Corona virus is on the tip of everyone’s tongue right now and has created some crazy new behaviors – some that make sense and some that are just a rip off. Let’s talk about pet care here.

Veterinarians have extensive experience dealing with infectious disease. It’s very common for a client to bring in a coughing dog or a dog with diarrhea or a cat with snotty eyes and sneezing to find out the pet has kennel cough, parvovirus or panleukopenia. These are all very infectious diseases and can be transmitted to the next pet.

Therefore, veterinarians have vast experience with disinfection, separation between patients, and infectious disease control.

And, in their experience, veterinarians are quite familiar with corona viruses. Puppies are often exposed to corona virus before they even present for their first puppy shots – these puppies may develop horrible respiratory disease and die, or recover. Kittens, even older cats, may present with respiratory or intestinal problems and end up having FIP – feline infectious peritonitis – a fatal corona virus.

This corona virus thing is not new for us.

Here’s new: veterinarians no longer want to deal with the humans. No longer are humans welcome in the veterinary clinic. Under the guise of “protecting us all” humans stay in the parking lot, the dog or cat or pocket pet is taken inside, things happen, the pet comes back and the human gets a bill. As vet students, we used to joke about that – we wanted to work on animals, we didn’t realize they came with humans.

But seriously.

Many of us pet parents are human parents as well.

Could you imagine an outbreak of the measles or chicken pox or avian influenza – having to take your child to the doctor? What if you were told to stay in your car, the nurse would get your child, things would happen, your kid would be returned to you and you need to sign the insurance papers?

No %^&$ing way!

Why is it acceptable for veterinarians to take people’s pets? It’s the same thing.

Again, veterinarians know how to disinfect/decontaminate/protect the public from infectious disease.

How about if instead of insisting on non-essential services like boostering vaccines, vets confine their practice during this time of crisis to sick patients? The ones who need it. Have clients wait in the car with their pet until it’s their turn. They can enter the clinic together and go straight to the disinfected exam room. (Probably best to leave extra two-legged family members at home.)

Veterinarians even have ample supply of exam gloves and surgical masks – they could require their clients wear them.

Where is the bed-side manner? Where is the true concern for the entire family – two- and four-legged?

This is a money making behavior. They want the money, they don’t want to lose the business, they aren’t willing to risk dealing with you. What the?

On the plus side, there are veterinarians out there with sense. May yours have sense.

Hoping you and your family stay safe.

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