Fidalgo Animal Medical BLOG
Hello and happy June! Congratulations to all our AHS 2020 graduates. It's great to see your faces along Commercial Ave.
We are now in phase 2 in Skagit County. Our plan at FAMC is to continue on as we have been for now. We are hoping in the upcoming weeks to possibly allow some owner-present, socially- distanced appointments. Given the challenges of 6 ft distancing inside our clinic, client access to the building will remain limited for now but we hope to open up as the situation evolves. We appreciate everyone's patience and understanding as we create new protocols that will allow us to continue to serve you well, while keeping risk to a minimum. The health of our staff and our clients is our top priority as we move forward.
We are excited to be launching two new applications to give you more options to connect with us:
1. Texting: During business hours you will be able to engage staff in text conversations. This is great for quick questions, medication refills and you can even send us pictures! Text us at (360) 328-7421.
As part of texting there is also a clinic app you can get on your phone or tablet. Through this app you can call, text, make an appointment and request refills of your pet's medications. Download the app and then text us to ask for your own specific code that will link the app to your account (no new passwords to remember!):
2: Petriage: Prefer to have a virtual visit instead of bringing your pet into the clinic? Or wondering if your pets symptoms are a cause for concern? Petriage is an innovative telecommunication application between you and our staff. If your pet is not feeling well or you have questions, you can go to the website or application and answer some questions. Your pet is then ‘triaged' into one of three categories. If your pet is in the ‘worrisome' or ‘urgent' categories you are then able to start a text or video consult with a staff member or veterinarian on call.
Visit https://app.petriage.com/register?c=6398430719 from your cell phone, tablet or computer to sign up.
For more information on Petriage watch this super cute video https://vimeo.com/200395035
We are excited to offer this new telemedicine opportunity. Please call (or text!) us if you have any questions, or need help accessing the platform.
As always, we are deeply grateful for your continued support, and for allowing your pets to be the best part of our day.
Happy May Day to everyone! We are still doing well at the clinic. We just wanted to share with you the newest little change.
We realize it must be very strange to hand your pet off to someone whom you do not know and can not even see through their masks.
Now when we come out to your car we will be wearing photo IDs. This way you can see what our smiling faces look like under our masks.
First, we would like to express our gratitude to you for your understanding and support over the last month. It’s been both challenging and rewarding, and our learning curve has been steep as we’ve navigated new territory.
At this point, our curbside protocol is working well, and we’ve instituted a number of changes to make the process as streamlined as possible. We know it’s an inconvenience, however, and we are thankful for your patience and flexibility. We are truly working as quickly and efficiently as we possibly can, given our reduced staffing numbers. It’s times like this when we are extra grateful that we love our job!
We look forward to a time when we can welcome you back into the clinic. We miss face to face interaction with all of you (it’s so quiet in here!), but we must confess to having a lot of fun with your pets. They are absolutely the best part of our day. It’s been interesting to watch their reactions as they visit us on their own. Most seem genuinely at ease, and happy to see us. Some are a little shy, but quickly learn that we have a pretty extensive treat selection.
We will continue to closely monitor any COVID-19 developments as they pertain to our companion animals, and share any relevant information with you. We have fielded questions lately regarding isolated cases of tigers and cats testing positive for the virus.
Although the research is still in the very early stages, there is no evidence so far that we can catch the coronavirus from our pets. Our pets are a great source of comfort to us during this pandemic, and we don’t need to be apprehensive of them. The research suggests, however, that they can catch it from us. This emerging information doesn’t change the hygiene and distancing recommendations with which we are all familiar. If we’re sick, we should distance from our pets as well other people.
Again, thank you for your support during this challenging time. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns.
Your Friends at Fidalgo Animal Medical Center
We are feeling like we are hitting our stride in our “new normal”. Both teams have now worked their weeks. Between texts, emails and calls we have shared what we have learned with each other, including little tips and tricks (like bring lots of snacks).
We have some great new tools that not only are helping us be more efficient during these complicated times, but will continue to help us when things go back to normal.
-New phone system. Starting this week, when you call our office an automated system will answer. You now have the ability to leave a message for medication refills, food requests, or to schedule an appointment. But of course, talking directly to a staff member is only one button away at all times.
-New credit card system. We are getting an additional credit card terminal that we will be able to use throughout the clinic. This new, safe and secure system will enable us to process payments no matter where we are in the clinic helping you get on your way more swiftly.
Thank you so much to everyone for your patience as we learn these new systems.
I haven't run the numbers, but I suspect that the amount of emergency cases we've seen has increased since the beginning of the governor's stay at home directive. This is probably due to several factors rather than one specific culprit. Someone in the grocery store mentioned to me that she has been making a lot of simple mistakes lately and she attributed this directly to her anxiety about cononavirus. I don't think she is unique. Likely, all of us are a bit mentally hampered by COVID-19 emotions. With that in mind, we are providing a link to an article which gives a good, concise review of some common household hazards associated with veterinary emergency visits. This will probably be a reminder course for most of you, but it never hurts to review your pet's environment for any overlooked dangers.
As COVID-19 continues to directly or indirectly affect everyone in ever changing and evolving ways, we hope to provide practical and useful information to help keep you and your pets safe and happy. Given the rapid daily influx of information regarding the virus, mistaking now for always has never been so glaringly inappropriate. With that in mind, here are some answers to frequently asked question. This information is based on our best understanding as of 4/1/20.
1) Can dogs and cats become infected with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19?
The general consensus is no. Many species are affected by corona viruses, but not the virus that is causing disease in humans. Infectious disease experts and multiple international and domestic human health organizations (CDC, OIE, WHO) agree there is no evidence at this point to indicate that pets can spread COVID-19 to other animals, including people. Likewise, there is no cross protection between corona viruses in dogs, cats, horses... and the novel corona virus. Clients have asked about using canine or feline vaccines on themselves. This offers no protection and can be extremely dangerous, but it's a good question.
