Nova Scotia veterinary clinic collects pets from cars and uses drive-through for drugs

NEWS AND OPINION – FROM CBC: A Nova Scotia veterinary clinic has taken extreme steps to prevent the transmission of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) between people by locking their doors to customers and opening a drive-through facility for customers to pick up drugs, food and other products for sale at the clinic.

Veterinary clinic collects pets from cars because of Covid-19
Veterinary clinic collects pets from cars because of Covid-19. Pictures: Craig Paisley/CBC. Collage: PoC.
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Clients who bring their cats and dogs and other pets to the clinic have to stay in their car in the parking lot attached to the veterinary clinic and call from their car. A member of the veterinary clinic’s team, dressed in protective gear, then come out to the car, retrieve the animal and take them direct to an examination room.

Contact between the medical staff and the animal’s owner or guardian is carried out by phone. This includes approvals for diagnostics and payment.

When the appointment has been completed, a member of the veterinary staff escorts the companion animal back to the client’s car and returns to the clinic to disinfect the examination room before the next companion animal is allowed in. Clients are appreciative and understanding of the extreme measures taken.

The veterinary clinic justifies their actions on their desire to remain open. They say that their fear of closure is driven by the fact that they will no longer be able to provide a service for the community and for the animals living with their families. I guess they also see a massive loss of income 🙂 .

The clinic has also stopped all preventative medicine and elective surgeries including annual exams, wellness examinations and spay and neuter procedures. The clinic also appears to have divided up the workforce into separate teams comprised of veterinarians, technicians and receptionists who work at different times of day. After they have finished their shift they disinfect the clinic before the next team clocks on to work.

This allows for the easier isolation of a team member who becomes ill with the Covid-19 virus and it separates one team from another which is a barrier to the transmission of the disease. The usual precautions taken by the majority of veterinary clinics in Canada appear to be added precautions including enhanced cleaning and social distancing. One clinic, Metro Animal Emergency Clinic in Dartmouth, has limited the number people in their lobby at any one time.

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