CORONA VIRUS UPDATE FOR SANTA CRUZ CLINIC
We wanted to take a moment to update our clientele on our COVID-19 procedures here at Santa Cruz and the impact you may experience at our clinics. As of March 17, 2020, Santa Cruz Vet Clinic remains open for regular business. Veterinary services are considered essential business during national disasters, and we will continue to follow federal and local guidelines during the coronavirus surveillance in terms of operating hours and procedures. Our Asavet mobile truck continues to operate but is evaluating each clinic on a case by case basis and will follow local and community partners advice. Certain clinics have been canceled and the situation continues to be very fluid. Please see our Asavet Charities Facebook page for updates on spay/neuter clinic go-aheads and cancellations.
Our staff is working hard to disinfect doors, floors, surfaces, etc, 3 times a day in areas open to the public. You may notice certain staff or clients wearing masks or gloves to protect themselves based on their own health concerns. Mandatory gloves and masks for our staff are not mandated by local authorities at this time during our regular client interactions and is by the individual discretion of the employee or if they have allergies or are recovering from illness. Regular cleaning and sterility protocols remain the same in the back of the house as per state veterinary regulations and have not changed.
Please be advised that we are implementing curbside check-in during our intake procedures in the morning to promote social distancing guidelines. We will ask that you sign in, fill out your paperwork in your car, and wait in your car for a technician to approach and assist you. We will limit intake into the building and ask that you be patient as we iron out this process. For regular exam appointments, we will try and escort pets and their owners directly into the exam rooms. For medication refills, please call ahead and give us 1-2 business days to refill medications so we can have them ready to go for you and limit your time waiting in our lobby. We anticipate that this process will not extend into our hotter, more uncomfortable months and staff is working very hard to ensure we limit waiting times as much as possible. Everyone is doing their best to be a positive part of this unprecedented time and we appreciate your kind words and patience. We are all in this together.
As of this update (March 17, 2020), COVID-19 DOES NOT appear to be a health issue with dogs and cats at this time. There is one report of an older poodle in Hong Kong who tested positive twice for coronavirus; however, he never had any clinical signs of disease. It is unclear if the testing done was accurate or if the dog was truly infected. He lived in the household of an owner who became ill from COVID-19 and may possibly have been infected, but more likely, just exposed by the human owner. The dog was quarantined until tests were negative; never showed signs of disease during this time, and was then returned back to the owner.
The CDC currently does not believe that dogs and cats will play a part in the transmission of COVID-19 infections. Regular precautions with your pet should continue to be observed, especially for those who are immunocompromised. CDC recommends that the best practice is to wash your hands after handling pets or their waste. As always, we recommend that your pets always be up to date on vaccinations, free of fleas, intestinal worms, and ticks, fed a nutritious diet, kept in good body condition, and of course, spayed or neutered. Rabies continues to be very active in Arizona, please make sure your dogs and cats are current on their rabies vaccinations. Please contact us at Santa Cruz Vet if you have any questions.
One more note of concern; please be careful that you are receiving accurate information from your news sources. There is a lot of “fake news” out there, especially social media. Resources you can trust are the CDC (www.cdc.gov) and AZ and Pima County Health Departments (https://webcms.pima.gov/government/health_department). For veterinary resources, please see www.avma.org, the American Veterinary Medical Association web page, for the most up-to-date information about how COVID-19 may affect your pet.
Thanks, Dr. Neal