Emergency Veterinarian Appointment During COVID-19

Emergency Veterinarian Appointment During COVID-19

The current pandemic is causing a variety of extraordinary situations. Here is my pretty exceptional experience at the vet during a pandemic.

April 10, 2020

Never would I have expected to find myself in this situation. As the weeks went by, I became more and more worried about the increasingly large growth on my Australian shepherd Moka’s lower eyelid. My anxiety grew day by day, as did the unsightly bump. We were in isolation at our country home, over an hour’s drive away from our regular veterinarian, whom I’ve known for over 20 years. After many emails and phone calls, our vet made the call: Moka needed emergency surgery. Risks of infections, discomfort and long-term consequences were too high if we delayed the intervention any longer.

I was relieved by my vet’s urgency to give me an appointment the following week. He also provided me with the official documents allowing me to travel to a different region for the emergency. After reflection and for logistical reasons, I decided to explore another option, which was to find a local veterinarian. The first clinic I contacted categorically refused to operate on my dog, as the lump was benign. Although I respect their decision to apply governmental recommendations to the letter, I needed to find a specialist as Moka’s condition was worsening by the day. I finally succeeded in finding two other clinics that, understanding Moka’s discomfort, were happy to help. However, I had to meet their three conditions: not having travelled in the past weeks, not have any symptoms associated to COVID-19, and to have been in the area for a few weeks. As I met all the criteria, I was given an appointment two days later.

It was only at the time of the appointment that I realized the extent of the measures put into place during the pandemic. At the clinic, I had to wait in the parking lot for a veterinary technician to come out of the building to ask me some questions, always keeping her distance from my car. The preliminary exam, which usually takes place inside, was done outdoors. I finally gave her my dog’s leash without having any direct contact with her.

With this surreal consultation, I still barely realized the scope of the intervention that day. I salute the extraordinary service of the clinic and the team that kept me informed of the situation throughout the day. Although I felt some anxiety entrusting my dog to staff I did not know, they reassured me every step of the way.

The rest of the story is pretty simple. The veterinarian gave me a call to explain all the post-op instructions for Moka’s recovery. Payment was also done by phone. I ended up picking up my dog the same evening, once again without even stepping into the building.

One lesson I take away from this experience: knowing a veterinarian in each region where one vacations with their dog can avoid lots of stress, especially during a crisis.

If you ever have any doubts about your pet’s health but are out of town, call your veterinarian right away. They are the best person to help you clear your mind.

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