Dr. David Paton of Paton and Martin Vet Services in Aldergrove. (Special to The Star)

Dr. David Paton of Paton and Martin Vet Services in Aldergrove. (Special to The Star)

Horse specialist ‘fighting hard’ to get B.C. to vaccinate veterinarians

Dr. David Paton said he is considered an essential service but is not yet eligible for COVID shot

Dr. David Paton, founder of Paton and Martin, an Aldergrove-based veterinarian clinic that specializes in horse care, is pushing Provincial Health Office to include veterinarians in the group of frontline workers eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Right from the beginning of COVID, vets were considered an essential service,” Dr. Paton explained. “Now massage therapists, estheticians, they’re are all qualifying for the vaccine. Nail salons are going to be ahead of vets at this rate.”

Paton’s clinic at 25930 40 Ave. is closed to the public, but he fears the slow vaccine roll-out and any mandatory closures creates a risk to pet and farm animal owners.

“What happens to the rural folks who are the middle of calving season and need a C-section done or have an emergency and can’t go to a vet because the vet is closed?” Dr. Paton said.

The veterinarian is taking farm calls and travelling on site to treat animals.

Two surgeons, both who had tested positive for COVID-19, preformed an emergency surgery on a horse in what he described as a life or death situation.

Typically performed with five people, the two surgeons took on the task and left quarantine to perform the surgery while not putting anyone else at risk.

READ MORE: COVID causing outdoor exams and high call numbers at Aldergrove animal clinics

“We saved that horse,” Dr. Paton told The Star. “It would have died.”

He said that is just one example of how his and other veterinarians have struggled during the pandemic.

“If the secretary comes to work with COVID, then of course, everything has to shut down,” he explained. “Some are relating vets to bringing their dog in for their yearly vaccination, but what if that dog is hit by a car and the vet is closed and can’t operate?”

Dr. Paton said he’s written to the Provincial Health Office about how vets should be on the list of frontline workers to get vaccinated.

“Our veterinarian’s association is fighting hard; hopefully we will be added to the list,” he said.

After graduating from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatchewan and a brief stint in Ontario, Dr. Paton founded the practice in 1979 as a solo ambulatory large animal veterinary service.

It is currently the only full service specialty horse hospital in B.C.


Have a story tip? Email: newsroom@aldergrovestar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

AldergroveCoronavirusVeterinarians

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Oregon spotted frog egg masses near Agassiz. (Fraser Valley Conservancy)
Jumping for joy over Oregon spotted frog discovery near Agassiz

Finding six egg masses could be step toward recovery of Canada’s most endangered amphibian

Sunset Manor, an assisted living facility in Chilliwack owned by the Netherlands Reformed Congregation of Chilliwack, pictured here in October 2020, had its third COVID-19 outbreak declared on April 9, 2021. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Third outbreak declared at Chilliwack care home run by church known for opposing vaccinations

30-bed Sunset Manor owned and operated by Netherlands Reformed Congregation of Chilliwack

Peter Scherle shared this 1958 photo of his father, then-Town Chairperson Paul Scherle (centre) speaking with Queen Elizabeth II with Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in the background. Prince Philip passed away April 9 at the age of 99. (Photo/Peter Scherle)
PHOTOS: Hope residents remember Prince Philip, royal visits to Fraser Valley

Prince Phillip died at age 99 at Windsor Castle on April 9

Sold decals on real estate signs are commonplace in the red-hot Chilliwack real estate market (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy)
Chilliwack homes getting offers the first day the for-sale sign goes up

The March report from the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board shows the market remains red-hot

Fans of the Indian restaurant Shandhar Hut are excited to have a second location opening soon at the base of Promontory Road, but the project has created a financial burden for the restaurant’s owners at the worst possible time. (Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce photo)
Chilliwack businesses getting financial boost through Circuit Breaker grant

A one-time payment of $10,000 will go to restaurants, bars, breweries, gyms and fitness centres

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

British Columbia Attorney General David Eby. (Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Attorney General covers housing, homelessness and justice reform in Surrey Zoom

‘I think it would be really great to hold some sessions in Surrey,’ Eby says of legislative assembly

(File photo)
Youths confront man seen masturbating while walking his dog

Police say it happened Thursday (April 8) on walking path in Surrey

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Robinson Russ, 37, was fatally stabbed on April 4, according to a statement from police. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police name victim following city’s fourth homicide of 2021

Robinson Russ, 37, was fatally stabbed Sunday in the Downtown Eastside

A man wears a face mask past the emergency department of the Vancouver General Hospital. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Calls for stricter action in B.C. as COVID-19 variants projected to climb

Jens von Bergmann says the province has taken a ‘wait and see’ approach when early action is needed

Vancouver’s park board general manager issued a new order Friday restricting tents and other temporary structures from being set up in Strathcona Park after April 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver park board issues order to restrict tents in Strathcona Park

The order issued Friday restricted tents and other temporary structures from being set up after April 30

Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning says the players who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 are recovering and the team still intends to play a 56-game season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Canucks players ‘mostly on the other side’ of COVID outbreak: general manager

The athletes have had a “whole range” of COVID-19 symptoms, said team physician Dr. Jim Bovard, but no one has needed to be hospitalized

Most Read