The Centers for Disease Control has recommended all individuals practice “Social Distancing” as a strategy to help stem the spread of the highly-contagious coronavirus (COVID-19). You’ve probably heard the term, but what exactly does it mean, and how does one actually put this into practice?
Social distancing is a practice that aims to prevent sick people from coming into contact with healthy persons. By doing so, it slows the transmission of the illness to others- especially those within the high-risk categories of the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. We believe that social distancing is an excellent strategy to minimize the speed at which the virus spreads.
Taking it one step further, some folks are self-quarantining, meaning they are cutting themselves off from all contact outside of their homes. This is happening even if nobody in the household has shown any symptoms of the virus.
Whether you’re social distancing, self-quarantining, or going about life as usual, your pet still requires their normal veterinary care. Fortunately, your pet cannot be sickened by COVID-19, but is not immune to other normal health problems that may arise. At Tampa Veterinary Hospital, we’re here to help you and your pet through these difficult times.
We have several tools available to assist you if you choose to keep your social distance or shelter in place. We’re here to help you maintain your pet’s health through these uncertain and unprecedented times.
I’m running out of prescription food for my pet
Don’t worry- we’ve got your back. Every prescription diet we offer at Tampa Veterinary Hospital is available through our online store. If you haven’t set up an
online account, it only takes a few minutes. You can create an account or sign into your account here. Our pricing is competitive, and your product is guaranteed by the manufacturer. If you choose to ‘auto-ship’ your food on a schedule, you’ll get an added discount.
Why is it important to order from your online store?
Tampa Veterinary Hospital works directly with our manufacturers and distributors to make sure that you are getting the exact product you would get if you were to buy it at our location. We are a small, locally owned business- and our team members live and work right here in our neighborhood. Buying from us helps us support our local community- not a major company in another state who doesn’t invest in your neighborhood.
My pet’s prescription medication or prevention is almost empty!
No problem. We have flea/tick and heartworm prevention products available through the online store, too. Some heartworm prevention products may require a
heartworm test in order to be approved and shipped. We also have a number of prescription medications available, too. Some refills may require a veterinarian’s approval. If you don’t see your pet’s prescription medication in the online store, call us. We’ll see what we can do to get it to you quickly.
I think my pet needs to see a vet, but I am afraid to leave the house.
We get it. If you’re sheltering in place due to the virus threat- we can see your pet with a virtual appointment using our AirVet app, including live video. Your pet must be an active patient- meaning we have seen them within the past 12 months- for us to be able to make recommendations or prescribe medications. If your pet hasn’t been seen by one of our veterinarians, we will be limited on what we can recommend and we won’t be able to offer prescriptions until we see them in person. More information on virtual visits and how to get the AirVet app can be found in Dr. Webster’s blog here.
The FDA has temporarily relaxed their policies on telemedicine. That means that our veterinarians can see patients that we haven’t seen in more than a year, and still diagnose and offer prescriptions. Previously, requirements were that we had to have a VCPR (Veterinarian/Client/Patient relationship) and seen your pet within the last 365 days. This policy has been relaxed, meaning we can now see more patients virtually.
I have no problem with coming in- what are you doing at TVH to protect us?
That’s great. We’re open, but we’ve changed a few things based on today’s concerns. We’re still committed to providing a clean, safe environment for all of our guests, patients and team members. We are routinely disinfecting our public areas, treatment areas and exam rooms- just like we always have.
What’s changed? Our veterinarians and team members are working on maintaining safe spaces with all of our guests. This means that we may take your pet’s medical history in locations outside the exam room. We may ask that we perform vaccines, exams or other minor procedures outside of your presence. Rest assured, these procedures will be performed to the high standards we hold ourselves to every day- whether you’re with your pet- or not.
We are asking that guests not enter our hospital if:
- You feel sick or ill in any way
- Have a fever or cough
- Have traveled within the past 2 weeks internationally, or to a high-risk area
- You fear you may have been exposed to someone who poses a high risk
- Any such guests should call us upon their arrival and remain in their vehicles to await instruction.
If you need anything for your pet and have questions, please call us at 813-254-3031. We’re here to help you and your pets through this difficult time.