Happy Spays are Here Again!
We now have a directive from the Oregon Health Authority stating that veterinary facilities may now resume performing elective and non-emergent procedures that require personal protective equipment. This means that we can resume performing non-emergency spay (ovariohysterectomy) surgery, which is crucial at this time when the major spring cat mating season is still in full swing. Although approval to resume elective and non-emergent surgical procedures by veterinary clinics is somewhat conditional, depending on how the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, we are ready to book appointments starting the week of May 4 for feline patients who need spay/neuter surgeries, routine dental procedures, and other urgent as well as elective surgeries.
Cats can definitely be spayed when pregnant. If you know that your cat is pregnant or think she might be, please tell us when you call for an appointment so we can prioritize her spay surgery. Unless you are prepared to cover emergency health care expenses for the mother cat and/or kittens and find good homes for as many as 4-8 kittens, spaying your pregnant cat is the best choice you can make for your pet. The same goes for cats in “heat” (estrus); cats’ “heat” cycles will repeat frequently until they are bred. Male kittens who are becoming sexually mature and adult males who have not been neutered may start spraying urine in your house or may disappear, either temporarily or permanently, as they can walk for miles following the scent of females in heat. Call us today at 541-302-5824 for your cat’s spay, neuter, or dental appointment.
There continues to be concern and controversy regarding the potential for infections with the COVID-19 virus in pets. See previous posts on this blog to find links to reliable information from veterinary experts regarding this issue. The post below, from the Winn Feline Foundation website (https://www.winnfelinefoundation.org/), clarifies the situation very succinctly:
“Winn is aware of reports about COVID-19 and cats and continues to monitor all available information. COVID-19 should not be confused with other coronaviruses commonly found in humans and animals.
At the present time, there is NO evidence that cats can transmit the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 to people.”
We continue our regular weekday office hours of 8:30 am-5:30 pm Monday through Friday, but for the month of May we will be closed on Saturday, May 16, a morning when we would normally be open for appointments as well as food and prescription drug pickup. We will resume our regular Saturday hours in June when we will be open the first and third Saturdays of each month from 8:30 am-12:30 pm.
Also, we follow our normally excellent hygiene practices and adhere to current physical distancing guidelines and will accommodate our clients who are self-isolating in as many ways as we can, including curbside service for appointments, surgeries, food, and medication pickup, and payments. Almost every prescription and non-prescription product we carry, as well as many others, are available through our online store, easily accessible via a button on the top bar of our website home page. Wishing you and your pets the very best of health and well-being!
At CatCare we are here as always to provide exceptional, patient-centered care for your feline patients and are making extra efforts to keep you safe and supported in trying times.
We are open as usual Monday-Friday from 8:30-5:30 pm. The one modification we’ve had to make is that for the month of April only we will not have our regular Saturday morning hours on Saturday, April 18. We expect to resume our usual Saturday morning hours on the first and third Saturdays of each month, 8:30 am to 12:30 pm beginning Saturday, May 2.
Per state of Oregon directives, we are unable to perform elective surgeries requiring personal protective equipment (PPE) to spare these supplies for use in the human field during the COVID-19 crisis.
We are happy to support and accommodate your personal safety needs in any way we can, including “curbside service” for patient care, food, medication, and other supplies, and payments. In some cases we can provide telemedicine services; fees may apply for this. You can also order many medications, including flea products and dewormers, foods, supplements, and some supplies through our online store, which is easily accessible on our website.
Now to respond to questions many people have regarding pets and coronaviruses, specifically the virus associated with COVID-19. Animals, including pets, have always had their own coronaviruses, but they are not the COVID-19 virus. The links, from trusted sources in veterinary medicine below will tell you more, and hopefully allay any concerns that may be arising:
Lions, Tigers, Domestic Cats, and COVID-19: How Do We Educate Pet Owners?https://todaysveterinarynurse.com/articles/pet-owner-coronavirus-questions/
Can Pets Contract Coronavirus from Humans or Vice Versa?
and then we have Lila’s very own commentary on current events, produced last week on a Toshiba laptop keyboard. She’s always so spot-on!
Wishing you and your two-legged and four-legged loved ones the very best of health and happiness!
Dr. Patricia Shea and the CatCare Team
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!