As of March 26, 2020, the Department of Health declared Veterinary Services as essential and that Veterinary Services would be permitted to continue under the current state of emergency with the stipulation that only emergency and urgent care be provided. Veterinarians are charged with ensuring that this be followed so as not to risk the ability to keep our practices open for our clients.
Under the order, “non-essential veterinary services” means all veterinary services other than those that are;
- Necessary to preserve the life of a pet, as determined by a licensed Veterinarian,
- Necessary to treat serious pain that threatens the health and safety of a pet, as determined by a licensed Veterinarian,
- Necessary to humanely end a pet’s suffering, as determined by a licensed Veterinarian; or,
- Necessary to treat or prevent the transmission of any infectious disease that can be transmitted between animals and human beings, as determined by a licensed Veterinarian.
Veterinary practices are still able to provide foods, and prescription medications – pending an active Veterinary/Client Relationship with the practice. Also – Veterinarians are asked to practice Video teleconferencing and, in some limited fashion, phone call related Telemedicine Services whenever possible for our clients. This is an allowed exemption until the end of COVID-19.
We have received many inquiries regarding initial puppy and kitten vaccinations. As these vaccines can be effectively postponed for a short period of time, we will follow the directive not to initiate at this time. Puppy and Kitten series that have commenced before the State of Emergency with their regular veterinarian are time sensitive and should be completed. This includes initial Lyme and Leptospirosis vaccines that have been started and still need their booster. Otherwise, all adult patients due for their annual vaccine boosters, including Lyme and Leptospirosis, can effectively be delayed a few weeks
There will come a point when we may have to vaccinate this population, but we have been mandated by the government to reduce as much human travel as possible to flatten the curve of COVID 19.
It remains illegal to sell a puppy in NS without a certificate of health signed by a veterinarian. Certificates of Health are not deemed urgent during a State of Emergency.
We remain committed to comply with the public health goal of keeping people at home.
We do realize that should this situation continue for a long time there may be a risk to animal health. Our provincial veterinary association plans to review this policy following the current State of Emergency which is in effect until April 19th, 2020, at which time more information should be available about longer term pandemic management.
Finally, we are proud of our staff who continue to offer essential services during this uncertain time. As we are on reduced staff and hours, please realize that we will continue to service your needs. Phone call and email volume are at an all time high, and extensive protocols are in place for everyone’s protection as best we know, and also continue to learn as the days progress. Stay safe everyone!
Thank you for your understanding during this time,
Carnegy Animal Hospital Team