Manchester Veterinary Clinic

156 Spencer Street
Manchester, CT 06040

(860)646-5170

www.manchestervetclinic.com

 

Coronavirus Newsletters

 

* * * * March 19th - Newsletter * * * *

Announcements of COVID-19 restrictions being lifted are on the rise, including in Connecticut, which is prompting many of you to wonder when we will be getting back to “business as usual” and allowing clients into our facility.  Our short answer is “when we know it will be safe for you and our team.”  Please keep reading for the reasons why we don’t know when that will be.

Grey paw print decoration - Manchester Veterinary Clinic - CT

The stray cat that owns us - Manchester Veterinary Clinic - CT

Grey paw print decoration - Manchester Veterinary Clinic - CT

Grey paw print decoration - Manchester Veterinary Clinic - CT

Our team is getting vaccinated for COVID-19 - Manchester Veterinary Clinic - CT

Grey paw print decoration - Manchester Veterinary Clinic - CT

Virus drawing - Manchester Veterinary Clinic - CT

Grey paw print decoration - Manchester Veterinary Clinic - CT

First, let’s review the facts.  COVID-19 continues to take 10 to 20 lives a day in our state. (For comparison, during the entire five months of each of the last two flu seasons, Connecticut influenza-related deaths averaged under 85 according to the DPH website.)  Connecticut is doing reasonably well in getting vaccines into residents’ arms but we’re far from protecting enough people to be safe.  And although optimistic, researchers have not conclusively determined how effective vaccination will be at stopping viral shedding (it looks like it won’t be 100%).  Add to that the unknown effect of the spread of the new coronavirus variants on vaccine efficacy and it is clear that continued precautions are necessary.  The CDC is clearly cautioning that we are still in a pandemic and with all the reopening activity, their concern is that COVID-19 numbers may go up again.

As if you haven’t heard it enough, preventing coronavirus spread is all about not inhaling someone else’s air and whatever virus-laden droplets or aerosols it may contain.  Doing that requires physical distancing or at the very least minimizing the amount of time spent not physically distanced.  A previous newsletter highlighted the fact that our small exam rooms and 20-30 or more minutes of close contact time between our team and pet owners in that limited space create too much exposure risk.  There is still too much virus in the community and not enough vaccination to change that dynamic.

Grey paw print decoration - Manchester Veterinary Clinic - CT

One of our small exam rooms with the air purifier - Manchester Veterinary Clinic - CT

Grey paw print decoration - Manchester Veterinary Clinic - CT

Grey paw print decoration - Manchester Veterinary Clinic - CT

Air Purifier at the front desk - Manchester Veterinary Clinic - CT

Grey paw print decoration - Manchester Veterinary Clinic - CT

One of the 3 plexiglass barriers at the front desk - Manchester Veterinary Clinic - CT

Grey paw print decoration - Manchester Veterinary Clinic - CT

"Properly Worn Masks Required" signage at each of our doors - Manchester Veterinary Clinic - CT

Grey paw print decoration - Manchester Veterinary Clinic - CT

We are doing all we can to prepare for reopening.  Our team is getting vaccinated.  We have put in multiple air purifiers to reinforce what our ventilation systems do.  Plexiglass barriers in the reception area will help there.  We are continuing to mandate proper mask use for anyone coming to our doors or into the building.  And we are creating a plan.  The first stage would have our doors still closed and waiting area empty but allow one owner to come in with their pet for the exam portion of the appointment while the history-taking and other parts of the visit would be done with owners outside of the building, as they are now.  As COVID-19 risk diminishes, we’d open our waiting room in a way to maintain physical distancing.  And eventually, when the science says it’s safe, we will return to some semblance of “business as usual.”  Throughout this period we will continue to offer Valet Pet Care for those owners who choose not to come into the building.

With your patience and our due diligence, Manchester Veterinary Clinic has so far weathered this pandemic storm and been able to continue to provide care for your pets.  We will let the science and the numbers dictate when it will be safe enough for us to start our reopening process.  We look forward to seeing all of our clients face to face.

Grey paw print decoration - Manchester Veterinary Clinic - CT

Kukui waving "good-bye" to COVID-19 - Manchester Veterinary Clinic - CT

Grey paw print decoration - Manchester Veterinary Clinic - CT

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* * * * September 15th - Newsletter * * * *

 

Victoria and Birdie wearing their masks and holding kittens

As knowledge about minimizing the spread of COVID-19 is gained, it is clear that continuing our Valet Pet Care and Product Pickup @ The Door services into 2021 is our best option to maintain the safety of our team and clients and to protect our ability to provide for you and your pets.

This decision is not made lightly and is based on science. Beyond the obvious exposure created by a sneeze or cough, experts suggest we view the more insidious, silent transmission potential of the virus as if it were cigarette smoke coming out of an infected, shedding person’s mouth. The more viral “smoke” you breathe in, the more chance you have for infection. Now imagine standing in any of our exam rooms for 15 to 30 or more minutes with a viral shedder as the room slowly fills with smoke a.k.a floating virus.  Even with masks the viral cloud, imagined as smoke, accumulates. MVC is not a big box store or a big grocery store or even a moderately sized retail store where larger air volumes dilute the cloud. Our spaces are small and our exposure times are long.  Furthermore, the nature of our work keeps us from being able to physically distance from our teammates at all times which means that if one of us gets sick, the risk of spread to co-workers is much greater. Such an outbreak could shut the clinic down, an outcome that benefits no people or pets.