2) What about the dog in Hong Kong and the cat in Belgium?
The Hong Kong case appears to illustrate that presence of virus does not mean infection, and that is a critical difference. All follow-up tests to check for infection were negative, the patient was never sick and viral presence was transient.
The Belgium feline case is slightly different. This patient showed symptoms one week after its owner got sick with COVID-19, and the virus was found in its feces. Some things about this case are still not certain. We don't know if the cat was sick from COVID-19 or if it was from something else and it's unclear what test was used to detect the virus. Having said that, it's legitimate to consider that human to pet transmission is possible but likely represents an extremely limited pathway for the virus. As we currently understand, no cases exist where a human has contracted the virus from a pet.
Our takeaway from both of these cases is that if you're sick, minimize your contact with pets. If you have COVID-19, the CDC is recommending limited exposure to your pets as the virus could live on fur, collars, leashes, etc. for a short time and transfer to other people, though it tends to survive best on smooth, hard surfaces such as counter tops and doorknobs.
3) What can I do to decontaminate my dog or cat, if I test positive for COVID-19?
The same principles of mechanical removal of the virus (think hand washing for us humans) can be applied here. A thorough bath, using a basic shampoo or dish soap, should be sufficient. Wash collars, leashes, bedding, etc., in hot soapy water. Dr. Deb Zoran, veterinary professor at Texas A&M University, goes into detail in this article:
PET TALK: Bathing our furry friends can reduce COVID-19 transmission
Stay tuned in the upcoming days for tips on how to exercise your pet during self-isolation, how to prevent common pet emergencies, and more!
Your friends at Fidalgo Animal Medical Center
We have almost finished our first week with the new safety protocols in place. We have learned a lot. Most importantly, we have learned that we have the best clients ever (honestly, we already knew this). Thank you all so much for your understanding and patience during this stressful time.
At this time, we are keeping our lobby area closed to clients. Every time you come to our office, please call us from your car and we will come out to you.
If your pet is going to be spending the day with us, for either surgery, dental cleaning, or working in, please visit our website www.fidalgovets.com and fill out the appropriate authorization sheet. This will help us take care of you and your pet swiftly and safely.
Don’t forget about our online pharmacy for all your pet’s medication and food: https://fidalgoanimalmedicalcenter.securevetsource.com/index.pml
We hope all of you are doing well and staying healthy. We will continue to be here to support your pet and your family.
March 21st 2020
As the COVID 19 situation in our area changes, so will our protocols at the clinic. We are committed to continuing to provide excellent and safe veterinary care throughout these unusual times. Please be assured that, as an essential service, we have no intention of closing our doors. Thank you for your understanding and patience as we continue to work hard to serve our community.
In order to keep our clinic running as efficiently as possible while observing social distancing requirements, we are implementing the following protocols:
• When you arrive at our clinic, please stay in your car. Call our office at
(360)293-2186 and we will come out to assist you.
• Our goal is to have you wait safely in your car while your pet is assessed inside the building.
• The doctor or nurse will be in contact with you via phone.
• Payment will also be processed over the phone by our receptionists.
• Our regular doctor and support staff schedule has changed. In order to ensure that there is always skilled staff available for you, we have been split into 2 teams. These teams will work alternating weeks and will not have physical contact with each other.
• If you have a previously scheduled appointment with a preferred doctor, it may now be with a different doctor. You are welcome to reschedule appointments to meet your need for a specific doctor.
• Rest assured that the two teams will be telecommunicating with each other, and that your pet’s care will not be interrupted by these scheduling changes.
If you need prescription or food refills, please call before stopping by. Please try to give us as much advance notice as possible. Our online pharmacy will deliver to your door -if you are not already signed up for this, please call us and we will set up an account for you.
March 18th 2020
Our top priority at Fidalgo Animal Medical Center has always been to provide safe, compassionate, and skilled veterinary care to all of our patients. We are working hard to ensure that our veterinary practice continues to be a safe and sanitary place for both human clients and our veterinary patients. We are committed to keeping our facility open and available for your pet's needs.
We wanted to update everyone about some changes that will help us continue to provide care for your pet.
If you are not feeling well or you have possibly been exposed to COVID-19, please call the office and reschedule your appointment. There are no cancellation/rescheduling fees. If your pet has an urgent concern, we encourage you to have someone else transport them to the clinic.
We are encouraging clients to drop their pet off with us in order to limit the amount of person to person contact. We are also happy to collect your pet from your car; just call the clinic when you arrive, and we will come out to your car.
We have increased our already extensive clinic cleaning procedures. This is mainly focused around sanitization of objects such as door handles and other frequently touched surfaces, pens, combined with regular deep cleaning.
While there is no evidence at present that dogs and cats can be become sick from this virus, we have instituted protocols within the clinic to limit transmission from pets to people.
To ensure that our patients get the medications, prescription foods and other products they need right now, we want to remind you that we have a trusted online pharmacy partner who can deliver your pet's supplies to your door. Shipping is free on many orders, and there's also an AutoShip option that will send your pet's regular meds and foods to you on schedule. There's a link on our website homepage or you can just follow this one: https://fidalgoanimalmedicalcenter.securevetsource.com/index.pml
If you have any questions about how to set up an account, please call us and we will be happy to walk you through it.
During this time, we will need to forgo the handshakes and hugs we enjoy so much. We do hope to get a raincheck for next time.
Please contact our office if you have additional questions 360-293-2186
Your friends at Fidalgo Animal Medical Center