To our valued clients,
The public health situation due to COVID-19 is a new and constantly evolving situation. While Canada’s Public Health Agency has assessed the current risk of COVID-19 to public health as low, that can change, so we will continue to monitor ongoing developments closely.
Given the recent developments, we wanted to take this opportunity to reassure you of the health and hygiene protocols that are followed at the clinic. This message also outlines changes to our service that we will be using to protect the public and members of our team. We want to be able to stay open and available to help the patients who need us.
The first note is that there is not likely a risk to pets from COVID-19. Virus particles were isolated from a dog in Hong Kong but there is no evidence the dog was ill nor transmitted it to any other humans or animals. The most cautious approach for your pet is to keep them home. If you become ill, have someone else in the household care for your pet if possible. Please follow the “Worms and Germs blog” from Dr. Scott Weese of the Ontario Veterinary College for updates. This is an infectious disease blog coming from an expert and the information there will be more accurate than general news articles. It can be found at: https://www.wormsandgermsblog.com/.
As a medical clinic we are used to managing infectious disease and practice high standards of cleanliness in normal circumstances. We have reviewed and enhanced these protocols in response to COVID-19. Our team will always:
- Follow a strict hand washing protocol using anti-bacterial liquid before, during and after every treatment
- Use medical-grade disinfectant to wipe down all surfaces and equipment between every client
- Provide hand sanitizer to clients in waiting area and/or soap and water in exam rooms
- Sanitize and clean surfaces in our common areas between clients
We are also asking all team members to take their temperatures before arriving at work for the day, and we have advised that they should not report to work if they have any respiratory symptoms.
Please call us to reschedule your appointment if you have any upcoming appointment with us and have recently traveled out of Canada (particularly to high-risk areas as identified by the Canadian public health authorities), think that you may have been in close contact with a confirmed or suspected case of coronavirus or if you have symptoms which could be attributed to COVID-19 (e.g. fever, cough, shortness of breath, etc.). We are happy to reschedule your appointment if it is elective (e.g. vaccines, routine rechecks).
If you are bringing a pet to see us due to a health concern, we are going to recommend “low contact” appointments in as many cases as possible. We ask that you call us from your car or from outside the clinic, and we will send a team member out to get your pet. We will then put the veterinarian or a technician on the phone to get a health history. We can then complete our examination, create a treatment plan and provide the care that your pet needs with short contact between you and our staff. As this is an odd situation, we are not exactly sure how this will be managed, but we will work on a case-by-case basis.
If we have seen your pet in the last 12 months, there may be the possibility of managing issues over the phone. This is not ideal nor recommended, but we must consider ways to help our patients without putting their families and our team at risk. If you have a pet with a minor ailment, please call us to discuss.
We are anticipating a directive from the Public Health authorities that we cancel elective surgeries to preserve surgical gloves, masks and gowns. If you have an elective surgery or dental procedure booked in the next month, it is possible that you will receive a call to reschedule this.
If you are in need of food or supplements for your pet which you would normally pick up at the clinic, please consider using our online store to make your purchase and the item can then be delivered directly to you from our supplier. The webstore can be found on our website at www.eglintonvet.com under the tab “General store”. As of March 16, 2020, we have waived the delivery fee to allow this to be a viable option for clients to have items delivered. If you are having trouble with the online store but would like to have food delivered directly, please call the clinic with your credit card, and one of our team can assist in setting up a profile and placing your order.
If you need medications for your pet, please call the clinic as usual and we will advise you as to how best to pick this up. Please note that there are expected shortages of medications within the human market if this drags on, so we will be limiting prescriptions to one month at a time or an amount that our team deems appropriate.
The comments and protocols outlined here will be in place until at least April 5, 2020. We are actively monitoring any developments and will take the necessary steps to protect both our valued clients and employees. We appreciate your ongoing support and your help in making sure that our clinic continues to be a safe environment for everyone.
Your pet health team at Eglinton Vet