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New Mexico vet has to choose what animals need emergency care during ‘stay at home’ order

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ANTHONY, New Mexico (KTSM)– Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s stay at home order in New Mexico says veterinarians can still operate but only for emergency veterinary and livestock services.

Dr. Tiffany Whitten a large animal veterinarian says having to pick and choose what animals to treat can be difficult and potentially cause problems later for the livestock industry.

“It’s pretty hard to draw the line on what’s an emergency and what’s not,” said Dr. Tiffany Whetten a Large Animal Veterinarian.

Dr. Whetten’s office isn’t the same as most. She works out of her pick up truck driving around Southern New Mexico, treating livestock.

Dr. Whetten working form her truck.

This time of year Dr. Whetten says many baby cows and horses are being born. Explaining that complications during birth could mean the loss of both the mom and baby.

This could be detrimental for a farmer or rancher whose lively hood depends on that livestock according to Dr. Whetten.

“Just the other day I had to do a c-section on a cow that wasn’t able to have her calf normally. Just another example of something that can’t necessarily wait you know the baby had to be taken care of,” said Dr. Whetten.

During Spring livestock need their vaccinations to prevent them from getting viruses according to Dr. Whetten. Adding if she doesn’t vaccinate now, we could see more animal viruses pop up later in the year.

Dr. Whetten giving a horse a shot.

“If we skip out we are opening the door to letting those come in,” said Dr. Whetten. “The viruses and bacterial diseases come in making them harder to treat in the future because they’re spreading quicker.”

Dr. Whetten says she is now asking livestock owners if they themselves can monitor sick animals and report back to her in order to see if the situation requires immediate attention or if it can wait.

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