Dear PAW clients,
We wanted to let you know that veterinary care is considered an essential business during the “Stay at Home” order and we are still here for you and your pet at this time. We are however, faced with the unfortunate position of needing to limit services to those in most need or who need to be urgently seen in order do our part for flattening the curve and to limit our potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus. We also need to conserve on the use of Personal Protective Equipment for ourselves and the human health industry as these supplies are running out and are becoming increasingly costly. For our safety and yours and to be able to operate and offer you our services, we will need to strictly practice “physical distancing” by keeping 6ft of distance in between persons so we have modified our curbside service protocol (see below). We are still planing on being social through phone, email or video chat as best we can!
Safety and protecting the public health including our patients, clients and staff is our top priority. This includes taking any necessary precautions to prevent illness and to minimize exposure to potential infectious disease. PAW REHAB has precautionary policies in place for preventing infectious or communicable disease such as regularly sanitizing our facility, requiring core vaccines, requiring flea and parasite preventives and implementing “no nose to nose” contact between patients in order to keep our patients, clients and staff safe from common diseases that may affect animals or people. We now are all faced with additional challenges due to the COVID-19 viral pandemic and PAW REHAB.
As there has never been a precedent protocol for animal rehabilitation facilities in the face of a pandemic and the Veterinary Medical Board and AVMA have left it for now, upon the judgement of each veterinarian to judiciously decide how and if they will remain open, we have carefully decided how we may practice at this time. In addition, veterinary professional organizations have recommended veterinary clinics consider limiting services to urgent care during this critical period and have further provided us with recommended guidelines.
With this in mind and knowing how much our patients benefit from our services, these are the current guidelines we have created for ourselves.
We are limiting visits to pet’s that are experiencing pain, are injured, needing post-surgical recovery or are immobile and needing assistance with recovery. If a pet is feeling well at this time and mobile and you or your veterinarian feel your pet is comfortable, we are asking you reschedule your pet’s visits until after a minimum of two weeks (subject to change). This includes recheck evaluations if you feel your pet is doing well at this time but please reach out to us if that should change. Please call us if you have concerns so we may determine if your pet needs to be seen. We will otherwise check in with you for a progress report in two weeks and update you if there is any continued limitations at that time.
We are still seeing new consults in order to evaluate the condition of your pet, guide you and see how we can help but you will need to remain in your vehicle during the visit (see below).
Your pet should continue to be seen if given any of the following situations:
Your pet is currently being treated for acute (more recent or sudden pain) or moderate to severe chronic pain.
Your pet is not mobile or is having significant difficulty with mobility which affects its daily functions of living or quality of life and requires rehabilitation therapy and monitoring for recovery and/or nursing care/home care instruction.
Your pet is in the early stage of recovering from surgery or an acute injury.
If you are unclear if your pet needs to be seen, you may consult with us over the phone or with your referring veterinarian to help make this determination.
If you feel your pet does not do well if missing visits, please call us or schedule an appointment so we may help.
If your pet’s referring or primary veterinarian feels your pet is in need of being seen at this time (ie. acute paralysis, post-herniated disc surgical or non-surgical, acute or chronic pain unresponsive to conventional means, complicated post-op fractures, quality of life is impacted…)
We are asking clients to please refrain from visits if you or your pet are ill, immune compromised, over the age of 65 or if you or a family member is affected by the COVID virus, has had a known exposure to the virus or have recently traveled to any High Risk or Travel Restricted countries or areas listed by the CDC. If you or your pet are coughing, sneezing, vomiting, having diarrhea, Flu-like symptoms or a fever, or are in one of the risk groups above, please contact us to let us know that you will not be able to make your appointment and we will be happy to assist with rescheduling the visit when you or your pet is well and to have our doctors advise you on the care of your pet and options during this time. We recommend you alert your primary veterinarian to any concerns about your pet (non-rehab related) and to discuss concerns you may have about your own health with your medical doctor. We would advise you refrain from visits to our clinic until all symptoms have cleared or your doctor has determined it is safe.
We are requiring a protocol of Curbside Drop-Offs and Pick-Ups for visits where you can feel safe while we care for your pet within our facility. Our staff is wearing PPE (Mask, Goggles, Gown and gloves) when greeting or discharging your pet.
All of our employees have been instructed to not come to work if they are showing signs of COVID-19 or ANY flu-like illness. We will let you know if we have changed our hours as some employees have elected to stay home at this time.
For VISITS: Please give us a call at (818) 847-7299 when you arrive for your pet's appointment.
Please let us know of any questions or concerns you may have at that time. Then one of our staff members will come out to your car and take your pet into our facility for their therapy session, doctor’s exam, or consultation.
