During the quarantine time, Purdue CVM (along with the majority of other veterinary colleges, clinics, and other healthcare facilities) adopted an emergency or medically urgent and necessary schedule in an effort to reduce the caseload and the number of faculty and staff required to be in the hospital.
But what does that mean?
In the large animal hospital, these terms can take on a lot of different meanings. For our equine ambulatory service, it pretty much means business as usual (with social distancing, masks, and fewer interaction when possible) with only a few things deemed not medically urgent, such as any elective procedures and some breeding work. In an area where vector-borne disease is prevalent and vaccination is key to preventing these diseases, even routine wellness is medically necessary.
In the hospital, a lot more can be pared down. Obviously, emergencies like traumatic injuries, colic, abscesses, neurologic disease, choke, bloat, dystocia, neonatal emergencies, etc. are still medically necessary. But beyond that, many procedures deemed as elective – including a lot of orthopedic and laparoscopic procedures – were rescheduled.
This did not mean that the hospital was terribly slow; spring in the large animal hospital is plenty busy, so there was no shortage of emergencies and medically necessary procedures to be completed.
At this time, Indiana is beginning a slow re-opening, and with that, the veterinary hospital is also slowly beginning to increase the cases they are seeing, and re-scheduling the back-log of cancelled and postponed appointments.
If you are looking to schedule appointments for your pets – large or small – please be patient with any restrictions your clinic may have, and be respectful if they ask you to postpone an appointment for more urgent cases at this time. Your veterinarians (university and private clinics alike) are working very hard to do the best for your pets while also ensure human safety during this difficult time as well.