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COVID-19 in Veterinary Practice

 

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COVID-19 in the Veterinary Community

Facing Uncertain Times Together

Viticus Group thanks you for caring for your patients, staying positive, and being on the front lines during the pandemic. Our goal is to provide a reliable resource with guidance, tips, and information to help prudently manage your clinics, your family, and yourself during these critical times.

May 5 is #GivingTuesdayNow, an opportunity for people around the world to stand together in unity to support the communities they care about the most. Please consider supporting Viticus Group, a nonprofit striving to support the future of continuing education and provide for the veterinary community during these unprecedented times. Thank you for your generous support. We couldn't do this great work without you!

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Covid-19 Impact Video - Viticus Group 2.0

 

 

COVID-19 Veterinary Series

Coronavirus Information That Matters to You 

Viticus Group and our industry partners have teamed up to bring you the latest and most accurate information on COVID-19 and how it relates to the veterinary community. Each week, a panel of experts join us on Facebook live to discuss recent developments and answer your questions in real-time.  Watch our series of COVID-19 Veterinary Live Events on YouTube now.

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COVID-19 Veterinary
FAQs

What's the latest CDC update for veterinarians?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention releases new guidelines for pet owners and COVID-19. The CDC advised pet owners to treat pets as any other human family members. This included restricting pet interaction with people or animals outside the household. If a person inside the household is sick, isolate that person from everyone else, including pets.

More guidelines from the CDC for pet owners:

  • Do not let pets interact with people or other animals outside the household.
  • Keep cats indoors when possible to prevent them from interacting with other animals or people.
  • Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least 6 feet from other people and animals.
  • Avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather.
  • When possible, have another member of your household care for your pets while you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food or bedding.
  • If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wear a cloth face covering and wash your hands before and after you interact with them.

 

 

How do I apply for financial assistance for my practice?

Starting April 3, small businesses can apply for the financial assistance being offered under the CARES Act. Viticus Group encourages you to apply for this assistance as soon as possible because there is a funding cap, and it’s first-come, first-served!

Dr. Natalie Marks sat down with a legend in veterinary accounting, Owen E. McCafferty, CPA, to discuss the details on what practices and individuals need to do to offset lost funds due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to learn how to secure financial assistance during COVID-19. 

Do Virox Rescue™ Disinfectants kill Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)?

Yes, when using Virox Rescue™ Disinfectants we do expect efficacy against coronavirus disease.

Rescue™ Ready-to-Use Liquid and Wipes should be used with a 1-minute contact time. Rescue Concentrate should be used with a 5-minute contact time and a 1:64 dilution.

Please note that Rescue™ is an intermediate-level surface disinfectant intended for use on hard, non-porous surfaces. As the manufacturer, we cannot recommend it for direct application on pet fur or human skin.

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Virox also offers a build your own protocol tool, which you can use to build a customized cleaning and disinfection protocol for their facility. Start customizing today.

 

Are you allowed to screen clients?

You cannot ask people if they are ill or COVID-19 positive, but you can ask if the pet has had any exposure to anyone with COVID-19 or similar symptoms.

Could the virus survive for a short time on patients' leashes, collar, fur?

It's believed that the virus may live on fur and leashes or collars for up to a few hours but unsure definitively.

Are there any movements on stopping elective surgeries?

All experts are recommending postponing elective surgeries to conserve masks and supplies.

COVID-19 Veterinary
News & Blogs

4/28 | North Carolina Pet Believed to Be First Dog in the U.S. to Test Positive for COVID-19

dog in North Carolina has tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans — and is believed to be the first dog in the U.S. to have tested positive for the virus, Duke Health confirmed to TIME.

The dog belonged to a family participating in Duke’s Molecular and Epidemiological Study of Suspected Infection (MESSI), an ongoing research study, which examines how the body responds to infection. Since the coronavirus pandemic began, the study has focused on people who may have been exposed to COVID-19, the disease caused by novel coronavirus.

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4/23 | New York Cats Test Positive for COVID-19

Two domestic cats in New York State have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, reports the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL).

The cats, who live in different areas of New York, underwent testing after showing signs of respiratory illness. Both are expected to make full recoveries.

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4/20 | One Health Perspective on Zoonotic Disease

In the wake of a pandemic caused by a disease jumping from animals to humans, it is more important than ever that the general population has a better understanding of zoonotic diseases and that veterinary medicine and human medicine are on the same page.

In a recent Facebook live event, we brought together a veterinarian who works in public health as an associate professor of One Health epidemiology, Dr. Audrey Ruple, and an associate professor and practicing physician of clinical pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical’s Division of Infectious Diseases, Dr. Patricia DeLaMora.

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4/19 | IDEXX Makes Pet Test for COVID-19 Virus Available to Veterinarians

IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. (NASDAQ: IDXX), a global leader in veterinary diagnostics and software, today announced the availability of the IDEXX SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) RealPCR™ Test for pets. IDEXX is launching the test in response to customer demand and growing evidence that in rare cases pets living with COVID-19 positive humans can be at risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection. The test will be available to veterinarians in North America this week and will continue to roll out across most of the world in the coming weeks, enabled by IDEXX Reference Laboratories, the company's worldwide network of more than 80 laboratories.

