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What to know for animal care in this time of crisis

Dr. Rebekah Frost

A word from one veterinarian about COVID-19.

1. Although there have been two dogs and one cat that have tested weak positive for SARS-Cov-2 virus particles, there is no evidence that cats and dogs can spread the virus to humans or to other pets. There is also no evidence suggesting that animals show clinical signs of illness if they happen to truly be a carrier. There was no autopsy done on the dog that passed, therefore it is unknown if the pet had any other underlying issues.

2. Veterinarians are still considered essential by the state of New York. Veterinarians have been restricted to perform only urgent/emergency care, and spays and neuters for local rescues and humane societies to prevent overpopulation. We are also doing rabies vaccines at this time. Your veterinarian will decide if your pet has an urgent or emergent need that must be seen. All other appointments which include but are not limited to routine physical exams, routine vaccines that do not pose a public health risk, nail trims, groomings, and baths, are not considered urgent or emergent.

3. Please follow the rules and regulations set in place by your veterinarian. This might include curbside only appointments. Our clinic is not allowing clients in our building at this time. Our clinic is small and it is impossible to maintain 6 feet of distancing between our staff and clients. Please read posted signs and do not enter our premises if it says not to. We are only doing this to protect you and our staff so we can continue to care for your pets.

4. Understand that many veterinarians have had to cut staff back. Please be patient as we continue to try and serve our patients needs with a smaller number of staff available.

5. Please stay home if you are not feeling well. Although pets cannot transmit the virus, they and their leashes, jackets, etc., can act as a possible fomite as this virus can live on surfaces for an undetermined amount of time. Please let us know when you make your appointment if you have had any contact with anyone with COVID-19 or if you yourself are not feeling well.

6. At this time, we are only filling one or two months of medications. We are assuring that we are keeping every medication in stock to fulfill all of our clients and patients needs.

If we do run out of medications, or if medications are on backorder, we will let you know and will hopefully be able to find an alternative for your pet. Many Veterinarians have an online store available that may also be able to fill your prescription needs.

7. Some vets are turning to telemedicine. We are offering telemedicine appointments through an app you can download on your phone called “Teletails.” Our Facebook page has more information regarding the teletails app and how you can have a telemedicine conference with me!

8. Above all stay safe, we will continue to be here for your pets as we can still work. Continue the social distancing, limit your trips to the stores, and let us know if you need anything!

Dr. Rebekah Frost is a veterinarian who writes monthly for the OBSERVER. Send comments to lifestyles@observertoday.com.

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