Notice to our clients during the Covid-19 Pandemic

This virus is a novel (new) virus. This means that as far as doctors can tell, people have never been exposed to it. Because of this fact we do not have any resistance (immunity) to the virus. Most people (80%) do not become severely ill, however 20% of those who are exposed, require hospitalization. What about my dog or cat?

There is no evidence that dogs or cats can become ill or be carriers of this Corona virus. Your pets can act like a surface (fomite) resulting in exposure to the virus. An example of this, is as follows. If Fred is infected with the virus and he coughs, sneezes or touches a surface, then Jim touches that surface, Jim gets the virus on his hands. If Jim touches his face or eyes, he will become sick from the virus. Another example would be if Fred coughs on his dog and Jim pets the dog, again Jim would get the virus on his hand.. Some good news here, the virus doesn’t live as long on porous surfaces like a dogs fur or cardboard, it lives quite a while on plastic and metal surfaces. What does this mean to you and your pet?

If you feel you have symptoms of Corona virus, sore throat, fever, aches and pains, and a dry cough, call your doctor and self quarantine. Try to limit close contact with you pet. Consider having another family member care for the pet until you are better (14-20 days) or found to have a negative test. If you feel you have the virus and your pet needs to see us for some reason, call us for instructions.

Please always inform our front desk if you have an appointment and feel you may have been exposed to the virus or that you feel sick. The FDA has given us (veterinarians) great leeway in diagnosing and treating pets through phone consults during this outbreak.

With spring now arriving it is nice to get out and walk with your dog. Try to stay away from dog parks or areas with a lot of dogs. Do not pet other peoples dogs and do not let your dog come into contact physically with other dogs. Always practice social distance of a least 6 feet from others and their pets. Try to enjoy the coming nice weather with your pet, but take precautions. Wash your hands frequently and try to not touch your face or rub your eyes,

We at the West Jefferson Animal Hospital have been declared an essential service. We will stay open to attend to your pets health needs. At this time we will be open to attend to sick pets, emergencies, pets in vaccinations series, and those requiring fluids or health saving injections, procedures and surgeries. We will not be offering wellness visits (yearly vaccines, heartworm test, etc.) at this time. All visits to our hospital will be curbside. this basically means that “no people allowed” inside our hospital. Pets only, when you arrive for an appointment or to pick up a prescription or food, call our office and we will come to your car. For appointments, a staff member will escort your pet from the car into our building.

Some final things to consider. With the wet and mild winter we are already seeing ticks. fleas and mosquitoes. We strongly recommend that you get your dog or cat started on flea/tick preventative as soon as possible. Call our office and we can dispense these preventatives as requested. Another big concern is Heartworm prevention. This worm is carried by mosquitoes and we need to make sure your dog and outdoor cat is protected. Normally we require a heartworm blood test for dogs before starting preventative. During this pandemic we can waive the heartworm test and dispense up to 3 months of Heartgard plus to dogs and Revolution plus or Advantage Multi to cats. We can not dispense Heartworm prevention other than Heartgard or Heartgard plus to dogs without a test. Once we start wellness visits you can bring your dog in for a heartworm test and switch to a preventative of your choice. If your dog is under 6 months old or has a current heartworm test, you can purchase any preventative you prefer.

If your pet is due for yearly vaccinations we can not do those at this time. No need for concern, the vaccination immunity does not end right at 12 months. Your pet is probably safe for up to 2 months after the 1 year date, We will get them in for their vaccination when we open to wellness visits. Try to stay away from dog parks and high dog traffic areas if your pet is past due on vaccinations. Try to keep your past due cat inside.

Thank you for your understanding during this pandemic. Some of these policies and possibly our open hours may change through the course of this pandemic. You can call or use our app or go to our website for more information.

Thank you, the Doctors and staff of the West Jefferson Animal Hospital