Updated COVID-19 Protocol for Animal Hospital of Statesville
Animal Hospital of Sstatesville, as a Veterinary Hospital, is considered an essential business during the NC Stay at Home Proclamation. Because of this, our hospital will remain open in order to care for the furry members of your family. However, in order to protect you and our staff, we are enacting several changes to our protocol. As our state and our nation's COVID-19 situation is rapidly changing, so too might these protocols change from day to day.
First of all, we will limit our services to essential visits.
Essential visits are:
- Sick and emergeny visits - meaning eye, ear, oral, skin, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, orthopedic injury, pain, etc.
- Puppy and kitten examination and vaccine visits. It is impertaive that puppies and kittens complete their immunizations and be checked regularly to make sure they are growing properly and are staying healthy.
- Heartworm testing - if your pet is not on heartworm prevention, they need to be tested and started on prevention. Heartworm disease is caused by mosquitoes, and it can kill your pet if not treated. It is a preventable disease, but you can only get heartworm prevention by prescription.
- Wellness examinations if rabies, lepto and/or bivalent flu vaccinations need updated. Otherwise, we ask that you reschedule your pet's wellness visit for a later date.
- Proheart heartworm injectable heartworm prevention.
Changes in protocol:
- A doctor will be consulted with regards to scheduling spays, neuters and dental procedures. Some of these might be considered essential procedures, depending on the circumstances. In the case of dental procedures, the severity of dental disease will dictate the scheduling time frame.
- For the duration of the Stay at Home Proclamation, and in order to adhere to the recommended social distancing recommendations, we will be taking your pet to our treatment area for their examination and samples, etc. When the doctor is finished, your pet will be returned to the exam room, and the doctor will follow shortly after to report his/her findings and recommendations.
- As travel is being discouraged, we will not issue health certificates unless deemd as a necessity by the attending veterinarian.
- We will not be providing grooming/bathing services from now until April 30th, or until the Stay at Home Proclamation has been lifted.
- In order to follow the recommendations for social distancing, we ask that there only be FOUR people in the lobby at any given time. We will have taped lines in order to help you judge the proper distance from the counters in the lobby. We are doing our best to protect you and our staff members.
We are continuing these measures, as outlined previously:
FOR COVID-19-EXPOSED (OR ANY SICK) CLIENTS WHO HAVE A SICK PET OR A PET EMERGENCY:
- If you have been exposed to the virus, or are showing even mild symptoms, we ask that someone else bring the pet in for you. If this is not an option, we will come to your car and retrieve the pet for you. Your pet will be taken via the most direct route to our Isolation Ward, where your pet will be examined and treated, in order to limit exposure to the rest of the hospital.
- We will wear personal protective equipment if your pet has an emergency and needs to be seen.
BASIC HOSPITAL AND STAFF PRECAUTIONS:
- We are checking temperatures of staff every morning as we report to work. We are disinfecting all surfaces touched and will wear a mask, if that makes you more comfortable.
- For your protection, we do NOT allow staff to report to work if they have a fever and/or signs of the virus, or if they have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19.
- We are happy to come out to the car to get your pet for admitting for the day so you don't have to come into the lobby. Please call us when you arrive. We ask that you pay over the phone, if at all possible, prior to your arrival to reduce possible exposure.
- We will bring your pet's refilled medications or food to your car to limit the amount of people we have in the lobby. Again, please call us when you arrive. We ask that you pay over the phone, if at all possible, prior to your arrival to reduce possible exposure.
Our staff is doing all we can to continue to keep Animal Hospital of Statesville open in order to serve you, our clients and patients. With everyon'e cooperation, we hope to keep our staff healthy and at work. We ask that you also do your part to help us continue providing the best possible care for your pet.
Canine Influenza Vaccine
Most dog owners have heard of Canine Influenza Virus, or CIV. It is a relatively new, highly contagious virus that we have recommended vaccinating for if your dog is at risk. At risk dogs are those that are exposed to boarding facilities, grooming or daycare facilities, dog parks, dog shows and the like.
We have closely monitored the spread and scope of this disease over the last 10 years. While Statesville has yet to have a positive case of influenza, it has been reported in Asheville, Wilmington, Charlotte, and as close as Davidson. Most concerning is the fact that the outbreaks are becoming more common and more widespread. A recent outbreak in northern California reported 526 positive cases - and these were just the dogs that were tested. I have a colleague in the area who reported that several kennels had to close to stop the spread of the disease. There was one kennel, though, who already required the vaccine in order to board, and they reported no illness.
With these facts in mind, we have determined that we will now require the Bivalent Influenza vaccine for all dogs using our kennel, daycare or grooming facility. This vaccine protects again both known strains of CIV. The vaccine is a two-shot series given 2-6 weeks apart. It then takes another 2 weeks for the body to develop immunity. A yearly booster is required thereafter. This new requirement went into effect March 1, 2019. This means that if your pet did not complete the series by that date, your pet will not be able to use boarding, daycare or grooming facilities until such time as the vaccine series is complete - a time period of at least 4 weeks. If you do not booster the first vaccine in the series within the 6-week time frame, the two-vaccine series will then need to be repeated, delaying your ability to board your pets. Many of our boarders have already added the Bivalent Influenza vaccine to their pets' core vaccination protocol. For those pets, no additional vaccine will be necessary, as long as the vaccine is kept current annually. Others of you will just need to add it to your pets' annual or semi-annual wellness visits.
Unfortunately, this disease continues to spread, and we are convinced that, at some point, it will make its way to Statesville. It all comes down to trying to provide a healthy environment for all of our boarding, daycare and grooming dogs.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call us for more information.