Visiting a vet during COVID-19

(NC) Many of us have been putting off health and wellness appointments due to COVID-19, and a visit to the vet is no exception. While most veterinary offices across the country are now open for regular checkups and non-emergency care, some of us remain cautious about visiting – potentially jeopardizing our pet’s health.

“Most veterinary offices have implemented processes to minimize health risks to owners, veterinarians and their staff,” says Dr. Juanita Glencross-Winslow, veterinarian for pet food company Royal Canin.  “Offerings such as virtual appointments have made it so that living in the age of COVID-19 doesn’t mean that your pet has to go without necessary veterinary care – the visit might just look a little different.”

So, while the vet may not be at the top of your list of places to go, Glencross-Winslow encourages everyone to make an appointment for their pet’s regular checkups. Other non-urgent medical issues that are best attended to include:

Excessive itching: While some itching is normal in dogs, excessive itching, hair loss, red skin, hot spots and even chewing paws can all indicate a skin issue that needs to be seen and treated.

Wellness visits: Our pets age faster than we do, and your vet may notice small changes in your pet that could indicate the beginning of medical problems that can be more easily and successfully managed when identified early. Also, our pets are at risk of many diseases that are easily preventable by vaccination, so chat with your veterinary team to determine which vaccines are most appropriate.

Flea and tick prevention: The warm weather may be over, but the threat of ticks and fleas remain. Fleas and ticks stay in our environment well into the fall months and only disappear once the temperature hits freezing, making it important to continue preventative treatment until winter.

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