Changes to Provisions for Veterinary Services (due to COVID-19)
(Updated: May 14, 2020)
Given the recent announcement from Premier Doug Ford, limitations on veterinary services have been lifted, and we are currently working on new protocols to allow for the health and safety of our team, our clients and their pets. Due to an unprecedented volume of phone calls, we are asking our clients to please refrain from calling our hospital to schedule a non-urgent appointment, as we also have a considerable backlog in veterinary services to work through.
We want to reassure all our clients that, if your pet is overdue for any veterinary services, such as annual vaccinations, bloodwork, or surgery, we have them on a wait list, and we will be reaching out as soon as we are able to schedule an appointment. We will be prioritizing veterinary services based on risk to our patients’ well-being, with those who are most overdue seen first.
We continue to take our role in limiting the spread of COVID-19 very seriously and consider the health and safety of our team, our clients, and their pets our top priority.
We miss everyone and know that many of you have been very patient with our limitations to date and ask that you continue to be patient as we work through prioritizing those patients based on individual risk assessments.
We know that it may be a few months before all our patients are up-to-date on their preventive care. With that in mind, we’ve developed a summary below of the affected services along with some advice to, and/or resources for, our clients should you be affected by this delay.
We hope you are all staying safe and look forward to when we will be together again. 💙
Annual Physical Examination including Vaccinations
If your pet’s vaccinations are due or overdue, then we ask that you take extra precautions with your pet to minimize the risk of exposure to those diseases for which they would normally be vaccinated. This includes avoiding contact with other pets, keeping your pet on a leash at all times when outdoors, and restricting unsupervised outdoor time. We understand the importance of vaccination in keeping our pets safe by preventing the spread of common diseases, so please know that we will contact you as soon as we are able to schedule your pet’s physical examination and vaccinations.
Spay and neuter surgery
At this time, spay and neuter surgeries are being postponed as they do not meet the criteria for urgent care. Since it can be difficult to predict when a cat or dog is sexually mature, it is generally recommended to have them spayed or neutered at 6 months of age. If your pet’s spay or neuter surgery has been postponed, and they are 6 months of age or older, we recommend you take extra precautions to minimize the risk of mating. This includes avoiding contact with other intact pets of the opposite sex, keeping your pet on a leash at all times when outdoors, and restricting unsupervised outdoor time.
To find out more about heat cycles for female dogs, go here.
To find out more about heat cycles for female cats, go here.
To find out more about common behaviours for intact male dogs, go here.
To find out more about common behaviours for intact male cats, go here.
Heartworm and tick disease testing
All heartworm and tick disease testing has been postponed as they do not meet the criteria for urgent care. However, we will continue to dispense medications for the prevention of heartworm disease if your pet is an active patient of our hospital. If your pet is due for his/her annual heartworm and tick disease testing, then you need to be aware of the risks involved in administering these medications to your pet if s/he has an active heartworm infection; these may include: laboured breathing, vomiting, drooling and/or lethargy.
Grooming such as nail trims and anal gland expressions
At this time, nail trims and anal gland expressions are being postponed as they do not meet the criteria for urgent care. We understand that this can be particularly stressful for pet owners who have come to rely on us to perform these procedures on a regular basis.
For nail trims, we encourage you to start looking for online resources to help you slowly train your pet to tolerate nail trims at home. The following are some online resources that may help:
- Taking the Stress out of Nail Trimming for Dogs
- How to Clip Dog Nails (with video)
- How to Trim Cat Nails
- How To Trim Your Cat’s Nails (with video)
(Helpful tip for dogs: we’ve found that using a nail file for dogs also works well. Unfortunately, nail files are not ideal for cats as their nails are much finer).
Anal Gland Expression:
While routine expression of anal glands does not meet the criteria for urgent care, if you have noticed your pet is scooting or dragging their rear along the ground or excessively licking or biting at the base of their tail, then please give us a call or send us an email. Be especially concerned if you notice painful, red, hot swelling on one or both sides of your pet’s anus or a greenish yellow or bloody discharge from the rectum.
If you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s health and safety, or our protocols, please do not hesitate to call us at 519-631-6056 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and a member of our team will be happy to help. We thank you for your understanding and cooperation with our measures to keep everyone safe during this challenging period.