COVID 19 UPDATES
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