Pet owners who take their pets to Chelsea Animal Hospital remain in good hands during Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order, which began March 24 and lasts through April 13.
Taking care of animals is deemed an essential service in the governor’s order. Chelsea Animal Hospital, located at 1475 S. Main St., has appropriate protocols in place for dealing with the Coronavirus.
“It’s a crazy time, and things are changing by the minute,” said hospital owner Dr. Paula Rode, who says they’ve been receiving numerous calls from clients worried about their pets not getting proper care. “I’m not going to close. That’s why I have three teams-team A, team B, and team C, that our staff has divided into. The idea is that if someone goes down (gets symptoms and/or tests positive for Coronavirus), their team can step out for two weeks.”
Staff from Chelsea Animal Hospital has been meeting clients at their vehicles in the parking lot and getting pets from the vehicle.
“I call the client on the phone and tell them my finding and my recommendation,” said Rode. “I have a great relationship with my clients, and it’s important that they talk to me and hear from me.”
Exceptions are made such as in a case earlier this week when a dog had to be euthanized, something the client didn’t want to do over the phone. By maintaining proper distancing, the client was able to be there.
Clients are able to pick up medication and food in bins behind the Chelsea Animal Hospital building using gloves. Rode says she and other staff members sometimes call out from the back window to greet clients.
Rode says that telemedicine is another option.
“If you have an established client-patient relationship, you can legally do telemedicine,” said Rode. “I could direct one of my staff to shave an animal’s lesion for example, see what it looks like, and then I could prescribe medication.”
Rode says that thorough and proper cleaning takes place in the office all the time, and that next to each telephone there are makeup pads and disinfectant spray.
What should you do with your pet if someone in your home has the symptoms or tests positive for Coronavirus?
“The person with the symptoms should maintain some distance from the pet and let other members of the family take care of the pet,” said Rode. “There is the potential of a pet being a carrier. That’s the advice of the Michigan Veterinary Association and the American Veterinary Association.”
Chelsea Animal Hospital can be reached at 734-475-0615.