Updated COVID-19 Protocol for Animal Hospital of Statesville
While Animal Hospital of Statesville has continued to be open during the State of North Carolina's "Stay at Home Proclamation", our state has now entered into the process of reopening. Animal Hospital of Statesville has been taking precautions to keep our staff healthy so we can remain open and care for the furry members of your family. Therefore, in order to continue to protect you and our staff, we have continued to alter our protocol as the COVID-19 situation changes. As such, these protocols may change from day to day. Now that we are reopening our hospital to all services, please be aware that wait times for appointment scheduling may be longer than usual due to the volume of sick and emergency situations, as well as the resumption of wellness services. We anticipate, as time passes, that things will "even out" again, and we'll be back to getting our wellness patients in for services in our usual, more timely fashion. We ask for your patience, understanding and kindness as we work through the pandemic challenges we are currently facing.
We are now open for all services, including wellness, sick, essential and elective surgeries (including spays and neuters), emergency care, boarding, grooming and daycare visits.
Changes in protocol:
- We encourage all clients to place orders and pay for food, medications, etc., over the phone. There are reserved spots in the front of our facility for you to park in. Please call upon your arrival, and your items will be delivered to your car as soon as possible.
- When you arrive for your appointment, please call us upon your arrival. If you would like to accompany your pet into the exam room, a staff member will meet you at your car to escort you and your pet into the hospital. If you choose to wait in your car, a staff member will retrieve your pet for you. Whether you plan to be in the exam room with your pet, or you prefer to stay in your car during the exam, we will take your pet to our treatment area for their examination and samples, etc. When the veterinarian has completed your pet's exam, your pet will be returned to the exam room, and the doctor will follow shortly after to report his/her findings and recommendations. If you have chosen to remain in your car, the veterinarian will then call you or meet you at your car to advise you of their recommendations.
- The wearing of masks by all staff and clients is recommended and appreciated.
- We are continuing to limit the number of clients permitted in the exam room with a pet to one person.
- The entrances to our hospital will continue to be locked, in order to control the number of people in the lobby at any given time. This is for your protection, and to assist in keeping proper social distance at this time.
- When you are in the hospital, please follow the social distancing recommendations of staying 6 feet away. We have taped lines on the floor in order to help remind you. We will continue to use our plexiglass barriers in the lobby and our exam rooms to protect both our staff and clients. We are doing our best to continue to protect everyone involved.
The following measures will continue to be applicable until further notice:
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 will come out to your car to get your pet for admitting for the day so you don't have to come into the facility. In addition, a staff member will escort you into our locked facility for appointments. 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 exposure. 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 everyone's 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 Bivalent 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.