December 18, 2020
Hi to everyone, from Chippawa Animal Hospital
Well the culmination of a very unusual year is a very different Christmas season. Many people are struggling with the current situation, either physically or mentally. My hope for us all is that we can find the resources to creatively navigate a very tough time.
When COVID-19 first hit our province we had a very strong response and managed to reduce the infection rate and hospital case load over the spring and summer. The situation is different now, and this is a critical point for the health system and for the decisions we all make in the next few weeks.
At Chippawa Animal Hospital we continue to do what we can to reduce the possibility of COVID-19 transmission, remembering that any one of us could be infectious without knowing it. So we all wear masks, wash our hands, disinfect surfaces and maintain the distance that we can. In that respect we are still asking clients to stay outside, and allow us to bring their pets into the clinic for care.
The risk for becoming infected has increased, and at any time there may be the need for a Veterinary Hospital to close due to potential exposure or actual infection within the group. If that happens we hope that other animal hospitals will take our clients for urgent care, as we will try to do for them.
One aspect of this crisis is that our local animal emergency centre, the Niagara Veterinary Emergency Clinic (NVEC) has been much busier than usual, and they have warned us that there may come a time when they will be unable to maintain their current hours (24/7). We have had updates on their status and have learned that the Christmas season could present a crunch time for them. You may already be aware of the prolonged wait times (8 hours has not been rare). They see patients based on triage of urgency, so the sickest go first. In fact, they may refuse to see a pet if it is determined that they can wait until the regular veterinarian is available. Our clients are not able to go into the emergency clinic, similar to our own procedures. They will also be asking COVID 19 exposure questions.
As much as possible we are trying to reduce the demand on the NVEC and you can help in a few ways:
- Please don’t wait if you think your pet is acting different from usual. Call us as soon as possible while we are still open.
- If we are closed, and you aren’t sure how urgent the problem is, you can enter your pets symptoms and get information from our Pet Health Checker.
- We will be handling as many of our own client emergencies during regular hour. That means non-urgent procedures may be postponed at the last minute. If we call you to reschedule your appointment please understand that when your pet needs us urgently we will be prioritizing them in the same way.
- If you have questions about common emergencies, or toxicities, you may find answers on our Pet Health Library that can help to determine your best course. You can use our Pet Health Library to search for up to date, reliable information.
And Take care,
Our best wishes for you, your family and all your fur babies
Chippawa Animal Hospital Staff
May 22, 2020
Hello to all our clients and a shout out to all our special patients
Our gang of dog and cat lovers at Chippawa Animal Hospital is reaching out to let you know we are all doing well, and we hope you are, too. The big news is that the Ontario government has removed the restrictions to your pet’s routine care!
-So now we can do elective procedures such as Wellness examinations, vaccinations, routine testing for heartworm, lyme disease, and intestinal parasites as well as spay and neuter surgeries.
-Please review your emails, texts and phone messages to see if you got any reminders in the last 8 weeks to bring your best friends in to visit us. We will help you get them caught up on everything as soon as possible.
-Our phones are still very busy. If you get a busy signal or you are diverted to voicemail try again a few minutes later, or…
Review of Pet visit protocol
– Our building is too small to keep the social distancing guidelines inside. Therefore only the Chippawa Animal Hospital team will be allowed in the clinic, and we will all be wearing face masks to help keep each other safe.
-When you come here for a pre-booked appointment please remember to bring your cell phone. Call when you get here for instructions. As soon as we are ready we will let you know so that you can put your pet in our clinic vestibule where we will retrieve them.
-PLEASE stay in the parking lot and stay available for our call to you. (Don’t start calling all your friends, please!)
-We will call you on your cell phone as soon as we have finished the physical examination. Then we can discuss our findings and recommendations and costs involved. Once you have made a decision we will follow through with any tests or treatments, and we will make up medications for you to take home.
-We offer credit card payment over the phone, or e-transfer. Please do not pay by cash or check.
For medication and food pickups
-We are putting purchased items out on a table in front of the clinic for you to pick up at a time previously arranged. These will be labelled. Please don’t handle items labelled for someone else.
-If the weather is inclement call us when you get here, open your trunk or hatch and we will bring your items out to you.
-Please maintain 6 feet between yourself, our team, and anyone else who may be coming to pick up items, or bringing a pet to us. Wearing a cloth mask is a sign you care about the other person’s comfort and safety, even when you don’t feel sick. And it is amazing how the simple act of washing our hands for 20 seconds can truly make us feel like we can make a difference.
All our best to you and your families, furry and otherwise, from Dr. Peggy, Dr. Ashley, Sylvie, Sherry, Judy and “Tech” Ashley
Chippawa Animal Hospital
3808 Bridgewater St
Niagara Falls, ON L2G 6H4
Veterinary practice restrictions during the current COVID 19 crisis;
Veterinarians are lucky to be designated as an essential service, so that we can continue to care for our very special patients. The government directions have limited that service somewhat, however.
We are restricted to handling only urgent cases at this time. That means we can take care of animals in pain or distress, like a hospital emergency department would do, but we can’t perform the disease prevention procedures (vaccinations, blood and fecal testing) that we regularly recommend for your pets.
Vaccinations are important to prevent illness, and there is some potential risk, but no imminent or current distress to the pet if they are postponed temporarily.
We still recommend the medications that prevent flea, tick, heartworm and intestinal parasites. These will help to prevent some disease, and we are allowed to dispense these medications. Let us know what you need (preferably by email if you can to [email protected] ), and we will get it together for you. We will then call you to confirm method of payment as well as to arrange a specific time to pick up the medication.
The government directions are meant to reduce human spread of COVID 19, and just like physical distancing can help to do that, so can physical distancing help to reduce the risk to your pet for the diseases that we vaccinate them against. This isn’t meant to be a permanent solution, but these steps can help in the short term;
- Don’t allow them to drink water from puddles, or stagnant water of any sort.
- Avoid areas obviously contaminated with feces, such as dog parks.
- Avoid areas highly frequented by wild animals.
- Try to reduce visits from wild animals in your yard. Don’t leave out food for raccoons or other mammals.
- Wash and dry your pet’s feet thoroughly when they come in from outside.
- Prevent interactions with other animals.
- Keep your pet on a secure leash at all times when outdoors.