Editorial

Editorial – Long, lonely road

Published: September 27, 2017

BY JENNIFER PARSONS

I am pretty easy when it comes to our family’s vet. There I admitted it. Until recently I lived in a household of four dogs and a cat. When any of them were sick or just weren’t right I would go to myredlake.com to see which vet was coming to town next and either book an appointment or head down the highway towards whichever one answered the phone first. We have had open files at each of the vets in Dryden and at least two in Winnipeg. So after two emergency trips to Dryden last week including one where our pups estimated time of arrival was around midnight, I can say two things with certainty. The first is that the Dryden teams have served our community and it’s animal residents well. The second?

We really need a bloody vet in this town.

A few years back while out visiting family I received a panicked call from the husband that cryptically said “blood, dog, get home.” The sight that greeted me that night was both horrifying and hilarious at the same time. Yes there was blood everywhere along with a terrified man holding a not so amused dog on a bathroom towel. Anyone who has seen a dog with a ripped off nail can relate to the scene.

It never fails that the furry part of our family ends up sick or injured when I am not around. Terrible stomachs and I am at the arena. A three-inch gash in the shoulder muscle and I get the “what should we do” call while on the TransCanada. I once quipped to the husband that it would be interesting to see how he handles health emergencies when its people kids and not fur kids and his answer was: “I know to take kids to the doctor.”

Which is the crux of it because we know that sick kids need treatment and so do sick animals. But what happens when that decision means moving work schedules and/or child care because it’s six plus hours round trip and then there’s the added after hours cost that can play into the decision that often goes along these lines – “can it wait until morning.”

Progress is being made in Ontario as the College of Veterinarians of Ontario last year approved Professional Practice Standards on Telemedicine for circulation opening the door for improved client-patient relationships for veterinary telemedicine which I think is the step in the right direction. The last 10-20 years has been about integrating and strengthening medicine for rural areas and it just makes sense to be able to use these features in caring for our animals.

In the meantime we here in the north are thankful for the services provided for our pets in any shape or form it may come. It’s a long, dark highway when four legs and sad, sick eyes are staring back at you from the passenger seat.

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