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4/7 | AHS publishes recommendations for how animal health professionals can continue to protect pets from heartworms

Heartworm management is a cornerstone of pet health care. However, the urgent need to reduce the risk of virus transmission during the current COVID-19 pandemic has rendered the delivery of routine veterinary care problematic. Veterinarians have been asked to minimize nonemergency visits to their clinics and to deploy telemedicine where appropriate. While telemedicine is a viable alternative in many situations, it does not allow for routine heartworm testing and administration of certain medications.

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4/6 | A Tiger at the Bronx Zoo Has Tested Positive for Coronavirus

A tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York City has tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in people, according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratories. The big cat is thought to be the first animal known to be infected with the virus in the United States.

While other animals, all pets, have tested positive for the presence of the virus, experts say there have been no reported cases of animals spreading the virus to humans.

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4/2 | Telehealth during the COVID-19 Pandemic

As the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, human health practitioners have collaborated remarkably through rapid dissemination of scientific and practical information, often via social media. One of the first questions that arose when social distancing suddenly became a necessary part of our personal and professional lives is how we can maintain quality care with our patients while preventing the spread of SARS-CoV-2.

Telehealth is a way to ensure uninterrupted care to our new and established patients. In the human health arena, governing bodies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have quickly released guidelines and policy changes to help facilitate the interaction between physicians and patients electronically. 

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3/31 | FDA loosens telemedicine regulations amid COVID-19 pandemic

To help animal health professionals provide care for pets during the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has temporarily lifted some of its federal requirements for telemedicine.

The agency is suspending the enforcement of portions of federal veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR) requirements as they relate to certain FDA regulations, which will allow veterinarians to more easily utilize telemedicine during the pandemic.

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3/25 | COVID-19: What Do We Know Right Now?

Right Now. That’s the key to the headline of this article. How do we take what we know right now and use it to help us keep practicing the best medicine we can while keeping our clients, patients, and team members healthy?

Dr. J. Scott Weese is an infectious disease specialist and the curator of the Worms and Germs blog (wormsandgermsblog.com). The insights he shared during our COVID-19 Veterinary Summit made clear that there is much that we just don’t know yet.

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3/25 | Our Commitment to Keeping You Informed

These truly are unprecedented times. In the last two weeks, our lives have undoubtedly turned upside down. Not only are we dealing mentally with the daily stress of not knowing where this pandemic is headed and doing everything we personally can to “flatten the curve,” but we’ve also been dealing with the stress of not knowing how this will affect our work as veterinary professionals.

I’ve been a practicing veterinarian for almost 20 years. I’m the former owner and still in management at VCA Blum Animal Hospital in Chicago. From trying to figure out how to adjust for our clients while keeping our patients and team members healthy as we perform high-quality medical care, to wondering how the next government announcement will shape what we can and can’t do – it’s been a whirlwind.

What we need most is transparency and accurate information.  There’s so much misinformation and so many things that even the experts say we just don’t know for sure yet.

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3/24 | 5 Big Takeaways from Viticus Group's COVID-19 Veterinary Summit

On March 23, eleven veterinary experts and leaders gathered and collaborated through an online summit organized by Viticus Group to inform the veterinary community on subjects relating to COVID-19.

Here are the five most significant takeaways from what the various epidemiologists, behaviorists, educators, and leaders of organized veterinary medicine said in Viticus Group's online COVID-19 Veterinary Summit (available here).

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3/20 | Las Vegas vet clinic employee tests positive for COVID-19

An administrative employee at Las Vegas Veterinary Specialty Center and Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care’s main location has tested positive for the coronavirus. The center said the infected employee did not have direct patient contact. The clinic is located on West Tropicana.

In a Facebook post, LVVSC said the employee is self-quarantining and is not “severely ill.” They also noted all doctors and support staff who had contact with the employee are self-quarantining for the recommended 14 days.

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3/19 | Second Dog in Hong Kong Tests Positive for Covid-19 Virus

A second pet dog in Hong Kong has repeatedly tested positive for the Covid-19 virus after its owner was confirmed as being infected, the government said.  

The German Shepherd living in the Pok Fu Lam area on Hong Kong Island was sent for quarantine along with another mixed-breed dog from the same residence, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said in a statement. 

“No positive results were obtained from the mixed-breed dog and neither dog has shown any signs of disease,” it said. “The department will continue to closely monitor both dogs and conduct repeated tests on the animals.” 

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3/19 | COVID-19: What Veterinary Practices Can Do

During this time of widespread concern, epidemiologists find themselves in a dual position. They view the COVID-19 situation both as a scientist would—an object of study—and as any person would—a potential threat to our healthcare system and economic health.

Dr. Stull says that they’re aware of the science, but there’s a cultural component that is very personal, too. The lack of reliable data or timeline makes it even more important as veterinary professionals to be the dependable public health officers that your community needs during this time.

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