.

We were invited into the clinic at one point during one visit with Lily to refresh our memory on how to give subcutaneous fluids—everyone wearing masks, of course.

Before you take your pet to your veterinarian, consider how important it is to move forward with regular visits. Postpone them if at all possible. If your pet becomes ill and absolutely needs treatment, you might find out how careful your veterinarian is being in handling animals and their owners. If you don’t feel comfortable that they’re doing enough, consider seeing a different veterinarian.

Some clinics and organizations offer live chats and video and phone consultations. This might be a good alternative for some people. Also, consider wiping your pet down after she’s been seen and handled by someone else. There are wipes made especially for pets. If you don’t have any, it might be worth your while and your peace of mind to simply run a washcloth over her fur. A full bath could even be more beneficial, but you won’t want to do that if your pet is quite ill.

You may be doing what we’re doing and sheltering in place with your pets—oblivious to what’s going on outside except for what you see on TV. So going out to an office or other business that you haven’t been to in many months can be a shock. Be prepared. Stay safe. Keep your pets safe.

If you walk with your dog, for example, keep him away from other dogs and discourage anyone else from petting him. I don’t think it has been discussed much if at all, but it’s quite possible that the virus could be transferred to your pet’s fur by someone who has been infected and I’m not sure anyone knows how long it can live there. It’s good practice to keep your pets from being petted except by immediate family during these unprecedented times.


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6 Responses to Thoughts for Thursday – Visiting Your Veterinarian During Pandemic

  1. I’m very sorry to hear about Lily.

    We have to go to the vet about once a month at this point for a glucose test. Our vet is very good about distancing and wearing face masks and all, so I am comofortable taking my kitties there during this time. Things sure have changed, haven’t they?

  2. Pearl Hilden says:

    Dear Patricia, my heart is breaking along with yours for your precious loss☹ I have so enjoyed following sweet Lily’s adventures and will continue to keep the memories in my heart. I am keeping you in my prayers for comfort and may you cherish your memories of your precious little girl.

  3. Kathy says:

    Im sooo sorry for your loss of Lily. I know how much it hurts I’m sending y’all a BIG HUG.

  4. Ellen Pilch says:

    I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful girl. XO

  5. Betsy Pompi says:

    I’m sorry to hear about Lily. From what you have said, she lived a much longer life that was expected, but it is so very hard to lose our fur friends.

    I have been at the vet recently. One of my babies had to have surgery for a sebaceous gland tumor. I had found the tumor and watching it, but didn’t think it was anything. At the same time, she had a second anal gland infection and that’s what I took her in for. Long story short, she had both things removed.

    My vet does “curbside” care. You drive up, call and they come out to get the animal. Communication is done over the phone. The techs get and bring the animals back. I hate it!

    • Patricia says:

      Yes, it is hard to leave your pet and wait outside, but our veterinarians and tech staff have made it as comforting and personal as possible. I hope your fur-babies heal up nicely and stay healthy over the long term.

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