Hannah wearing her mask and holding a puppy

 

Peach the cat showing how to properly wear a mask covering your nose and mouth

It would be great if SARS-Cov-2 would just go away and if it didn’t kill or seriously injure so many. But it won’t, and it does, and returning to a free flow of clients into our building creates risks we cannot mitigate. These are risks we are not willing to take.  Make no mistake about the fact that all of the MVC team recognizes the diminished experience that results from owners not being with their pets during a visit. It is just as diminished for us, as personal connections and collaborative energy are much harder to achieve. 

We thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding as we all learn to navigate the new, and we hope temporary, “normal.”

 

* * * * April 13th - Newsletter - updated September 15th * * * *

 

Thank you for being patient as our practice implements measures to keep you and our staff safe from COVID-19. We know your family, like ours, has a lot going on these days, and it can be hard to keep current on the facts. 

One of the big questions we’ve been asked lately is, “Can I catch COVID-19 from my pet?” 

While the full answer is a little complicated, the short answer is “No.”

Fluffy and Fido are not a threat.

Though there have been cases of a few non-human animals testing positive for COVID-19, there is no evidence so far that our pets can transmit this coronavirus to us. In fact, if there is a concern, it may be the other way around. So far, the only cases where animals have contracted COVID-19 have been where they were in contact with a virus-positive human.

We know what you're thinking: "Oh, great! I don't want to make my pet sick!". Don't worry, we're on the same page there. 

All evidence points to COVID-19 being much better adapted to thrive in humans than in other species. There have been a couple of experimental studies (click here and here) to test infectiousness of the virus in other animals. So far here are the results:

Photo of brown tabby cat and cute tan puppy being stroked by a human hand

Collage of different animals showing their level of susceptibility to COVID-19 (details included in next text section)
  • Pigs: safe
  • Chickens: safe
  • Fruit bats: might be a little susceptible
  • Ferrets: susceptible
  • Cats: susceptible, but low rates of illness
  • Dogs: low susceptibility

Photo of beautiful Bengal tiger

But what about the tigers?

The lesson learned from the tiger at the Bronx Zoo is the same one we’d like you to take away from this. If you or anyone in your household is showing signs of illness (fever, cough, etc.) or has been exposed to someone known to have COVID-19, it’s best to avoid direct, close contact with your pets – especially cats and ferrets.

You don’t have to do anything drastic, just wash your hands before and after handling your pets, and if there are sick humans in your house, keep pets of the feline, canine, and ferret variety out of the sickroom. No kitty snuggles for the convalescents with this bug.

For additional information on COVID-19 for pet owners, we recommend these articles: 

And one more important thing to keep in mind: information and recommendations may change as our understanding of the virus and associated disease evolves, so be sure to check with us and/or monitor the shared sources in this newsletter regularly for new information.  

Most importantly and as always, if you think your pet isn't well, please don't hesitate to contact us. We're here for you!

For the latest on how Coronavirus pertains to your pet locally, please click below to visit our website:

Coronavirus updates and MVC restricted hours of operation.

Does your pet need and appointment? Valet Pet Care while you wait in the safety of your car.

Need a refill or to pick-up food for your pet? The scoop on Product Pick-Up @ The Door.

 

 

* * * * March 16th - Newsletter - updated September 15th * * * *

 

Virus Illustration by Tamara Rees - Copyright 2019, VIN

We feel it is important for us to let you know what Manchester Veterinary Clinic is doing during this COVID-19 situation. It is our current plan and hope to be able to provide you and your pets with the care you are accustomed to. That said, we clearly recognize that as a veterinary hospital that brings people together every day, we have a responsibility to our team, our clients and our community to provide an environment that minimizes the chance of spreading infectious disease. To that end, we have emphasized to all of our team members to stay home if not feeling well and reinforced the practice of safe, hygienic habits at work. We have also increased the frequency with which we disinfect surfaces throughout our facility, particularly those receiving frequent human hand contact.

 

We echo all health professionals in urging our clients to practice those same hygiene habits. If you are feeling at all sick please avoid contact with others and our hospital. We are more than willing to reschedule appointments if you don’t feel well. If you are ill, but have a pet that is sick or needs a prescription, communicate your situation to us so that together we can come up with a plan that meets everyone’s needs and keeps everyone as safe as possible.


We are presently fully staffed and plan on being able to continue to meet your needs. To decrease exposure, please call from your car to check-in for your appointment. When our team is ready, we will direct you to one of our doors to handoff your pet. See Valet Pet Care for further details.


 

Where can I learn more?

  • This article on Veterinary Partner has compiled a list of frequently updated and reliable resources on COVID-19 as well as the answers to some frequently asked questions:
    Veterinary Partner COVID-19 Article
  • The AVMA has created an informative web page covering general issues COVID-19 as it pertains to humans and pets: AVMA COVID-19 Info
  • Providing frequent reports on COVID-19 and in particular, provides easy to read and insightful information on pets and if they have any role in the present pandemic. Worms and Germs Blog
  • The CDC website is a resource for human-specific info: CDC COVID-19 Info....
  • .... and also has a FAQ section specific to pets: CDC Coronavirus and Pets FAQ

As with so many things in life, exercising common sense and some extra care, plus lots of hand washing and sanitizing, will benefit us all. Please let us know if you have COVID-19 questions specific to your pet.

Photo of blankets with dog hiding and it's feet  and tail sticking out