March 16, 2020
We are very aware that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is creating challenges for all of us, personally and professionally. First and most importantly, we hope that your family and your pet(s) are remaining safe and healthy. We want to keep you updated with our recommendations as well as the steps we are taking in order to continue offering the care your pets need while providing you, and our associates a safe environment.
At Oronoque, we keep our hospital clean and disinfected, and we have increased the frequency of these cleanings in accordance with CDC recommendations to help ensure the safety of both our clients and associates. Similarly, handwashing hygiene is incredibly important in a hospital, a step we continue to emphasize to staff and clients. We always provide options for hand cleaning for clients and staff members, and we work closely with our teams to make sure that anyone who is not feeling well understands that we support them staying home.
What do I do if I have been exposed to the coronavirus while my pet needs care?:
In order to help us continue to serve pets in need, we ask that our clients who have recently traveled to a high-risk country, had any exposure to symptomatic or confirmed positive cases, or confirmed positive themselves not bring their pets in the hospital unless they are having a medical emergency.
If your pet is due for routine care, (annual exams, vaccines, dental cleanings, nail trims, or any other non-urgent appointments), please call us to discuss rescheduling to a later time. If it is determined that your appointment cannot be rescheduled for medical reasons, and your appointment is necessary, we ask that you have a healthy family member or friend bring your pet to the visit.
I have not been exposed and my pet is scheduled for a visit or is sick.
If your pet is sick or scheduled for routine care, we are open and fully operational. We recommend you follow these simple steps:
Text Messaging/Email: You can send and receive texts or emails with our staff. Texting is only available during operating hours and response times vary. Emails may be directed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Home Delivery: Pet food and medications may be ordered directly through our online pharmacy.
We know many of our clients consider their pets members of the family and, as such, are concerned about the health of ALL family members. When it comes to the health of your pet, your veterinarian is your best resource! Here is what you should know about COVID-19 and pets:
What is the Coronavirus impact on pet health?
Can dogs or cats get COVID-19?
Based on what we know currently there is limited evidence to support risk of COVID-19 to your pet and no evidence that you are at risk from your pet.
What if my pets not feeling well or is showing signs of flu-like illness?
If your pet shows any signs of illness, such as coughing, sneezing or lethargy, call us immediately, and keep them indoors to prevent further spread. Signs of illness in dogs and cats are usually associated with various common viral and bacterial infections (kennel cough, canine flu, etc.) that are neither coronaviruses nor transmissible to people.
Should my pet wear a mask?
No. There’s no scientific evidence that face masks protect pets from infectious diseases or air pollutants, and masks have the potential to be unnecessarily scary or uncomfortable for pets.
Should I get my pet tested for COVID-19?
At this time, testing pets for COVID-19 virus is unwarranted, as there is currently no indication that apparently healthy and unexposed pets should be tested for the virus.
Where can I get more information on COVID-19?
You can get the latest information from reputable sources such as:
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
World Small Animal Veterinary Association: Coronavirus & Companion Animals Advice: https://wsava.org/…/the-new-coronavirus-and-companion-anim…/
World Organization for Animal Health (OIE): Questions and Answers on the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): https://www.oie.int/…/questions-and-answers-on-2019novel-c…/
Please be rest assured that we are monitoring this situation closely and we will continue to consult and seek input from internal and external experts to provide the best guidance and advice for you, our valued clients. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions or concerns.
Why Calming Medications May Need to Be Given to Your Pet While in the Clinic
Do you have a fear of going to the doctor or the dentist? How does that make you feel? Or perhaps you know someone who gets anxious just thinking about going to the doctor or dentist? Your pet may feel the same way about going to the veterinary clinic.
If your dog shakes, pants, acts restless, or will not take treats from the veterinary team while being examined, he is experiencing the same kind of anxiety. If your cat does not want to come out of her carrier, hisses or tries to jump off the table when being examined, she is also experiencing anxiety. It is important to know that when your pet shows these behaviors, they are not misbehaving but it is their way of saying that they are fearful, anxious and stressed (abbreviated FAS). They are acting this way because they feel threatened.
This is a natural response and is quite common, as going to a veterinary clinic can be as stressful for your pet as going to the dentist is for you. Why is it so stressful? It is because your pet perceives the different sounds and smells of a veterinary clinic, along with seeing other animals and new people, as alarming or dangerous. If you are taking your pet to a Fear Free practice, you will notice that they do things differently. They will offer your pet treats. You may hear soft music playing. The veterinarian may sit on floor to examine your dog or examine your cat in their carrier. These actions are meant to reduce your pet’s level of FAS. In some cases, despite the veterinary team’s efforts to reduce FAS, your pet may be still be fearful, anxious and stressed and may require a medication to calm them so that the examination or procedures can be completed with minimal stress to your pet.
Why would a dog or cat require medications to calm them?
When dogs and cats are showing signs of FAS, they are not only frightened, but they are also having a negative experience. In other words, they are having a bad day! Recognizing the signs of FAS early and giving calming medications to reduce FAS, will benefit your pet by allowing them to have a better experience. Because they are calm, they will not struggle and the veterinary team will be able to complete the examination, clip their nails, treat an infected ear or other types of procedures. Providing a positive experience is in the best interest of your pet. An additional bonus: the memory of a positive experience for one visit may allow the next visit to be less scary and stressful for your pet.
What kinds of situation would in-clinic administration of calming medications be required?
What types of medications are used?
If you are anxious and stressed going to your dentist, you may have been prescribed an anti-anxiety medication. Similarly, your pet with FAS will receive an anti-anxiety medication to calm them. These medications are used in people and some of these medications have also been developed specifically for dogs and/or cats. There are several different medications, so your veterinarian will decide the right medication for your pet. These medications are safe and well tolerated.
What to expect after you pet has been given a calming medication?
Depending upon the types of medications used, they may return to their regular routine and act normally, once they get home. With other medications, you may notice that once your pet is at home, they may be a little sleepy. Since most of these medications have a short duration of action, your pet should be back to their normal routine within a few hours. They will usually eat a small meal and you can take them for a leash walk. It is best if you do not let them outside by themselves until the following day. Your veterinarian will provide specific instruction for what to do once you return home with your pet.
What questions should you ask your veterinarian if your pet requires calming medications to be given in the clinic?
Conclusion: Medications given in the clinic to calm your pet are often necessary for pets that are showing a moderate to high level of FAS or if the diagnostic or treatment procedures will be stressful. These medications are beneficial to keep you pet calm for the current visit and may make the next visit easier for your pet.
(Information provided by Sharon L. Campbell, DVM, MS, of fearfreehappyhomes.com)
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