In March of 2020, the United States started to experience the effects of COVID-19 a global pandemic that had already touched many other parts of the world. A nationwide shutdown was put in place, many businesses had to halt operations completely. Those most important in our life could not receive the treatment they needed, our pets. Although our pets were not the culprits of the spread of COVID-19 they felt the effects.

No longer was veterinary clinics able to operate on a typical base with poor language in the government’s claim of what was considered essential businesses, only a select few states included veterinary hospitals. This led to many veterinarians and pet owners having to seek out other avenues for pet treatment. Many owners started to diagnose their own pets’ ailments with little to no knowledge of the animal’s health itself. While this occurred, veterinary clinics felt the increasing need to offer telehealth and virtual services.

Today, we see lasting effects of the rise of virtual care with an ever more increasing list of veterinary clinics offering this service to their patients. Along with offering veterinary care via virtual calls, students working towards their veterinary degrees looked to virtual learning services, and mentorship/guidance to colleagues and recent graduates was provided through virtual calls and discussion platforms. The virtual offerings of veterinary care have granted greater access to knowledge of certain domestic pet care further improving many pets’ quality of life and life expectancy.

Pets provide deep emotional comfort to many people and seem like an extension of the family. When veterinary clinics were forced to close many families worried that they were unable to provide quality care by providing virtual access now this can hopefully be avoided in the future.

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