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Highland Pointe Animal Hospital and COVID-19

Dear Valued Clients,

Highland Pointe Animal Hospital has made further operational changes based on the evolving COVID-19 status. Our goal is to maximize both your safety and experience with our hospital.

We are now welcoming clients into the hospital to facilitate all types of visits (doctor appointments, technician appointments, and food/medication purchases). There is a limit of four guests at any given period of time in the lobby, and we ask that everyone respects those around them by maintaining social distancing measures.

As many of you know, prior to COVID-19, our standard is to examine all pets in the exam rooms. In order to minimize risk to all parties, pets are being examined and receiving vaccinations/treatments in the treatment area to limit the number of people confined in the exam rooms. We will continue to work diligently to minimize the time you are away from your pet(s).

If you prefer to remain outside of the hospital during a visit, please call the hospital when you arrive. If your visit is a doctor or technician appointment, we will instruct you to meet a trusted staff member at the front door once we are ready to retrieve your pet. You will need to be the one to remove your pet from your vehicle, and your pet needs to be on a leash or in a carrier before being removed from your vehicle. You need to ensure that the leash is properly hooked to your pet’s collar/harness and that your pet’s collar/harness fits properly.

We are continuing to take the following steps inside the hospital:

  • All HPAH employees are required to follow the CDC guidelines for “social distancing” while physically possible in the hospital. This means that all HPAH employees will try to keep a minimum of 6ft distance between his/herself and another person.

  • All HPAH employees will continue to clean and disinfect the hospital per standard protocol after each patient interaction.

  • All HPAH employees are required to wash their hands in accordance with CDC recommendations prior to and following each patient interaction (at minimum) and will wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) where appropriate.

Additional information about COVID-19 (per the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)):

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.

The AVMA maintains its current recommendations regarding SARS-CoV-2 and companion animals. These recommendations, which are supported by guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), indicate that:

  • Animal owners without symptoms of COVID-19 should continue to practice good hygiene during interactions with animals. This includes washing hands before and after such interactions or handling animal food, waste, or supplies.

  • Out of an abundance of caution, and until more is known about the virus, those ill with COVID-19 should restrict contact with pets and other animals, just as you would restrict your contact with other people. Have another member of your household or business take care of feeding and otherwise caring for any animals, including pets.  If you have a service animal or you must care for your animals, including pets, then wear a cloth face covering; don’t share food, kiss, or hug them, and wash your hands before and after any contact with them.

  • 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 to suggest that domestic animals, including pets and livestock, that may be incidentally infected by humans play a role in the spread of COVID-19.

Companion animals should not be routinely tested for COVID-19 at this time. Animals that are ill or injured should receive veterinary care. While these are recommended as good practices, it is important to remember that, at this time, 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. 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.

If you are NOT ILL with COVID-19, you can interact with your pet as you normally would including walking, feeding, and playing. You should continue to practice good hygiene during those interactions (e.g., wash hands before and after interacting with your pet; ensure your pet is kept well-groomed; regularly clean your pets food and water bowls, bedding material, and toys.).

For responsible pet owners, preparing in advance is key. Make sure you have an emergency kit prepared, with at least two weeks’ worth of your pet’s food, and any needed medications.