We have received varying degrees of interest into what we are doing during the COVID-19 pandemic. I want to personally assure you that we are here to take care of you, your pets, and our communities throughout this crisis. As veterinarians, we have been trained in virus transmission and control. Please join us in helping each other through this period.
First, I want to tell you the steps we have taken to control viral diseases in our hospitals. We have always cleaned our facilities with antiviral cleaners designed to eliminate even nastier viral diseases than the COVID-19 virus. We continue to use these products and have increased the cleaning frequency of high traffic areas. In addition to cleaning, we have provided additional hand cleansing products throughout our facilities for team members and clients to use.
We also have the ability to practice social distancing with some tweaks.
We ask that you stay in your car and call us when you arrive. We will collect your cell phone number and use this for the rest of the appointment. A staff member will come to your car and retrieve your pet. You will remain in your car during the entire appointment, or you may drop-off your pet and return later (appropriate forms are required). The veterinarian or technician will call you for a brief “pre-examination” discussion to understand your concerns. We will examine your pet. We will then call you and discuss any findings. Any diagnostics, tests, medications, and other treatments will be completed before your pet is returned to you or a plan/time-line will be established for future visits. We will take your payment over the phone at the conclusion of the appointment. In this manner, we are still able to care for your pets while maximally protecting you and our team members. If you are picking up medications or food, call when you arrive and an employee will bring them to your car. In this manner, we are still able to care for your pets while maximally protecting you and our team members.
If you are sick with the COVID-19 virus, please avoid coming to us. We ask that you follow all quarantine restrictions. If it is an urgent need, please contact us. We will work with the health department to determine the best way to have your pet treated safely.
If you are healthy, we invite you to either come into our office as usual, or follow the steps listed above. We want you to feel comfortable with your decision to join us. We do ask that you not feel offended if we do not shake your hands or hug you as we normally would. We also ask that you limit your visit with us to two healthy people per visit. Our exam rooms are small and we want to practice social distance as much as possible. We are still excited to see you, but we want to minimize our risks as much as is reasonable.
Finally, we will be providing virtual visits. This opportunity will allow us to schedule appointments virtually. The appointments will be conducted with an app that allows us to consult via video and pictures from your cell phone. After the initial consultation, we can schedule a time to bring your pet in for additional tests or treatments. Some visits can even be successfully resolved by prescribing medications without ever entering the hospital. For more information, please contact our offices and request a “telemedicine” appointment, or more information about “telemedicine”. (Unfortunately, this option is only available for existing clients that we have seen within the last 12 months.)
There are some other questions we want to address as well:
The short answer is, we don’t know. There have been two cases where the virus has been detected in dogs overseas. Neither of the dogs became sick. It is not known if the virus spread from the dog to the human or from the human to the dog. We currently do not believe that this is a significant risk, but researchers are continuing to answer this question. If new information arises, we will let everyone know immediately.
Dogs do get diarrhea from a coronavirus. This virus is completely different from the COVID-19 virus. Your dog may, or may not, have received this vaccine. However, “Coronavirus” describes an entire large family of different viruses and there are almost no similarities between these diseases other than the name of the virus.
We will be here for you and your pets during this crisis, just like we were before, and just like we will be when it’s over. If you have any questions about your pets or how COVID-19 affects pets, please call us.
For additional questions, please follow the link to a FAQ sheet prepared by the American Veterinary Medical Association below:
Ed Susmilch, DVM
Brenda Long, DVM
Steve Benzon, DVM
Katie Huggins, DVM
Christina Nawash, DVM
Katie Dubiak, DVM