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Do Vets Provide An Essential Service?

During this time of lockdowns, restricted services, and social distancing, it has become obvious that we as veterinarians need to remind the public that we are an essential service industry. Imagine for a little while a world with no vets, that means that our meat would not be safe, most of our puppies would die before they get to a year and all our pets would suffer because no one would know how to help them properly or have all the necessary skills to do so and worst of all we would not be able to produce a safe vaccine for humans against COVID-19.

 Veterinarians play many unrecognized and important roles in human society. Veterinarians are instrumental in ensuring the safety and quality of all our animal products, be it meat, or jello. Veterinarians help to ensure that zoonotic diseases like leptospirosis, rabies, and influenza do not add to the strain on our health care system, especially during the pandemic when resources are limited.

 Veterinarians are responsible for the care and health of several animal populations that are necessary for the proper functioning of human society as we know it. I.E.

-     Laboratory animals - that are needed eg to do the testing for a vaccine for COVID-19.

-     Service animals eg. Police dogs, seeing-eye dogs

-     Therapy animals eg animals that visit special needs children and the elderly

-     Animals in shelters, zoos, etc.

-     Endangered/Rare animals

-     Animals that are injured or fall critically ill

 Veterinarians can also assist in disaster situations as the skills that we are taught are transferable to those situations.

 So despite the lockdown, we at TTSPCA – Tobago are still available to give advice, transport animals, visit homes to examine and treat animals, for emergency medical and surgical cases, and to perform vaccinations of animals (an essential preventative service).


Author: Dr. Racquel Small
Last Updated: 2020-07-15T16:44:54.358Z