This last week has brought a lot of changes for all of us. At Oxford Veterinary Hospital we take the health and safety of our staff and clients very seriously. We want you to know that we are cleaning all the areas of our clinic even more rigorously than we usually do and in compliance with CDC recommendations. Our staff and doctors are very aware of and used to dealing with contagious pathogens so we are confident they understand the importance of these protocols.
Another major priority to us is the health of your pets. We want you to be assured we are looking for the safest ways to continue care for your pets during this confusing time. This is a very fluid situation and we will have to continuously evaluate it. It may be taken out of our hands eventually if the pandemic situation changes but, for now, we are adding some additional services to limit person to person exposure yet still care for your pets.
- Telemedicine – some cases can be discussed over the phone, by email, using videos, face time, etc. We will be setting aside time for these types of “appointments” and if medications are required, pick up can be arranged. A charge of $30 per phone/email consultation will be assessed in order to compensate for the time set aside and staff required. We have always done some care over email and will continue to answer simple questions or perform follow up care using this method. Going forward we will have to rely on this method more so we will have to adjust how we perform these services.
- “Curbside” care – some people are more susceptible or vulnerable to infection with the current coronavirus. If your animal is ill and you are worried about coming into the clinic, please call us to discuss this before you come in. We can arrange to get your pet from you outside with exposure to only one of our staff members. They would bring the animal into the clinic and confirm a phone number for the doctor to call you on while you wait in your car. The doctor would examine the pet and then call you to discuss findings and recommended diagnostics or treatments. We would handle the care and then complete the billing over the phone before the same staff member delivers your pet safely back to you outside.
- Limiting exposure in the clinic. In order to continue to serve you and your pets, we need to keep our staff and doctors healthy.
- If you are ill (fever, cough, shortness of breath) or have traveled within the past 14 days please call us from the car for curbside care and do not enter the building. Be aware the staff member who assists you will be wearing personal protective equipment.
- We will be limiting non-emergency appointments and not making any appointments for nail trims until after May1st. This date may change as we all know.
- We will be working in small shifts in order to prevent multiple doctors or staff members being quarantined or the entire clinic being closed. There will be no doctor-specific appointments made because of this.
- No one is allowed into the building. Please call us from your car if you have children in the car or need help so we can come out to get your pet instead of bringing everyone in.
- Help us to practice social distancing; understanding we won’t be shaking hands or giving hugs etc as much as we may wish during difficult times.
Everyone has probably seen these recommendations already but we felt we should post them also especially where they concern our pets.
CDC and The American Veterinary Medical Association recommendations for people and pets :
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the restroom; before eating; after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; and before and after caring for animals, including pets.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue that covers your nose and mouth. Discard the tissue in a trash receptacle.
- Stay at home if you have symptoms of respiratory disease such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills or fatigue.
- Out of an abundance of caution, the AVMA recommends you take the same common-sense approach when interacting with your pets or other animals in your home, including service animals. You should tell your physician and public health official that you have a pet or other animal in your home. Although there have not been reports of pets becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. So, if you are ill with COVID-19, have another member of your household take care of walking, feeding, and playing with your pet. If you have a service animal or you must care for your pet, then wear a facemask; don’t share food, kiss, or hug them; and wash your hands before and after any contact with your pet or service animal. You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home. While we are recommending these as good practices, it is important to remember there is currently no evidence that pets can spread COVID-19 to other animals, including people