During CURBSIDE SERVICE, we are asking you to kindly step out of your vehicle and unlock your doors so we may access the vehicle to obtain your pet. Please keep a 6 ft distance from your vehicle while our staff member obtains or discharges your pet.
DISCHARGE and CHECK-OUT: Once the exam or pre-approved treatments have been performed, one of our receptionists will call you for payment over the phone or if you prefer, you may request a card be kept on file in our secure password protected and security encrypted system to be used. A receipt will be emailed to you.
When you have arrived to pick up your pet after the visit, you may give us a call or we will call you sooner and we will bring your pet out to your car and again, require you please keep a 6 ft distance from your vehicle. Our doctors or doctor’s assistants are able to call or email you after the pet’s session to give you an update or to address any questions you may have. For new clients, we will arrange for the doctor to call or video chat with you after the examination. We can also arrange a virtual tour of our facility if you wish.
For MEDICATION AND REFILL PICK-UPS & SHIPPING: Please request all refills 24-48 hours in advance of pick-up. A doctor’s assistant will come out to the client’s car and deposit the medication in your car while you step-out and remain at least 6 ft away from your vehicle. We will discuss the instructions over the phone and send any written counseling instructions. We may also arrange medications to be shipped. Shipping or service fees may apply. We will be adding an On-line pharmacy soon to our website for our established clients to utilize.
COMMUNICATIONS & REMAINING SOCIAL AT THIS TIME: We are offering Tele-communications in order to connect with our established clients and patients, We can offer communication through phone, video chat or conferencing and email. New patients will still need to have an initial physical examination prior to these communications beyond general common questions but we will still ask that the client wait in their vehicle. We appreciate your patience at this time with returned communications as we may be short staffed and needing to have calls go to voicemail or you may email us. Rest assured, we will be checking our messages daily and get back to you as soon as we are available. Please contact your primary care doctor or nearest emergency facility if your pet is having an emergency or you have more urgent concerns.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT PETS and COVID: It is recommended that animal owners keep an emergency supply of food and medications for their pets, with two weeks being the typical recommendation.
Pets can be infected with their own species specific coronavirus which are not transmitted to people. The World Health Organization says currently, there is no evidence that pets may become sick from COVID-19 but more investigation is underway. It is not known that your dog or cat may transmit this novel COVID-19 virus to humans and we do not have a clear answer as to whether SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 can infect pets at this time and scientists believe this to be a low risk. There have been two dogs in Hong Kong, China which have tested “weak” positive for the virus but they did not become ill. As of March 18, 2020, it is reported that one of these dog’s, a 17 year old, has died but the exact cause is undetermined and it is speculated that stress and anxiety of being away from its family and underlying conditions may have contributed this elderly pet’s death. According to Reuters World News Report, animal health experts examining the Hong Kong case have said that pet owners should not be overly concerned and should not abandon their pets. There are no other known reports of pets being infected or ill from this virus. The widely used veterinary laboratory, Idexx, has tested now over a thousand dogs for the COVID-19 virus and thus far the test results have been negative. More studies and information are needed and pending.
As a precaution, because in general animals can spread other diseases to people and people to animals, the AVMA recommends that you wash your hands before and after interacting with animals. Do not allow your pet to kiss or lick you and to wash your hands after handling your pet or their food or water bowls. Wash and sanitize feeding bowls, bedding materials and toys regularly. Keep your pet clean and bathed. If you or a family member are ill or have tested positive for the virus or are immune compromised, it is recommended that another well family member care for your pet. Please refrain from petting other clients’ pets as it is still unclear but possible that the virus may temporarily be carried on the pet if exposed to an infected person.
Please contact your primary care veterinarian if you have questions or concerns regarding your pet’s health and see the AVMA resources for pet parents:
If you have questions about human health, you can refer to the following resources: the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), The WHO (World Health Organization) and your medical doctor. Responses to the pandemic may rapidly evolve as the situation does. We are closely monitoring information from local, state, and national public health authorities regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus).
Please follow us on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/PawRehab/ as we will be posting COVID-19 info and updates from time to time as well as on our website link https://www.pawrehab.com/cvirus-update for what you need to know for your visits should anything change.
If you have any questions, feel free to call us at (818) 847-7299 and we would be happy to clarify any concerns you may have.
We are committed to doing our very best to slow the spread of COVID-19. We hope to continue to serve our community and preserve the well-being of your pets. Thank you for your understanding and support during these difficult times.
We wish you and your furred family good health!
Dr. Joanne Bak
Your PAW REHAB Family
NOTICE TO CLIENTS
In advance of your appointment, please read the updated covid 19 information and PAW REHAB protocols