Ongoing changes are occurring, but we want to reassure you that we are here for you and your cat when you need us. Veterinary medicine is considered an essential service, so even if other business are closed due to today’s “stay in place” order, we are here to serve you and your cat, either remotely or in PURR-son.
SURGERY: Yesterday, Oregon’s governor, like many in other states, asked veterinarians in the state to postpone all non-emergency surgical procedures in order to preserve personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers treating human COVID-19 patients. We are committed to following directives provided by our governmental agencies and want to cooperate fully. We will be reviewing scheduled or proposed procedures to be sure we comply with the guidelines.
With this said, however, there are some things to understand about veterinary procedures that are different from those in humans. A number of these such as sedated physical examinations, which some patients require, grooming activities, basic wound and abscess care, ingrown nails, lab sample collection, etc. are not in any case sterile procedures and do not require PPE. Dental procedures are not performed using gowns or sterile gloves as they are not sterile procedures either.
All of CatCare’s surgical gowns, drapes, and towels are not single use disposables as is common in the human field. These items are cloth and after each use are sanitized, laundered, and autoclaved for the next patient.
FOODS AND MEDICATIONS: So far we are not having any trouble obtaining cat foods or medications; however, shipping delays may occur, so re-order things earlier than you normally would so that you get them prior to running out. If you are used to coming in to the clinic to pick up food or medications and would prefer home delivery of these items, at least for now, most can be ordered through our online store, accessible from our website, which has a first-time ordering discount code MEOW20. Things that should be autoshipped such as foods or flea products can receive free shipping from the online store. We will make every effort to help you get what you need in a way that is convenient and safe for you.
TELEMEDICINE: With regard to telemedicine, Oregon’s governor has also just relaxed the state’s administrative rules regarding this service. Under normal circumstances, veterinarians in Oregon may only practice telemedicine when there is a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR), which implies a current annual physical examination on the patient in question; this rule has been suspended for now, and we may be able to help patients with telemedicine for whom there is not a current VCPR. However, cats are less transparent and more inscrutable than dogs when it comes to physical illness, so telemedicine may not be a useful option for feline patients in many cases. You are welcome to inquire about this; it will be the doctor’s discretion regarding whether or not telemedicine will be a useful modality for your cat’s particular concerns.
I was sad one day and went for a walk;
I sat in a field.
A rabbit noticed my condition and
It often does not take more than that to help at times—
to just be close to creatures who
are so full of knowing,
so full of love
though they don’t
They just gaze with
Our pet animals and some wild animals as well are currently “noticing our condition,” and are aware on some level that their two-legged friends are currently suffering. They are here for us in this time of “social distancing” from other humans, so spend some time with your cat (or dog or rabbit) today! This poem was written over 400 years ago by the Spanish poet and mystic Juan de Yepes (aka St. John of the Cross, but nothing could be more contemporary for those of us who appreciate the friendship of animals in troubled times.
Remember to check out this link: https://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/news/can-pets-contract-coronavirus-humans-or-vice-versa.
We are here for you and your cat at CatCare during these uncertain times.
Regular appointments and surgeries will continue as usual. Keeping your pets healthy is a part of keeping you and your human family members healthy.
We are ready to offer extra support for those who need it, in order to continue our mission of exceptional, patient-centered care for cats:
- Hygiene has always been a way of life at CatCare, but we are now stepping up our protocols in disinfecting surfaces like doorknobs and counters in accordance with the procedures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.
- We will be happy to bring your cat into the building from your car, and you are welcome to wait in your car while we see your cat; we can communicate regarding diagnosis and treatment over the phone and take payments by phone, and return your cat and any supplies to your car when they are ready to go home. We’ll also bring any food , supplies, and drugs that your cat needs out to your car.
- A family member, friend, or neighbor is welcome to bring your cat in and pick them up. We can communicate by phone.
- In some cases we may be able to offer telemedicine via telephone or online, as long as we have a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship (in other words, a physical exam on the patient in the last year); this will be at the doctor’s discretion, as not all problems are amenable to this service. Fees will apply for this service, just as they do for in-clinic services.
- We have an online store that is accessible from a button on the top bar of our website. The prescription foods, supplements, and drugs we recommend are available in this online store as well as at the clinic. There is a discount code for new customers: MEOW20
- If you need to refill prescriptions that you get from an outside pharmacy, just call them as usual for your refills.
- Older or immunocompromised people who believe they are at significant risk are encouraged to “buddy up” with a family member, friend, or neighbor who can help you with pet care and/or pet transport on a paid or voluntary basis. Many people are offering this help to neighbors who are self-isolating or self-quarantining via Nextdoor message boards (Nextdoor.com). Nextdoor is like a virtual Neighborhood Watch where you can communicate with neighbors and support each other in your neighborhood. Nextdoor is free to join and is available in virtually every neighborhood in the USA.
- If you believe you may be sick with COVID-19 or actually are, or have a fever, and your cat needs help, stay home and please arrange with someone else to bring your cat in.
Some people have concerns regarding COVID-19 and pets. Animal species do have their own coronaviruses, but there is no evidence that companion animals such as dogs or cats can be infected with COVID-19, or that this virus can be transferred from companion animals to people or vice versa. This link to a recent article by renowned veterinary virologist and coronavirus expert Dr. Niels Pedersen of the University of California Davis, explains more: https://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/news/can-pets-contract-coronavirus-humans-or-vice-versa.
We are all navigating uncharted waters now. In this age of anxiety, our companion animals are there for us and continue to provide us with unconditional love and unqualified delight—every day. Enjoy them and spend time with them, and revel with them in the renewal of nature that is Spring!