COVID-19 Clinic Protocols and Updates
We are all aware of the far-reaching effects of the current COVID-19 public health crisis, and as a clinic we have been trying to adapt to the daily changes in order to keep our vets, staff and our valued clients safe while still providing good service to your farms. We would like to take this opportunity to provide some clarity on the various aspects of veterinary and farm business that are affected during this time. Please keep in mind that the situation is changing daily, and we will be keeping up with the government’s requirements to reduce the spread of this disease, so these things may be subject to change.
Veterinary Medicine as an “Essential Service”
As of March 24th, Ontario has required all non-essential businesses to close for at least 2 weeks. A list of “essential services” was distributed after this announcement, and both Agriculture and Veterinary Services were included as essentials. Milverton-Wellesley Veterinary Services will therefore be open and functioning, barring any drastic changes in the future as mandated by the government and public health.
There will be no change to the current clinic hours. As always, after-hours emergency service will continue.
Emergency Services and Sick Animals: We will continue to attend to your emergencies and sick animals. We ask that if you are feeling ill or have travelled recently, that you have someone else who is healthy to help the attending veterinarian. If possible, proper social distancing is to be followed.
Herd Health: We will continue to do herd health appointments, as we deem this as a necessary service to support ongoing food production and animal health. Our office staff will be calling ahead and asking about risk factors for COVID-19, such as recent travel or signs of illness, and will be assessing risk with your herd health veterinarian accordingly and alternate arrangements may be made.
If any of our veterinarians are feeling ill, they will not be going out to farms. Arrangements will be made to send a different veterinarian or to reschedule.
Social Distancing and Biosecurity
Public Health has recommended various measures to reduce the risk of spreading the virus in public settings. Here is how our vets and clinic staff are putting this into practice:
● Strict self-isolation after travel is now required for anyone who has traveled out of the country. This quarantine must be followed for 14 days after your return, and includes avoiding contact with any person outside of the household.
● Self-isolation and monitoring is also strongly recommended for anyone who has had direct contact with a confirmed or possible case of COVID-19, or anyone experiencing shortness of breath, fever, or a cough.
● Proper social distancing requires that 2 metres of space is allowed between people at all times. We are trying to be mindful of this during our farm calls, so don’t take offense if we step away from you during herd health!
● Practice good hand hygiene, including washing hands often and thoroughly.
● Sanitizing equipment and contact surfaces. The clinic doors are currently open, and we are sanitizing contact surfaces between clients. Our equipment, clothes and boots are cleaned between calls, as always.
● Minimizing direct contact. Phone consults can also be a good option if you are not sure that something requires a farm visit.
Product Pick-up and Drop-offs
We are strongly recommending that you call ahead and place your order of drugs and product so that our staff can get it ready for you to minimize time spent in the clinic. Staff will either put your order outside or just inside the door. We encourage you to do this ahead of your herd health as well, if you are not already doing so.
If you are coming into the clinic spontaneously, we have the front reception area of the clinic taped off so you will not be able to go much further than the front door. We ask that for patience while our staff puts together your order for you. This is done in order to minimize how many people handle products in the clinic and to make sanitizing between clients easier.
As always, we offer drop-offs to your farm if that suits you best. We anticipate drop-offs to increase, and we strongly encourage you to place your orders early in the day so we can coordinate these drop-offs with the other farm calls being done during the day. This allows us to make the most efficient driving route for our vets who are doing the drop-offs.
Product Delays and Current Backorders
We have been assured by suppliers that any interruption in product availability is not due to the pandemic. However, clinics everywhere are experiencing increased demand for product, shortages in personal protective and sanitary equipment, and delays in delivery of products. Please bear with us as we try to accommodate your needs during this time. We are trying to be proactive in our inventory management so the interruption to your supply is minimal. We do NOT encourage stockpiling of products in the anticipation of a shortage, as it could create artificial product supply issues.
There are a few significant backorders we would like to make you aware of:
● ScourGuard 4KC - both 50 dose and 10 dose have recently been intermittently unavailable. The 10 dose is back in stock as of March 30th.
● Vitamaster - until the end of May. As an alternative for this product, Newcells is back and available at the clinic.
● Spectramast DC and LC - until the beginning of April.
● Cefa-Lak - until end of June
● Novodry - No ETA yet
● Precision Xtra Ketone Strips (blood ketone test) - until the beginning of April
Please ask a veterinarian for a suitable replacement for any of these products if needed.
We realize this is an unprecedented situation and we do not know how long this period of restriction and uncertainty will go on for. If you have any questions about COVID-19 and how it affects your farm and veterinary needs, do not hesitate to contact the clinic and talk to any of our staff or vets. If stress or anxiety is affecting you, feel free to reach out to your veterinarian or other appropriate resources. Please stay safe and healthy, and we will see you on-farm soon!