Our Hospital has implemented several new policies in order to do our part in slowing the spread of Coronavirus. Thank you for your patience and understanding during these times! Here are some of the changes you may have already observed in our Practice:
- All of our Doctors and Staff members are wearing face masks for our protection and that of our Clients. We are NOT ill, we are staying healthy!
- We have staggered our appointments, patient drop off, and patient pick up times in order to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people.
- We are limiting the number of clients in our Hospital building at one time. In so doing, you may be asked to wait in your vehicle and be called in for your appointment.
- We are taking extra time and care to clean and disinfect our Hospital throughout the day, with special attention given to all doorknobs, countertops, pens, benches, etc.
INFORMATION UPDATE ON COVID-19
- There is NO NEED to relinquish your pet, EVEN IF you become ill with COVID-19! Please read on! During this pandemic emergency, pets and people each need the support of the other and we are here to support the good health of both!
- There is NO evidence that domestic animals, or any animal within the United States, can serve as a SOURCE for human infection with SARS-CoV-2 (the causative agent of COVID-19). Although dogs and cats have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 on PCR and/or serology, there is no evidence that dogs develop clinical signs and limited evidence that cats do. The COVID-19 pandemic is being spread mainly by HUMAN-TO-HUMAN transmission.
- There are concerns that companion animals could serve as fomites (inanimate object harboring infection, like pet hair) for transmission of SARS-CoV-2, particularly if the pet belongs to someone ill with COVID-19. Although pet skin and fur are recognized sources for human infection for some parasites and microorganisms, there is NO evidence that pets can serve as fomites for SARS-CoV-2. There is also NO evidence that inanimate objects associated with pets such as collars, leashes, food or water dishes, can be fomites for SARS-CoV-2. Information and risk messaging regarding pet-to-human transmission may change as more information is collected. We will continue to keep you informed!
- The following steps ARE recommended regarding your pet’s care: 1. If a pet owner is ILL with COVID-19, she/he should maintain separation from a pet, just as would be done for another (human) member of the household. If possible, someone else should take care of the pet. 2. If a pet owner MUST care for a pet while ill, a face mask should be worn around the pet; hands should be washed before and after contact with the pet; hugging, kissing, and sleeping with the pet should be avoided (as well as being licked); and food, eating utensils, cups, bedding, or other items should not be shared. The pet should be kept indoors as much as possible. 3. For pet owners WITHOUT symptoms, good hygiene should be practiced around the pet with hand washing before and after contact and feeding. Food and water dishes, toys, and bedding should also be washed regularly. 4. If a PET that has been in contact with someone with COVID-19 becomes ill or otherwise needs medical care, pet owners should contact us IN ADVANCE of any physical contact with their pet. Have a trusted family member or friend who is NOT sick bring your pet for medical care. Simply call us from the Parking Lot and we will bring your pet into our Hospital for care, limiting human-to-human contact. We offer CURBSIDE services and convenient DROP OFF options for these and other appointments. If you’re NOT SURE if your pet needs medication or an exam, we are offering Telemedicine exam and consultation appointments for everyone’s health and safety. Please note that sick pets from a COVID-19 positive household will be tested for more common infectious agents and medical conditions typically found in pets. Testing of pets for SARS-CoV-2 will ONLY occur if both the State Veterinarian and the State Public Health Veterinarian agree it is necessary, and the pet owner will incur all fees associated with the collection, handling, processing, shipping, and laboratory fees of all specimens obtained. 5. The good news is ALL coronaviruses are enveloped and therefore readily killed by MANY disinfectants (including dilute bleach: 5 Tablespoons household bleach per 1 Gallon of water), as well as washing with soap and water!