As the country continues to reopen and slowly get back to normal, we have been watching data across Florida and the whole country. With ongoing increases in the number of deaths and positive cases over the past few weeks and in accordance with the latest recommendations from the CDC, AVMA, FVMA, and AAHA, we have elected to continue our protocols for the majority of, if not all of, June.
We know there have been inconveniences and your continued patience is greatly appreciated. Everyone’s safety is our priority, and we will start to make changes as soon as possible.
Please call if you have any questions or if we can help.
April 24, 2020:
Many of you may have seen the reports of COVID-19 and animals recently, and we wanted you to know that we are constantly evaluating all of the news stories as well as receiving updates from the CDC, USDA, AVMA, and other agencies. Your well-being and your pet’s health are always our priorities.
As of now, we know that a small number of large cats in one zoo and two owned house cats have tested positive specifically for COVID-19 (the animals contracted the virus from infected humans handling them), but there is still more data that needs to be collected before we can make too many definitive conclusions and decisions. Thankfully, it appears that felines are terminal hosts, which means they may contract the virus and possibly show symptoms but the virus does not seem to spread from there; it ends or terminates with that host. None of the cats died and the symptoms resolved on their own. Dogs and horses do not appear to be affected.
A little side note about Corona viruses we wanted to share because there has been some incomplete or confusing information out there. The Corona family of viruses is large and infects numerous species. There are multiple cat Corona viruses that are very common so please don’t panic if you hear about a cat that has Corona- it is feline specific and not transmissible to humans.
We also have good news about animal testing. We have been an IDEXX only clinic for years and this lab is consistently on the cutting edge of veterinary diagnostics. They are now offering COVID-19 tests that are animal specific, because we know the human test has not been shown to be reliable in pets. They have already performed over 5000 tests on dogs, cats, and horses with no positives. We can order this test under very strict guidelines as follows:
- The pet is living in a household with a human who has COVID-19 or has tested positive for the virus
- The pet has already been tested for more common infections that a veterinarian has ruled out
- The pet (particularly cats and ferrets) is showing clinical signs consistent with COVID-19
It is important to remember that the spread to cats appears to be very rare and other species do not seem to be affected at all. It is recommended that we take the following precautions if a pet owner either tests positive for, has been exposed to, or is showing symptoms of COVID-19:
- Let someone else care for your pet(s); avoid contact with them
- Call us immediately if a pet that has been exposed and is showing symptoms so we can guide you and consult with Public Health Authorities
- Keep all cats indoors
- Continue all good sanitation and distancing guidelines for everyone’s protection
These are still stressful times, and we wanted to keep you updated so hopefully you will not have to worry unnecessarily about your pets. This is still a changing pandemic, and we are learning more and more each day. For now, use good protection, stay safe, and snuggle with your furry babies- I do every night. If anything changes, we will let you know as soon as possible.
Dr. C. Michael Hayes
March 24, 2020:
Effective immediately, Williamsburg Veterinary Clinic will be taking the following steps to protect our clients and staff:
1) We will be suspending any elective tech visits such as nail trims, baths, etc.
2) We ask that you please use our drive-thru for picking up medications and foods instead of coming into the building.
3) We are asking owners to please stay in your car and call when you arrive; we will be having a staff member come out to the car to bring pet into building and/or escort you and your pet into a designated exam room; if your pet is seen without you, we will be giving you a report or communications after your pet’s exam and treatment.
4) Please use our online store on our website (williamsburgvetclinic.com) whenever possible for food and medication refills- these products can be delivered directly to your home; if you order Sentinel, NexGard, or Revolution Plus thru our online store, we will be honoring the raffle tickets and extra stamps during this crisis.
5) We are going to be using phone and email communications more to limit exposure in the clinic; please call or send an email or pictures if there is a case where we can try to help without having to bring your pet into the clinic (only applies if pet is already established).
6) Please call and inquire about drop-off appointments (some limitations apply); this service is only for established clients and pets.
7) We will be limiting elective procedures- spays, neuters, etc. in order to conserve very limited sterile supplies at this time; we will be performing advanced, necessary dental procedures and any emergent or critical surgeries; please call for details and scheduling.
8) We are suspending visitations for any hospitalized pets unless it is a life-threatening situation.
9) We ask that only one client accompany pet(s) if possible; we understand that this may not always be possible and we will accommodate if we can.
10) We will be updating you as quickly as possible with any other changes; we will have signs on the front doors with current information as well.
PLEASE STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK FOR ANY REASON OR IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE BEEN EXPOSED; ANYONE SHOWING ANY SYMPTOMS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED INTO THE BUILDING.
We are planning on being here in whatever capacity the circumstances permit and will find some way to help you and your pets if possible. Thank you for being so patient during these trying times. Stay safe and healthy.