Local veterinarians are taking precautions during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Port Lavaca Veterinary Clinic’s Dr. Bill McClellan said they would come and get the pet, bring it in for treatment and then return it to the owner since they were not allowing anyone into the building.
“We’re not doing elective surgery after this week,” he said. “We’re trying to take precautions.”
Prescriptions can be refilled, and emergencies will be handled during the clinic closure.
“We have telemedicine, and people can call, and we’ll see if we can resolve it over the phone, but it has to be an established patient,” said McClellan.
Bayfront Animal Hospital is doing something similar as they are trying to keep contact to a minimum, according to Dr. Kenneth Motl. “We have posted information on our Facebook page.” He noted that what his clinic is doing was recommended by the American Veterinary Medical Associaton and the Centers for Disease Control.
The message on the clinic’s Facebook reads:
“Dear Valued clients, Under the recommendation of the American Veterinary Medical Association, we are avoiding as much foot traffic in the clinic as possible. To reduce the spread of COVID-19, we are not having pet owners come inside the building. We are practicing social distancing, and we are implementing a temporary check-in process for all appointments.
“If you have an appointment or drop off scheduled, please call us once you arrive, and we will check your pet in. For appointments, a member of our staff will come out to the car to get your pet from you, and the doctor will call you while you wait in your car. For drop-offs, we will send you appropriate consent forms to fill out before your scheduled drop-off. When you call us, we will have a member of our staff come to the car to get your pet.
“We will temporarily discontinue all elective anesthetic procedures and not place urgency on routine medical treatments. We will also discontinue nail trims and/or grinds for dogs and cats. We want to make every effort to protect our staff and pet owners from COVID-19. Reducing the number of people in the clinic is now our top priority.
“If you prefer a televisit please let us know! You can also register at myvetonline.com and schedule a televisit or initiate a chat with one of our doctors.
“As this outbreak continues to evolve, so will our response. We appreciate everyone’s patience and cooperation during this challenging time. DR. MOTL.”
The Calhoun County Animal Hospital is not changing its routine at this time.
“We clean all the time,” said Dr. Harkey, noting that rooms are well cleaned before another client is brought in.
He said he would not be doing elective surgery at this time but is available to handle emergencies.
Harkey said there had not been enough study done to know if a dog or cat can get the virus. “Everything is changing all the time,” he noted, adding that “it is not recommended to send your pets away,” he said.