At Star of Texas Veterinary Hospital, it is our priority to try to keep people and pets healthy. As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread globally, we are taking appropriate precautions to address the outbreak by following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Our current approach and response to COVID-19 are outlined below.
According to the CDC, the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to avoid it. Star of Texas Veterinary Hospital team members are doing our part by practicing good hygiene at work and at home:
- Regularly washing hands for at least 20 seconds throughout the day with warm water and soap, specifically before eating. This is done more frequently than normal.
- Covering coughs and sneezes.
- Avoiding making close contact with others, such as shaking hands. Additionally, everyone should avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth.
- We are frequently cleaning and disinfecting commonly used surfaces (countertops, keyboards, doorknobs, faucets, and stethoscopes).
- You will be informed if you were in contact with a team member that becomes diagnosed with COVID-19.
To help you remain healthy, we encourage you to use hand sanitizer at the front desk of each office. We have limited amounts of sanitizing supplies and will continue to restock as we are able. For additional guidance on maintaining your health, see the CDC’s webpage on prevention and treatment.
Your Personal Health
If you have symptoms of acute respiratory illness, you should self-quarantine or seek medical attention as stated by the CDC. Please refrain from entering our offices if:
- You have a fever, cough, or are sneezing or
- You have flu-like symptoms or
- You have exposure to people or locations with documented COVID-19 cases in the past three weeks.
What does COVID-19 mean for my pet?
Your pet is not at risk for being infected with COVID-19. The CDC has reported no COVID-19 cases in pets in the USA. The Hong Kong weak positive dog case has no symptoms and the test cannot distinguish samples with intact viruses from fragments of the RNA. It is possible that dogs, like all objects, may be a location to find the virus. For example, “The World Health Organization is encouraging the use of digital payment options because the COVID-19 virus is thought to survive on hard surfaces like coins for days.” Other sources say, “Infectious disease experts in human and animal health organizations agree there is no evidence at this point to indicate that pets can spread COVID-19 to other animals, including humans.”
Do not abandon your pets out of fear of contracting COVID-19 from them or infecting them with COVID-19. Practice basic hygiene. Wash your hands with soap and water after handling or walking your pets. If you’d like to take extra precaution, you can wipe down your pets with disposable baby wipes after their walks. Contact us if you need further advice.
What should I do to prepare for my pet’s care?
We know that some of you may end up quarantined or stuck at home sick. We still want to help you the best we can. Some choices are as follows:
- We will be offering low contact visits as an option, these will generally work as follows:
- Regular appointments: Please call when you arrive and a technician will be out directly to collect your pet from the car. They may be wearing a face mask and gloves to reduce risk of spreading germs. The technician will call you once your pet is safely inside and collect a thorough history via phone. We will complete your pet’s examination while you wait in the car, and the doctor will call to make recommendations via phone. The front desk staff will call when your bill is finalized and accept payment over the phone, and the same technician will return your pet to you in your vehicle with an itemized receipt, discharge paperwork, and any medication your pet requires.
- Prescription or food pickups: Please call when you arrive. A member of our customer care team at the front desk will accept your payment over the phone and deliver the medications/food to you in your vehicle.
- o You might be asked to wait in your car or outside in our yard if our rooms are full. Our lobby can only hold a few people at the suggested 6 feet distancing from each other.
- We can arrange to deliver needed food/medications to your door by utilizing our online store, Vetsource. Our online store is available 24/7 through our website at www.staroftexasvet.com. Click “Resources” at the top of the home page, then “Shop”.
AT THIS TIME: Our hours will remain unchanged. For after-hours medical emergencies please contact CTVSEH at (512) 892-9038 or AVES at (512) 343-2837. Please be aware they may have procedure changes in place and we advise calling prior to your visit.
Given this is a rapidly developing situation, we will continue to monitor developments and update our course of action as new information becomes available through the CDC. We know it’s a stressful time, but please believe that your pets are safe and that you are safe around your pets. If you have any more questions, we’re here to help!
The Team at Star of Texas Veterinary Hospital