In the United States, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no evidence demonstrating that any companion animals, livestock, or wildlife may be a source for potential COVID-19 exposure to humans or other animals.
What a relief! I could not imagine having to endure quarantine without my fur children.
While we don’t have to worry about our four-legged companions suffering from COVID-19, what about the other illnesses such as urinary tract infections, chronic vomiting, or injuries? How do we safely get our pet medical care during this pandemic crisis? Are clinics even open?
Veterinary hospitals have been mandated by Governor Brown to discontinue usage of disposable Personal Protective Equipment (such as disposable masks, and surgery gowns) and donate to a local human hospital. This limits the type of procedures and even appointments that can be performed. A lot of veterinary clinics are getting creative though by utilizing reusable fabric masks that can be cleaned to use for staff’s personal safety. This allows the veterinary medical team to still use PPE to keep themselves safe while also still seeing and treating patients.
But that’s not the only way veterinary hospitals and their teams are getting resourceful. The majority of hospitals have transitioned to curbside valet-style appointments where a team member will come and escort your pet into the clinic for their exam while you wait in the safety of your vehicle. Some are even able to offer telemedicine consults.
The first step is to contact your veterinarian or local emergency clinic to learn of any changes with their day to day operations.
- Ask if they have adjusted hours?
- What services are they currently able to offer?
- How are they handling patient care at this time?
- Are they able to accommodate curbside or telemedicine appointments?
- Are you able to text or email photos or videos of your concerns?
- Do they have a trusted online pharmacy that you can order medication or prescription diets from?
Having a sick pet is stressful enough without adding not knowing how or if you can get them help. Thankfully, veterinary clinics are considered an essential business, so they can be there for you and their communities. Your visit just may look a little different than normal because maintaining limited physical contact between humans during this time is important. But rest assured their top priority is still your pet’s wellbeing.