COVID-19: The changing face of veterinary practice

March 26, 2020

A New Jersey small animal veterinarian shares how the pandemic has impacted his practice and explains his new approach for veterinary house calls.

As COVID-19 cases continue to spike across the United States, veterinary practices are hunkering down on precautionary measures to help prevent the spread of disease among staff and clients.

Christopher, Shapley, DVM, CVA, veterinary acupuncturist and herbal medicine specialist at Brick Town Veterinary Hospital in Brick Township, New Jersey, says his practice is requiring staff to wear personal protection equipment (PPE).

“Our staff members are wearing masks and gloves," he tells dvm360.com Chief Veterinary Officer Adam Christman, DVM, MBA, adding that the practice has postponed wellness visits and elective surgeries and is strictly caring for sick patients. “We are still doing laser therapy [and] anal gland expressions … we aren’t doing nail trims.”

Dr. Shapley has also adjusted his veterinary house-call protocols. He now bumps elbows with clients instead of greeting them with a handshake, and he doesn't touch any surfaces in the home.

“There’s no more than one or two people in the home … we’re not hugging, we’re not shaking hands … we’re keeping [our] distance … the only thing I’m touching is the pet,” he says, noting that he will continue offering mobile acupuncture therapy to sick patients not out of obligation but because of his love for these animals.

To learn more about the precautions this veterinary practice is taking, watch the video below.