A Word from Our Chief Medical Officer
The Pandemic One Year Later
- June 18, 2021
- by James Barr, DVM, DACVECC, Chief Medical Officer
This past year has been challenging for all of us in the veterinary profession. The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we saw patients, interacted with clients and conducted our daily lives. One year later, there is certainly reason for optimism. More and more people are being vaccinated, giving us hope that a return to pre-COVID activities may not be too far away. Through the pandemic, we’ve been proud to be your partner in care.
Our hospitals were open when many practices had to close, and we were able to help a lot of pets. This past year, BluePearl saw over 200,000 more pets than in 2019. Of the total approximately 1.1 million pets we saw in 2020, 660,000 were new patients. The biggest jump in new pets seen were those less than one year of age. BluePearl saw 10 times the number of pets younger than one year of age than were seen in 2019. These findings affirm that pet adoptions and additions, specifically kittens and puppies, are on the rise. As pet ownership grows along with the need for veterinary services, we will continue to work in collaboration with our referring community to ensure pets receive the best care possible.
The summer months bring warmer weather and a host of flowers and plants that can be toxic to pets. The most dangerous summertime plants for cats and dogs during June through August include:
With more states legalizing marijuana, there have been increases in the number of marijuana ingestion cases seen at BluePearl practices, making it critically important to educate pet owners on marijuana toxicity. Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC – the most potent psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana – can be absorbed both orally and through inhalation. Symptoms can show in as little as 5 minutes and include depression, lethargy, pupil dilation, slow heart rate, hypothermia and leaking urine. While uncommon, seizures and coma can also occur.
Household products can be harmful year-round, and items such as rodenticide, cleaners and human medications should always be kept away from pets.
For all cases of accidental poisoning, early recognition and treatment are critical to a successful outcome. Most BluePearl Pet Hospitals are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to provide emergency care to pets when they are in need. Our BluePearl clinicians are also available to answer any questions you might have about toxicity and treatment options.
The BluePearl Portal remains the easiest – and best – way to refer patients. Your veterinary relations representative will be happy to schedule time to show you how to send referrals through the Portal, as well as review how you can utilize the mobile app on your handheld devices.
The Portal also allows you to access your records at any time with one simple click. It’s a more efficient alternative to calling for records, keeping your staff available and your phone lines open.
As always, feel free to reach out to your veterinary relations representatives or hospital leadership with any concerns. We’re here for you.