Treatment further away, but vets trained for emergencies
As a retired veterinarian who practiced for 30 years I have been following with interest the discussion regarding the transfer of veterinary emergency services out of the Cowichan Valley.
I loved veterinary medicine: solving medical cases and performing surgery. I miss my clients and all the positive feedback I received from helping them and their pets. However, I can say absolutely, that the worst part of practice was being on call for and attending emergencies. The pager was my enemy. Movies, concerts, family dinners, drinks with friends, sleep: all interrupted by that pager. I found it extremely stressful to be called out in the middle of the night to treat an injured or sick animal and reassure distraught owners, almost always on my own without support staff. Then back to work in the morning.
Prior to starting my own practice I worked weekends at an emergency practice. I saw more cases on a weekend than in a year of regular practice. My emergency medical skills were the best of my career simply because I used them so intensely.
It may now take longer to get to emergency services but your pet will be treated by trained emergency practitioners and their teams.
There are some emergency situations where time is of the absolute essence but based on my experience they are rare. If you want to do the best thing for your pet: keep them away from roads, keep small dogs away from big dogs, have a pressure bandage handy and have an emergency fund set aside or buy pet insurance.
Dr. Keith Grey (retired)