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Southwest Veterinary Surgical Service and COVID-19

To our valued pet owners and referral partners,

Southwest Veterinary Surgical Service has always been and remains committed to the health and safety of our patients, clients, and staff. COVID-19 (novel Coronavirus) is affecting all aspects of our lives and Southwest Veterinary Surgical Service is continuing our dedication to facility cleanliness and quality care. We would like to update you on the steps we are taking to to maintain health and safety while still providing the utmost service and medical care to you and your pets.

  • We are requiring hourly wipe downs of “high touch” areas including but not limited to counter tops, walls, door handles, light switches, clipboards, pens, monitors, keyboards and mouse, printers, phones, and restrooms. Areas to include are lobby, front desk, exam rooms (after each use), pharmacy, lab, treatment area, pack/prep room and break room.  It is important to stress that it is our routine practice to disinfect our work space, equipment, and instruments after each use using current medical industry standards.
  • Implementing limited building access to clients at this time as recommended by the CDC to practice proper social distancing.
  • We are limiting our staff members travel between locations as much as possible. Our surgeons along with our technical staff will not be rotating between clinics on a daily basis at this time.
  • We continue to practice regular hand washing, particularly before and after handling patients, as it is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs to others.

What we are asking of our clients

As of June 1st we will continue to take necessary social distancing precautions recommended by the CDC and will be allowing restricted building access limited to exam room availability only.

  • Please fill out all necessary new client paperwork online for your appointment prior to your visit.
  • Upon your arrival, please call the front office to check in for your appointment or surgery drop off. We ask that you please stay in your car and wait for a staff member to come out and escort you into the building when an exam room is ready for your pet.
  • Masks are required to enter the building. One can be provided if needed.
  • Only one client will be allowed to enter the building with the patient to minimize overcrowding in the facility.
  • You will be escorted directly into the exam room.
  • The patient will be taken out of the room for the surgeon to examine the patient in our treatment area.
  • Consultations may occur in a couple of different ways depending on client and surgeon comfort level:
  1. By phone – you will take this call from the exam room
  2. In person – social distancing of 6′ is highly encouraged in these situations

* Please stay in your seat when staff is in the room with you.

  • Payments will be processed, follow-up appointments scheduled, and discharge instructions reviewed in the exam room. Once complete, a staff member will escort you to an exit.

We ask that our clients also please take necessary precautions before coming to our office

  • If you or someone you have been in contact with are experiencing symptoms of fever, coughing, our troubled breathing we ask that you stay home and reschedule your pets appointment(s) with us.
  • We urge you to also follow CDC guild lines and practice social distancing and self-quarantine if necessary.
  • The CDC recommends wearing cloth face covering in public along with continuing to practice social distancing measures. Wearing a cloth face mask helps slow the spread of the virus by helping people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html
  • Please practice regular hand washing, particularly after certain activities, as it is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs to others.

What does COVID-19 mean for my pet?

  • Per the American Veterinary Medical Association, “there is no evidence suggesting that dogs and cats can get sick from exposure to COVID-19 or transmit the disease. Nonetheless, the AVMA urges caution and says anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19, the infection caused by the virus, should limit contact with animals and have another member of the household feed, exercise and play with pets; wear a medical mask around service animals; avoid sharing food with pets; avoid face-to-face contact and hugs; and wash hands before and after any contact with pets”.
  • “Despite the number of global cases of COVID-19 surpassing the one million mark as of April 2, 2020, we are aware of only  two dogs and one cat in Hong Kong, and a tiger in New York, that had positive results of tests for infection. None of the pets determined to be positive showed signs of illness consistent with COVID-19, and all lived closely with one or more people with a confirmed diagnosis and clinical symptoms of COVID-19…There have been no reports of pets or livestock becoming ill with COVID-19 in the United States. At this point in time, there is also no evidence that domestic animals, including pets and livestock, can spread COVID-19 to people.”
  • “There is no evidence to suggest that animals that may be incidentally infected by humans are playing a role in the spread of COVID-19. Human outbreaks are driven by person-to-person transmission Accordingly, we see no reason to remove pets from homes even if COVID-19 has been identified in members of the household, unless there is risk that the pet itself is not able to be cared for appropriately. During this pandemic emergency, pets and people each need the support of the other and veterinarians are there to support the good health of both.”
  • The AVMA also suggests to “Make sure you have an emergency kit prepared, with at least two weeks’ worth of your pet’s food and any needed medications. Usually we think about emergency kits like this in terms of what might be needed for an evacuation, but it’s also good to have one prepared in the case of quarantine or self-isolation when you cannot leave your home.” Click HERE for a pet disaster kit checklist for you to reference put together by the CDC.
  • Read our blog post by Dr. Jeffrey Steurer about pets and COVID-19 (https://swvetsurgery.com/pets-and-covid-19/)

We apologize that you may experience longer than normal wait times due to our increased safety and health precautions and altered staffing levels. We understand that these are stressful times for pet owners and everyone in the veterinary field. We thank you immensely for your understanding and cooperation. Please notify us of any questions or concerns you may have. Thank you!

Call us toll free at 1-855-274-4798

For more information about COVID-19 recommendations for you and your pet please visit:

American Veterinary Medical Association

World Health Organization

Center for Disease Control