COVID-19 Update 3/19/2020

Submitted by Veterinary Wellness Partners on Thu, 03/19/2020 - 4:48pm

COVID 19 UPDATE

March 19th, 2020

As many of you know, things are changing by the day with the COVID-19 virus and government's directives and guidance.  We will continue to update via Facebook and various articles on our website.  If you haven't already done so, like us on Facebook and encourage your friends to follow us as well.  We plan to continue to provide helpful articles and links as we can get them developed.

Shortage of Personal Protective Equipment

Across the nation, there are concerns about veterinarians utilizing resources that are desperately needed for the human health aspect of this disease.  We want to make sure that everyone is aware that we are not compromising the human health capabilities to respond to this situation should the need arise.  We adhere to some of the most strict guidelines for veterinary medicine, however our equipment is not the same grade as that needed i human hospitals.  We reuse our masks for several surgeries and have recently begun saving them from day to day to conserve.  Our surgical gowns and caps are reusable, being washed and sterilized in between reuse.  We change gowns and gloves in between every procedure to maintain a sterile environment within the surgical suite.  This is for the best care of our patients.  The disposable gloves that we wear are not required to be as impermeable as that of human hospitals.  We are doing the best we can to help support local hospitals and first responders by keeping an eye out for supplies that we may be able to order and donate.

Veterinarian Role During this Time

We are considered essential services as veterinarians are on the front lines of public health through the care of animals.  Our large animal team is the first step outside of the producers to ensuring safe and healthy food production.  They will continue to operate as normal until otherwise directed.

Policies for Staff and Clients

At yesterday's news conference, the governor announced some increased measures that are affecting the way that we do business.  The first is that all employees are to take their own temperature prior to coming to work.  We have asked our employees to do this twice a day and keep a log on their phones.  We are asking all clients to take their temperature prior to entering our clinic.  Please do this at home prior to coming in.  We do not have staff waiting at the doors to do this for you (and we mainly have thermometers that have been used on animals in our hospitals....eeeewwww)

We are limiting appointments to one person per appointment due to the size of examination rooms and the need for appropriate social distancing (6 feet).  We realize this may be an inconvenience and thank you for understanding the need for these precautions at this time.

Schedule Changes and Updates

As a result of the increasing need for social distancing, we have made the following changes to our office schedule:

1)  Orrville Pet Spa and Resort has discontinued grooming and Daycare services at this time.  For boarding, we are open for:

ARRIVALS ONLY Monday through 7:00 A.M. to 9:00 A.M.

DEPARTURES ONLY Monday through Friday 4:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. and Sunday 5:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. (Prepaid only on Sundays)

2)  All veterinary clinics will be closed on Saturdays beginning March 22nd and moving forward.  We are currently scheduling Saturday appointments on May 1st, realizing that things may open up earlier or be restricted for longer than we anticipate.

3)  There is no change to our large animal department, as we are the frontlines for animal health.  

4)  We will be shortening the evening hours at our Orrville location, by closing at 5:00 P.M. every day until further notice.

5)  Our Elm Ridge Animal Hospital is currently planning to remain open until 6:00 P.M. on Tuesdays and Thursdays

Ongoing Services

As far as services that we are providing, we are still allowed to operate as normal as far as caseload, however we have been asked to minimize elective surgeries.  There is a vast gray area of what this means, so we are establishing what we feel is best for our patients and within the spirit of the state's announcements.  So please check below for out best "black and white" guidelines as of today:

Spays and Neuters:  Spays are a very important surgery in the battle against overpopulation of pets and overloading of the rescue groups and shelters.  In addition, it prevents mammary gland adenocarcinoma (breast cancer) in dogs.  The final consideration is the prevention of pyometra, a severe condition that is the result of a uterus infection.  For puppy spays, we are suggesting waiting until closer to six months, rather than at 20-24 weeks.  For castration procedures, these are slightly less pertinent and can most likely be delayed for the time being.

Vaccinations:  We feel that it is important to stay up to date on vaccinations.  This means staying on schedule.  Puppies and kittens are the most vital, as their full immunity has not developed.  We need to try to keep these pets on their schedules.  Pets that have recently been in and need a booster of a new vaccine need to remain on schedule to gain immunity.  Rabies vaccinations are to prevent the risk of human exposure to rabies and are also very important.

Dentals/ Oral Surgery:  Prophylactic dentals will need to be delayed.  Dental procedures that are scheduled due to pathology is vital to preventing pain and the progression of gingivitis and oral disease. 

Orthopedic Procedures:  These are necessary to prevent the progression of osteoarthritis and pain in our pets.

Client Actions

Steps we suggest that you take:

Look into your current inventory of medications.  Be sure to call in to see about refills at this time.  Some things may be in short supply due to other veterinary clinics stocking up around the country. 

If we are out of something, or you are currently using a big outside pharmacy, we highly encourage people to order through our online store.  This is the easiest way for us to approve any online orders and helps support our clinic over larger, distant corporations.  It is essentially along the lines of SHOP LOCAL and you get products that are guaranteed through the manufacturers.  You are also eligible for rebates.   The outside online pharamacies are unable to offer the manufacturer support.  In addition, the outside pharmacies require a lot of staff time dealing with their representatives.  With us being short on staffing, we appreciate the streamlining of the process, as we can approve needed prescriptions with the click of a button.  For information and instructions on how to use our online store, click HERE.

We advise purchasing ahead for pet foods, whether prescription or a regular maintenance diet.  

 

Thank you for understanding and helping to make this as easy as possible on our staff at this time.  We realize that some of these decisions may not be convenient, but we feel that they are necessary to keep our staff healthy and here to continue to serve our clients and their pets.