A lot has changed since this pandemic has started. That is probably the understatement of the year, but it is so true. Every industry has been touched in some way or another by COVID-19, and animal healthcare is no exception. The entire veterinary visit experience has morphed into a strange dynamic between the team and the pet owners. “Thank you for bringing Bella in today. We will bring her inside for her exam while you wait out here, and the doctor will come out to speak with you afterward.” I can imagine being in the clients’ shoes and not knowing what is happening to their beloved pets, waiting outside in the cold, and occasionally twiddling their thumbs thinking what is taking so long. I find myself doing a lot of back and forth visits, clarifying historical questions, and discussing treatment plans.
A lot of great conversations have taken place in the collapsible tent situated on the sidewalk outside of the clinic. Perhaps the most memorable one to date that I can recall took place after a young, curious Labrador retriever presented to the hospital around thirty minutes after having eaten a tennis ball. Now, oftentimes this type of case can very much lead to surgery, but since the ingestion was so recent and upon further clarification of the history from the owner, it was not a regular-sized one but rather one made as a chew toy for dogs, I decided to induce vomiting. Minutes later, out came the intact ball…as well as a cigarette. What ensued was a very happy chat with the owner and a recommendation to remain vigilant so that her pup did not get into similar trouble again!