Ask the Vet
On behalf of the VRCCE team, let me personally assure you we are committed to supporting you and your pet during these uncertain times. As an essential business located in a town with community spread of the corona virus, we will remain open to address your needs unless or until the CDC mandates closure of all businesses.
We have taken steps to 1) ensure your access to necessary services and 2) prevent the spread of illness.
• For at least 2 weeks, we will not see routine cases or perform elective surgeries or dental procedures.
• We will have appointments for emergent and pressing cases between the hours of 10:00 am and 2:00 pm M-F and 10:00 am to noon on Saturday, through direct car door to door service.
• We will provide medications and food via direct car door to door service, Covetrus’ online pharmacy or via staff drop off to your mailbox (for high risk, housebound clients only)
• If sick, our staff will stay home until they experience no signs of illness without medications for 24 hours or for 14 days with direct exposure to the coronavirus.
• As a health care facility, cleanliness is an integral part of our everyday work, but we are doubling our efforts in this regard.
• All group dog training classes with Gooddogz Training are suspended for at least two weeks.
• March 24th’s “Is Your Dog Ready to Be Off-leash?” Community Lecture Seminar is postponed until further notice.
Direct Car Door to Door Service
• Clients will stay in their cars while nurses bring patients and or products in and out of VRCCE.
• For appointments, clients will be asked to fill out medical history forms beforehand.
• Client communication will be made by phone including veterinarian instructions and payment via credit card.
• Clients may wait in the car for faster procedures or admit patients for hospitalization if more time is needed for care.
Remember, there is no current evidence that pets can become ill with COVID-19 or transmit the virus to people.
We all wish good health and safety to you and your two and four-legged family members. We will closely monitor and inform you of any new developments. Refer to the attached resource sheet for more information. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.
Ginger Browne Johnson, DVM, CCRP
VRCCE Client COVID-19 Resource Sheet
• We encourage clients to prepare for their pet’s care in case of illness, quarantine or self-isolation when you cannot leave your home.
• Identify another person who is willing and able to care for your pet should you contract COVID-19. • Make sure you have an emergency kit prepared, with at least two weeks’ worth of pet food, water, medicines (clearly labelled with dosage and schedule), flea and tick prevention, kitty litter (if needed), and cleaning supplies for your pet. • Keep your pet’s vaccinations up-to-date and have vaccination records on hand in case boarding becomes necessary. • Ensure proper pet identification with collars and microchips. Keep microchip contact information current. • Have access to pet crates and carriers as may be necessary for travel and/or confinement.
• As in precautions recommended to prevent human transmission, the World Organization of Animal Health currently recommends regular hand washing with soap and water before and after touching animals, their food, or their supplies
VRCCE’s Coronavirus Pledge
Because We Care, We Will:
• Practice Social Distancing by attempting to remain 6 feet away from others, when possible (including not shaking hands).
• Avoid close contact with those who are ill.
• Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
• Cover sneezes and coughs with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash (or direct into a sleeve or elbow if no tissue is available).
• Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds (or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content), upon entering and leaving examination rooms, after coughing or sneezing, after blowing nose, before eating, and after using the bathroom.
• Stay at home with any signs of acute respiratory illness, including a fever, call a doctor and not return to work until all symptoms have resolved without medication for at least 24 hours.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: I am not ill, but my pet is due for a routine appointment, what should I do?
A: If you are not ill with COVID-19 or another respiratory disease (e.g., cold, flu) and your pet needs routine veterinary care, consider delaying this care for at least 2 weeks or until normal services can resume. If rabies or another core vaccination necessary for boarding are due or you would like to have a microchip placed as an emergency precaution, please call and we will arrange for these services through our Direct Car Door to Door Service.
Q: I am not ill, but my pet needs emergent veterinary care, what should I do?
A: If you are not ill with COVID-19 or another respiratory disease (e.g., cold, flu) and your pet needs emergent veterinary care, call to make an appointment at VRCCE as you normally would. We will meet you at your car through our Direct Car Door to Door Service.
Q: I have COVID-19, but my pet needs veterinary care, what should I do?
A: If you are sick with COVID-19: stay at home and minimize contact with other people, until you are well.
If your pet has a non-urgent veterinary need (e.g., annual wellness examination, routine vaccination, elective surgery), wait to schedule that appointment until your physician and your public health official believe you no longer present a risk of transmitting your infection to other people.
If your pet has an urgent veterinary need, please seek assistance from VRCCE and your public health official to determine how to best ensure your pet can be appropriately cared for while minimizing risks of transmitting COVID-19 to other people.
What should I do if my pet becomes ill after being around someone who has been sick with COVID-19? A: Talk with the public health official working with the person who is ill with COVID-19. Your public health official can then consult with a public health veterinarian who, in turn, can help VRCCE ensure your pet receives appropriate care.
Additional Recommended Links with Resources:
World Organization for Animal Health
World Small Animal Veterinary Association
World Health Organization
Center for Disease Control and Prevention
American Veterinary Medical Association
AVMA Advice for Pet Owners
211 Maine: Get answers at any time by dialing 211 (or 866-811-5695), texting your ZIP code to 898-211, or emailing email@example.com.
Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Maine Veterinary Medical Center
1500 Technology Way, Scarborough, ME
Portland Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Care
739 Warren Avenue, Portland, ME
Veterinary and Rehabilitation Center of Cape Elizabeth
Dr. Ginger Browne Johnson
Info@vrcce.com - attn: Ask the Vet