Veterinary Visits During COVID-19

As more and more businesses are temporarily closing due to the Coronavirus outbreak, many concerned pet owners are wondering if their local veterinary practices will be open.  According to an article on the Veterinary Information Network website, some—but not all—states are declaring veterinary clinics as “essential services” to remain open.

If you need to take your pet for veterinary care, be sure to call and check with your own veterinarian and/or local pet emergency and specialty clinics before bringing your animal in.

Some states are providing guidance to veterinarians on whether to stay open or not, and what types of services they should provide.  For example, here in California, the state veterinary medical association is asking members to use their best judgement based on what types of conditions their own communities are facing.

The AVMA suggests that veterinarians may want to defer certain kinds of non-critical care to conserve personal protective equipment like masks, gowns, and gloves.

Many veterinary practices that are staying open are limiting contact between pet owners and veterinary staff.  If your pet needs care, you may have to drop him or her off at the clinic door or in the parking lot and will not be permitted to go inside.

The best advice is to postpone any non-essential treatment.  If your pet needs urgent veterinary treatment, always call the practice or emergency clinic before you go.  Even if you are not allowed in the building, you should expect to receive phone calls from the veterinary team to update you on what’s going on with your pet.

Be sure to refer to the AVMA website for updates on the COVID-19 situation as it relates to veterinary care.  You can also check with your local state veterinary medical association for more specific information.

 

COVID-19 and Pets: Facts from the AVMA

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has created a fact sheet on Coronavirus for pet owners.

They address common concerns, including whether or not cats and dogs can become infected with the virus or pass it on.  As of this time, there is no evidence that pets can become sick from Coronavirus.

There have been reports about a couple of dogs contracting the virus, but the AVMA says that these pets have not shown signs of being ill with COVID-19 specifically.

Should you keep your pet’s veterinary appointments?  The AVMA says there is no reason to cancel appointments unless you yourself are sick and feel it is best to stay home.

They also advise pet owners to make plans for pet care in the event that you are unable to care for your pet at home.

You can download the full fact sheet HERE.  Be sure to check the AVMA website for any updates on Coronavirus and veterinary health.

 

March is Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month

An important animal awareness holiday happens in March:  Pet Poison Prevention Month.

The ASPCA urges pet owners to be mindful of the following common pet poison hazards:

  • Household cleaning products
  • Pesticides (insect and rodent)
  • Certain people foods
  • Automotive products (like antifreeze)
  • Medicines (human and pet, Rx and OTC)
  • House and yard plants
  • Certain flea and tick products

Feeling overwhelmed about what’s safe and what’s not?  The ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center has created a free mobile app that covers the toxicity of hundreds of items.  It includes pictures and other tools to help you identify what’s harmful to your pet.

Download the app HERE!

 

Proposed PAWS Act Would Cover Service Dogs for Veterans with PTSD

The US Department of Veterans Affairs currently does not offer reimbursement for the cost of service dogs for military veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

That could change with proposed legislation known as the Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers (PAWS) Act, which is making its way through both the House and the Senate.

If passed, the PAWS Act would provide vouchers to veterans with mental health conditions, so they can acquire service dogs from nonprofit organizations.  Currently, only veterans with mobility issues qualify for service dog financial assistance.

According to an article on military.com, advocates of service dogs for veterans with PTSD point out that there is enough evidence that the dogs provide many positive benefits.  These dogs help the veterans feel secure in public places, and can be trained to wake them up from nightmares.

Additionally, advocates argue that service dogs are an important suicide prevention measure, giving veterans a reason to get up each morning, to care for their canine companions.

 

Today is Celebrate Shelter Pets Day!

Happy Celebrate Shelter Pets Day!

Today is the 10th annual Celebrate Shelter Pets Day.  This awareness event is designed to encourage the adoption of shelter pets by having owners tell their pet adoption stories on social media using the #CelebrateShelterPets hashtag.

Be sure to share your story today!