Veterinary workers continue pet care during pandemic

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With different protocol is place, emergency pet facilities such as the Arizona Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Center remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To ensure the health and well-being of pets, their families and staff members, AVECCC updated its policies and procedures on how patients can be received, new waiting “room” areas, changes in patient visitations and more, according to a press release.

AVECCC, 86 W Juniper Ave. in Gilbert, is taking extra measures to remain open and safe for patients and employees as necessary precautions have been taken during the COVID-19 outbreak by observing new policies and COVID-19 procedures to help reduce the spread of the Coronavirus.

In addition to staff following an updated and rigorous hourly cleaning and disinfection protocol, especially in high traffic/touch areas including the lobby, exam rooms, and tablets,.

Employees always wear gloves when handling patients and are disinfecting their hands between each patient and client, the release said, encouraging employees or anyone with a fever, cough, and shortness of breath to stay home from work, added the release.

During COVID-19 the pet ER advises:

  • Clients are required to wait in their vehicles or outside with appropriate “social distancing,” and staff will send a text message or call on the phone number provided when the team is ready for the pet.
  • You may experience longer than normal wait times due to increased patient volume and/or altered staffing levels, but be assured that your pet’s health is top concern.
  • Say if you or someone in your household has had any exposure or symptoms of COVID-19 so veterinary staff can make special arrangements to limit exposure and call from your car to discuss the situation.
  • There is minimal to no client visitation. If granted, limited to one family member and only owners without respiratory symptoms can visit their pet. Exceptions: end of life consultations/euthanasias or critical ICU patients.
  • No personal items can be kept with the pet while hospitalized including blankets, toys, collars, leashes etc.
  • Respect social distancing recommendation.

Staff is staying informed through the American Veterinary Medical Association, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the World Health Organization, the release said.

There is no current evidence to indicate that pets become ill with COVID-19 or that they spread it to other animals, including people, noted the release.

Infectious disease experts, as well as the CDC, OIE, and WHO indicate there is no evidence to suggest that pet dogs or cats can be a source of infection or spread COVID-19, according to the AVMA.

More investigation is underway and will be updated as received. However, always wash your hands before and after interacting with animals, the release added.

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