Your team at Cherokee Trail Veterinary Hospital felt it important to update you on the steps we are taking to ensure the health and safety of you and your pet during this time. First, let us assure you that we are operating as usual - pets get sick and they need our care. Second, we are committed to caring for them and for you.
As an operating medical hospital, we are continually refining and improving our ability to provide the cleanest and most sterile environment possible. As part of our hospital protocol, we always wipe down the surface in our common areas between pet visits with sanitizing products. The client waiting area is cleaned three times a day while exam room furniture is cleaned between each appointment. Additionally, our staff is compliant with medical standard practices for hand washing and preventing illness spread by staying home when we aren't feeling well.
Since COVID-19 has been diagnosed in our area, we are working on plans to help clients with their animals’ medical needs, provide services to clients who are at risk, and trying to minimize contact with people in public spaces. When you arrive for an appointment, please call the front desk to let them know you have arrived. A staff member will then come out and bring your pet inside. The veterinarian will do an exam and then call you on your cellphone to talk about the findings and go over recommendations. You can then pay over the phone, and the staff member will bring your pet back to your car.
There is currently no evidence that animals, including pets, can be infected with the coronavirus, and no evidence that animals can even spread the virus. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wants pet owners to be prepared as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in people continue to rise. While this may be a worst-case scenario, understand that if pet owners are ever asked to self-quarantine or become ill due to the coronavirus, the CDC recommends:
· Maintain separation and avoid direct contact with pets and other animals, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food
· Try to make alternative arrangements for someone to look after pets in case you become ill
· If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a face mask
Additionally, pet owners should always have a “Pet Preparedness Plan” in case of emergencies or quarantine:
· Make sure you have enough food and product to care for pets’ needs.
· Identify a family member or friend who can care for pets if you or someone in your house becomes ill
· Have crates, food and extra supplies on hand for quick movement of pets
· Keep all animal vaccines up to date in the event boarding becomes necessary
· Ensure all medications are documented with dosages and administering directions
· Including the prescription from your veterinarian is also helpful
· Have an identification collar for your pet with ID tag and microchip
· Service animals should be permitted to remain with their handlers.
PLEASE NOTE: The coronavirus vaccine for dogs is distinctly different from COVID-19, and animals do not need to wear a face mask to be protected from COVID-19. Please reach out to us with questions and concerns. We are committed to serving our patients and clients as we have for over forty years. We are undoubtedly in new territory, and we are committed to figuring this out together.
Dr. Ginger Macaulay, Dr. Heyward Boyette and the entire team at Cherokee Trail Veterinary Hospital.