Travelling vet enables owners of poorly pets to say their final farewell at home during pandemic

Dr John Rosie with with registered veterinary nurse Lindsey Southam.Dr John Rosie with with registered veterinary nurse Lindsey Southam.
Dr John Rosie with with registered veterinary nurse Lindsey Southam.
A travelling vet is making sure that people in the High Peak can bid a final farewell to their poorly pets despite coronavirus restrictions.

The unique mobile service offered by Dr Jon Rosie and his team at VetCare@Home means animal lovers can stay safe in their homes to spend precious last moments with their pets.

At the start of the pandemic, guidance largely said people having their animals put to sleep had to leave their pets at vet practices and wait in the car or waiting room, to help minimise the risk of spreading the virus, and couldn’t stay with them in their final hours.

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Dr Rosie, who leads a nine-strong team covering the whole of Derbyshire including High Peak, said: “Some practices have adapted their processes accordingly, but being mobile has always allowed us to provide care in the comfort of the pet’s familiar surroundings.

“We have adapted our approach slightly, adding social distancing and PPE to ensure safety for ourselves and the owners, while still allowing owners to spend those last precious moments comforting their beloved pet.”

Dr Rosie, who is based in Belper, extended his opening hours to meet demand during Covid-19. He said at the start of the pandemic, some non-essential animal treatment was put on hold, but end-of-life care would be classed as essential.

He added: “Our motto is ‘pets as family’, and we will always adapt to the owner’s wishes. For instance, we had one owner who didn’t want us to wear our vet clothes - they wanted us to wear our own clothes, so the pet was comfortable.

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“We try to make things as comfortable as they can be and it’s a team effort. Often people talk about ‘pets for life’, but they don’t think about end of life, and it’s something that needs talking about a lot more.”

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With VetCare@Home, the euthanasia visit usually involves giving the pet a strong sedative. The owner can then be left alone with their pet, or the vet can stay in attendance while the animal becomes relaxed and sleepy.

Then the final drug, an anaesthetic, is administered via cannula and the pet drifts off peacefully.

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