With changes happening around the recent coronavirus outbreak on a daily basis, we here at the Animal Hospital of Sussex County have been monitoring the news and regulations from both the state, as well as the New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association to ensure we are in line with all guidelines and recommendations as it relates to NJ Veterinary Practices during COVID-19. Below is information that is in effect as of 5 pm Friday, March 27, 2020. And please know that we are an essential business, and are open and handling all emergencies as usual – if you have an emergency, call us immediately and we are here to help.
What limits are there on NJ veterinary practices during COVID-19?
In an effort to reduce transmission of the COVID-19 virus, while also allowing necessary and essential care to be provided to pets, companion animals, and livestock, and simultaneously conserving medical resources for emergency personnel and hospitals should the need arise, the governor of the State of New Jersey has signed Executive Order No. 109. This order limits any elective and non-essential surgeries or medical procedures to be performed after the 5 pm deadline on Friday, Marcy 27, 2020.
The NJVMA website goes on to state that, “the order applies to all medical and dental operations that can be delayed without undue risk to the current or future health of the patient, as determined by the patient’s physician or dentist. While veterinarians are not mentioned in name in this respect, the NJVMA strongly encourages all NJ veterinarians to suspend elective surgeries, non-emergency procedures, and well visits in order to limit exposure risk and conserve needed personal protective equipment.”
In order to do our part to conserve resources and limit chances of exposure for our clients and our staff, we are focusing on essential veterinary care and emergency and life-sustaining procedures at this time. We also are now offering Veterinary Video Consults to help clients with questions, concerns, lameness and other evaluations that can be done visually without the need for an in person physical exam. You can learn more about our Vet Video Consults or call us for more information and to schedule an appointment.
What is considered essential?
Above all please know that we are still open and handling all emergencies as usual – if you have an emergency, call us immediately and we are here to help.
Next, as for essential services – the guidelines here are a bit vague, and while veterinarians are not specifically named in the State’s order, we are committed to doing our part to help the community and country. Here’s a partial list of services we are doing in the office (with limited interaction following the posted guidelines here). We will do our best to keep the list current and updated, and we recommend that you call us first at 973-579-1155 to schedule your appointment and with any questions so that we can properly assist you and your pet.
Curbside pickup services
- Prescription medicine
- You can also order you pet’s prescriptions with us online!
- Prescription and special need foods
- Necessary veterinary and pet supplies that we have on hand that may be deemed essential for your pet (e-collars, bandages, etc. based on medical need)
In-office essential services (client is to remain in car – full COVID-19 guidelines here)
- Any and all emergencies
- Spay and neuter procedures where there are concerns about infection, long term health implications, and high-risk animals
- For example, a healthy 6mo old kitten may have their spay or neuter procedure rescheduled as non-essential at this time while an older dog with a suspected case of pyometra (uterine infection) would be consider essential
- Vaccinations and boosters with annual exams
- Dental procedures where there is suspected infection or interference in day to day life for the pet such as impacting their ability to eat, etc.
- Exams for pets with special needs such as heart conditions, diabetes, kidney disease, cushings, thyroid issues, etc. that require regular medical check-ups are considered life-sustaining procedures
- Farm calls for exams, vaccinations, and emergencies
- House calls for emergencies
- Please note this list is not complete and you should contact us with questions or for more information!
Veterinary Video Consults
Please note this is a new service. For complete information, read our Veterinary Video Consults page. Because these services are provided remotely, there are no state-imposed restrictions on VVCs. We can assist best with items such as hot spots, minor injuries and issues, lamenesses, and other similar cases. If you’re not sure if you need to come into the office or if we can assist via video, we are happy to start with a Vet Video Consult appointment and if it is deemed necessary to bring your pet to the office, the video consul fee will be applied to the office visit so you will not be charged for both the video consult and in the in-office exam.
You can also follow the news and updates right here on our practice website at CaringVets.com/News/COVID-19 and we are updating our website regularly as additional news and information becomes available.
We thank all of our incredible clients, their pets, and our staff as we work together to continue to provide your pets with the essential care they need during these unique times.