Sask. vets still available during COVID-19
REGINA -- Despite some confusion from the province’s list of essential services, veterinarians in Saskatchewan are still permitted to work.
On Wednesday, the provincial government released its list of essential services staying open and veterinary services wasn’t clearly listed.
“That’s a source of anxiety for quite a few veterinary practices, because’s there the uncertainty around ‘are we supposed to be closed? Are we not essential?’” said Marc Cattet with the Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association.
A spokesperson for the province said vet services are an essential service, and in the list fall under “production, processing and supply chains of the agriculture sector, including animal care.”
Cattet said confusion could have been avoided had it simply been listed clearly.
Vets in the province want the public to know they are still open for timely and emergent cases.
Dr. Jamie Tudor, the owner and veterinarian for Vet to Pet Mobile, said although things have been a bit slower than normal for her business, she’s still traveling to people’s homes to provide pet care.
“[I’m] only doing appointments that are related to pain or suffering of animals, as opposed to doing routine stuff that we can postpone for now,” Tudor said.
She added there’s a number of reasons why it’s important right now to keep animals healthy.
“The human to animal bond, trying to help everyone keep their sanity with keeping their own pets healthy as much as we can during this time,” she said. “As well as livestock and making sure we’re still providing healthy food sources for people.”
Tudor said the way she operates her business has changed slightly to allow her to practice physical distancing as much as possible.
She’s no longer accepting cash and she’s not going into homes of people who have recently traveled or who have been exposed to COVID-19. If those people need help with their pet, she’s asking them to put them on the front step, and she will then take the pet into her vehicle to care for them.
Tudor says while there’s been no proven evidence of transmission of COVID-19 between animals and humans, it’s best to play it safe.
“If you do have COVID-19, it’s a good idea to try to minimize your contact with your pet if possible,” she said. “Kissing them or licking them - those kinds of high contact type things, just try to minimize that risk.”
The Sask. Veterinary Medical Association is leaving operational decisions up to vets, but it is suggesting clinics take extra cleaning measures, and try to avoid face-to-face contact with clients as much as possible.
It’s also suggesting anyone needing help from a veterinarian should call their vet before showing up at the clinic, so they can sort out a meeting method that works for everyone.