Dear Clients —

I am writing to provide you with some thoughts about the coronavirus and our initiatives at Beaches Animal Hospital to help you through this concerning time.

Although there has been one “weak positive” case of coronavirus in a dog in China, it is not expected that pets will be directly affected by the virus. However, a local epidemic could still negatively impact local animal welfare if pet owners and/or veterinary staff are infected.

I have initiated communication with the College of Veterinarians of Ontario (CVO) and have suggested that the CVO consider flexibility in the practice of veterinary medicine so that appropriate and necessary care can still be provided to your pets during an outbreak. Such measures could include phone and/or video consultations where a pet owner is quarantined. This type of consultation would also decrease the possibility of human exposure from congregation at any Ontario clinic. I am waiting for the CVO to issue direction regarding these matters and will update you.

In the meantime, we already have measures in place to assist during any outbreak:

1. We have secure external access to all medical records in the event that the clinic is required to close for a short period of time. We will still be able to access your records, communicate with you and (if necessary) forward your records to another clinic.

2. We already have online ordering in place for both medications and food. This ordering includes the ability for direct delivery to your house (your porch) in the event you are quarantined. This service could also be used should you wish to stock additional supplies now. (You do have to be set up for this service so please do not hesitate to call or email us if you need assistance in signing-up.).

3. We are prepared to act as an advocate for your animal if you are unfortunately infected by the coronavirus. We have already had inquiries from clients about what would happen to their pets if they are incapacitated. In the unfortunate event of your hospitalization and where your pet is forced to be left at home without a caregiver, thereby requiring involvement of the Toronto Animal Services, we could assist in coordinating with TAS to ensure appropriate care for your pet. Animals could be transferred to us by Toronto Animal Services or another service/individual for boarding at our facility. If you wish for us to act as your pet’s advocate please send us an email to indicate this. We will keep this on file.

4. This is a good reminder to review your emergency contact information to ensure someone is listed as being responsible for your pet. Please forward your emergency contact details to us and we will make sure that they are updated.

Hopefully, this preparedness is unnecessary and I wish you and your four-legged, scaled and feathered family members only good health during this concerning time.

Dr. Mark Dilworth
Beaches Animal Hospital