As more and more businesses are temporarily closing due to the Coronavirus outbreak, many concerned pet owners are wondering if their local veterinary practices will be open. According to an article on the Veterinary Information Network website, some—but not all—states are declaring veterinary clinics as “essential services” to remain open.
If you need to take your pet for veterinary care, be sure to call and check with your own veterinarian and/or local pet emergency and specialty clinics before bringing your animal in.
Some states are providing guidance to veterinarians on whether to stay open or not, and what types of services they should provide. For example, here in California, the state veterinary medical association is asking members to use their best judgement based on what types of conditions their own communities are facing.
The AVMA suggests that veterinarians may want to defer certain kinds of non-critical care to conserve personal protective equipment like masks, gowns, and gloves.
Many veterinary practices that are staying open are limiting contact between pet owners and veterinary staff. If your pet needs care, you may have to drop him or her off at the clinic door or in the parking lot and will not be permitted to go inside.
The best advice is to postpone any non-essential treatment. If your pet needs urgent veterinary treatment, always call the practice or emergency clinic before you go. Even if you are not allowed in the building, you should expect to receive phone calls from the veterinary team to update you on what’s going on with your pet.
Be sure to refer to the AVMA website for updates on the COVID-19 situation as it relates to veterinary care. You can also check with your local state veterinary medical association for more specific information.