Shift in trends during lockdown: A study on veterinary pet animal practice
Abhishek Madan, Ajay Kumar VJ, Bhanu Rekha V, Hariharan R and Nithya Quintoil M
With a purview to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in India, for the first time in over a century, the country has been put under a lockdown from 25 March, 2020 onwards. The present study was carried out to analyse the changes, trends and impact of lockdown on veterinary pet animal practice in select parts of India during this lockdown period, specifically over the month of April and to provide an insight into possible areas of improvisation. The study was carried out by telephonic interview with 30 pet animal practitioners across different States/Union Territories (Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Kerala, Telengana, Goa, Delhi NCR and Punjab) of the country using a structured pre-tested interview schedule. Majority of the veterinarians (60%) informed that there was a reduction in the number of cases they attended to or presented to them. Out of 30, 27 veterinarians (90%) did not change their consultation charges during the period and 46.67% of veterinarians had their working hours reduced to half. An increase of 23.33% of the veterinarians being asked to attend house visits during this period was observed. Invariably, all the veterinarians reported a seasonal increase in cases of parvovirus enteritis and tick menace. Out of 30, 20 practitioners (66.67%) reported that usual vaccines were short in supply while equal number of them reported that the cases of vaccination have also come down in number. Many veterinarians (73.33%) informed that the animal owners they dealt with have started to spend more time with the pets and consequently care more for the pets during the lockdown. There is a considerably short supply of vaccines, animal food, consumables and medicines during this period. Evident number of vaccine preventable diseases such as parvovirus enteritis can result in larger size of outbreaks of such diseases in this period as well as the near future due to the supply crisis of vaccines. The lockdown period has adversely impacted both pet animal practice and practitioners. This period can serve as a potential eye-opener for many pet animal practitioners and other authorities to reprioritize, stock up and mobilize resources prior to such situations if they happen in the future. Adoption of novel techniques such as telemedicine consultation can be explored by the practitioners along with other stakeholders during such situations in the future which will not only help them overcome crisis but also improve the service delivery and consequently sustain positive animal health care.
How to cite this article:
Abhishek Madan, Ajay Kumar VJ, Bhanu Rekha V, Hariharan R and Nithya Quintoil M. Shift in trends during lockdown: A study on veterinary pet animal practice. The Pharma Innovation Journal. 2020; 9(7S): 127-129.