COVID-19: Update March 29, 2020
The Alberta Government has listed veterinary medicine as an essential service so we will fortunately be there to continue to provide excellence in veterinary care for our patients.
The whole team at Lessard Caliingwood Veterinary appreciates everyone’s understanding and patience as we have had to adapt to the new and hopefully temporary social distancing measures. I am sure your pets are trying to figure out what has happened with all their new routines! We have been enjoying your pictures of working with pets from home.
Our team will continue to deliver food/medications to your car or arrange home delivery. We offer prepayment via e-transfer, and we also have a mobile debit/credit terminal to accept payment at your vehicle. To have your order ready just give us advance notice by phone or email.
Our hospital will be prioritizing appointments for those pets with health issues but we also will keep puppies, kittens and other high risk pets(due for rabies and go outdoors) vaccines updated. If your pet is doing well but needs an ongoing prescriptions or medications for deworming/ tick prevention we can currently refill those over the phone. Bookings for surgeries and dental procedures will be individually assessed on an ongoing basis. At this time there is a shortage of PPE (face masks, gloves) worldwide so we are limiting our use to ensure availability for the public health sector.
For your pet’s appointment, just call upon arrival and a team member will retrieve him/her at your vehicle or out in front of our hospital-just remind us what treats they like so we have them ready!
If your pet is in contact with a household member who is ill, diagnosed with COVID-19 (or awaiting testing), travelled by airline in the last 14 days or are in self-isolation as per Alberta Health please let us know. We can then decide if our team should post-pone their routine visits for a few weeks, or if we can assess and treat with a telemedicine appointment or if we need to make arrangements to examine them in hospital. We will work with you to provide the best care possible.
Any new updates about COVID-19 in pets?
Two dogs worldwide have been shown to carry the virus but they were not experiencing symptoms. One cat has now tested positive for COVID-19 and was also in a home with an owner that was already ill with COVID-19. Therefore it is still recommended that if you are experiencing potential symptoms of COVID-19 then if possible limit your contact with your pet including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked and sharing food. If this is not possible please wash hands before and after interaction with pets and wear a facemask and keep your pet indoors. The virus will stay on cloth items longer so removing bandanas is recommended. Again, we have not seen any cases of pet-human transmission but this is being closely monitored. If you’re worried about getting COVID-19, worry about your human contacts, not your pets. Keep pets away from high risk people, but otherwise, your risk is from exposure to people, not your pet.
Our vet care team thanks you for your continued support as we work together to ensure the best care for your pet.
Susan Lapointe D.V.M.
COVID-19: A Public Health Emergency-March 18
Effective immediately, clients will no longer be permitted to enter Lessard Callingwood Veterinary Hospital. This is to ensure the the safety and health of other clients, their pets and our vet care team. We ask that you or a family member call us upon arrival for all appointments, food and prescription pick ups in order for our team to assist you further.
If you or a family member is ill, diagnosed with COVID-19 (or awaiting testing), travelled internationally in the last 14 days or are in self-isolation as per Alberta Health assessment, please let us know so our team can prepare for appropriate health and safety measures upon your arrival.
How we are planning for your pet’s health:
All week we have been developing protocols to ensure we have the best care available for your pet. The most obvious, of course, has been additional cleaning and sanitizing procedures of all areas, especially high traffic areas in the hospital.
Our team has been working diligently to ensure we have adequate inventory to meet your pet’s medical and dietary needs. We have started to reach out to several of our clients to renew prescriptions of essential medications, but if you have not yet been contacted, please contact the hospital by phone 780-481-5678 or email email@example.com
Our team will deliver food/medications to your car, and we have a delivery service that can deliver to your home. We offer prepayment via e-transfer, and we also have a mobile debit/credit terminal to accept payment at your vehicle. To allow our team to have your order ready to go please give us advance notice by phone or email.
Due to the recent announcements, from Alberta Health, our vet care team will be making further adjustments on how we will manage our patient care:
- We are currently adjusting our schedule to focus on patients that need more urgent veterinary care.
- We are temporarily suspending our reminder service until routine appointments and procedures resume. You can access your pet’s vaccine and reminder information on our Petly portal. A registration email will be sent out to all clients not yet signed up. We need your current email address!
- Routine surgeries, dental procedures will be temporarily postponed. If you are unsure if your pet’s procedure should be postponed or have concerns, please contact the hospital and a veterinarian can assist you.
- If your pet is due for an exam and/or bloodwork and they are doing well, our veterinarians can extend your pet’s prescription.
- If your pet has a health issue, PLEASE CALL. For recurrent minor problems, our veterinarians may be able to renew a prescription without an exam.
- If your pet has a new health issue, please contact our team, and we will assess if they should be seen or if the doctor can assess them over telephone appointment (depending on the concern, then videos or pictures emailed to our hospital can help).
- If it is determined by an initial phone assessment that your pet needs to be seen by a veterinarian then; upon arrival, a vet care team member will retrieve your pet directly from you in the parking lot and bring him/her into the hospital. If you meet any of the self-isolation requirements or have any signs of illness please notify us in advance so our team member can be prepare with protective masks/gloves/lab coats.
- We have temporarily adjusted our hours as follows:
- Mon-Fri: 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
- Saturday: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Can COVID-19 infect pets?
Currently, there is limited evidence that companion animals can be infected with SARS-Cov-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) and no evidence that pet dogs or cats can be a source of infection to other animals or humans. Only one dog in Hong Kong did have a weak positive to COVID-19 and was not exhibiting any symptoms and came from a household affected with the COVID-19 virus. There have been no other documented cases, but this is a rapidly evolving situation, and information will be updated as it becomes available.
In the meantime, if you and/or family members are experiencing potential symptoms of COVID-19 (coughing, sneezing, fever), the recommendations from WSAVA are to “limit your contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hand before and after you interact with pets and wear a facemask.”
If your pet has potentially been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and requires medical attention for any reason, please call the hospital. Let us know of the situation so we can decide if your pet needs an exam and, if so, prepare an isolated area for examination and have the appropriate testing.
The current coronavirus vaccine in dogs is for the enteric (GI) form only. Since the new respiratory COVID-19 form is a distinctly different variant, there is no evidence it will provide any protection for COVID-19 and, therefore, not recommended to use.
Lessard Callingwood Veterinary Hospital thanks you in advance for your patience and understanding as we work together to ensure the best care for your pet.
Dr. Susan Lapointe D.V.M.