COVID-19: The 'new normal' in an emergency veterinary practice

April 10, 2020
dvm360 Staff

What does "normal" look like in a 33,000-square-foot emergency and specialty veterinary hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Dan Stobie, DVM, MS, DACVS, chief of staff and founder of NorthStar VETS, a veterinary emergency trauma and specialty center with locations in Robbinsville and Maple Shade, New Jersey, reports that because many of the nearby general practices have shut down temporarily or reduced their hours in light of COVID-19, NorthStar is actually busier than normal.

Like every other veterinary practice, the team at NorthStar is doing whatever they can to protect the public and each other, including curbside triage and check-in. But that's sometimes easier said than done when your primary hospital is a 33,000-square-foot facility with 18 specialty services that's open 24/7.

"Social distancing is difficult to do in our office with having to hold for catheters or obtaining ultrasounds or radiographs," Dr. Stobie says, "so everyone is wearing gloves and masks, we've asked clients to fill out paperwork online before they come in, and we also have them pay online when they discharge."

To hear more from Dr. Stobie about these and other changes his hospitals have implemented—and where their ventilator is now being used—check out the video below.