May 14, 2020

Purdue University’s Veterinary Hospital presses on to continue treating Indiana’s animals

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Even while adapting to the day-to-day challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, protecting the health of animals – and the people that take care of them –  across the Hoosier state continues to be a priority for Purdue University’s Veterinary Hospital.

“Animals play such an important role in our lives,” said Dr. Ellen Lowery, director of the Veterinary Hospital. “Our focus from the beginning of this situation was to continue providing exceptional client care and protecting the animals they care for.”

Currently, the hospital is accepting emergency and urgent cases, as well as preventive and elective procedures as supplies of personal protective equipment and hospital staffing supports. Lowery emphasized that everything is treated on a case-by-case basis.

The hospital is continuing to restrict access to its small and large animal hospital reception areas and provides car-side drop-off and pickup to help protect both animal owners and hospital staff. When a client arrives for an appointment at either hospital, they are instructed to call the appropriate reception area to let hospital staff know that they are in the parking lot. A staff member will then come outside to meet them and receive the patient.  The client will be updated through text messaging, phone calls or email as the animal is being treated.

“We understand that this is an extremely stressful time for the client and the patient,” Lowery said. “We work closely with the client to reassure them that their animal is in the best possible care, and we keep them informed during the entire process.”

Lowery anticipates that over the next month, the hospital will return to seeing more animals for preventive and elective procedures, as well as continuing to provide advanced care through the specialty services.  Social distancing, the use of face masks, and other sanitation measures will continue to be a critical component of health protection for clients and the hospital team.

“We’re working closely with the state to do our part to help flatten the curve as we work through this pandemic together,” Lowery said.

A video and up-to-date guidelines are available on the hospital’s website.

rao-dog Dr. Suma Rao examines a dog in the small animal hospital. (Purdue University photo/Mark Simons) Download image

“Whether it’s a pet or the farm animal population, animals are so important to the overall health of our world,” Lowery said. “We want to be able to provide that necessary and, at times, critical care. I’m thankful for every person who is coming here to work to make sure that the hospital stays functional and that we can do what we are called to do, which is take the best possible care of our clients and their animals.”

To reach the Purdue Veterinary Teaching Hospital:

  • Small animal reception: 765-494-1107
  • Large animal reception: 765-494-8548

About the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine

The Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine seeks to advance global animal and human health and well-being through excellence in learning, discovery and engagement while serving as a major referral center for the diagnosis and treatment of animal diseases.  Faculty research both animal and human health, with an emphasis on animal welfare science and the human-animal bond; infectious diseases and immunology; cancer; neuroscience; and musculoskeletal biology and orthopedics.  The college also is one of only a few nationally that educate all members of the veterinary team, offering  the doctor of veterinary medicine degree as well as bachelor's and associates degrees in veterinary nursing, post-graduate internships and residencies for veterinarians seeking specialty training, and graduate degrees in the departments of Basic Medical Sciences, Comparative Pathobiology, and Veterinary Clinical Sciences. For more information visit

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked the No. 6 Most Innovative University in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at

Writer and media contact: Abbey Nickel,, 740-326-0481

Source: Ellen Lowery, 

Note to Journalists: Photos of cats and dogs being treated at Purdue University’s Veterinary Hospital are available via Google Drive.


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