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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
Just posting this for information to the members of this board as well as recommendations on who to reach out to:

As some of you know, I am a RN in one of the hotspots of the US for covid 19. My girlfriend and I own 2 pups(we both work in healthcare) . A mixed breed dog, and my gsd pup. My mixed breed is due for his yearly vaccines including rabies and my girl, is due for her cytopoint shot. My girlfriend works part time at the vet clinic we use (or used to at least). With the stay at home order in place, most vet clinics including this one have been doing a “drive by” type of service. Fair enough, right? I was told that bc I am a healthcare worker with covid exposure, the clinic would not see my animals and that we could simply wait on the vaccines. A day went by and I grew rather disgruntled. I work tirelessly day in and day out to save the lives of people with this terrible virus and my animals cannot get the care that they deserve bc of me? So, we called back. We were told “I thought we talked to you about this already, we can’t do it, bc it’s too big of the risk,” “the virus could be on their fur”. Well....my response, put gloves on. We were once again refused. Obviously upset, we received a call a few hours later saying that we could drive up in the field behind the clinic, unload my dogs into a kennel and then leave. They would give my dogs the shots outside, put them back in the kennel and then I could drove back up and get them. Is this how we treat our healthcare workers and their families? I am beyond pissed off. These are people in the same community I work my tail off for. I do not want to infect anyone. Nor would I ever expect someone to not take the proper precautions but this is an embarrassment to everyone in my line of work. News flash.....you don’t know who anyone is exposed to. You just know my profession and are in essence segregating is and denying my animals proper care. I work daily to save people of any color, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual preference, profession etc. everyone is cared for the same. To treat me in this fashion is just ungrateful and bad business imo.


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I agree, except it’s their office and if they are worried about being infected, it’s their choice. My vet has a pregnant vet tech and has gone to extremes to protect his staff. You don’t know if anyone in his office has an illness or condition that makes them very susceptible to complications. I would either do as they ask, see if you could get the shot and give it yourself or find a new vet. If your dog is staying home, he can probably go without a shot until after this is over.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I agree, except it’s their office and if they are worried about being infected, it’s their choice. My vet has a pregnant vet tech and has gone to extremes to protect his staff. You don’t know if anyone in his office has an illness or condition that makes them very susceptible to complications. I would either do as they ask, see if you could get the shot and give it yourself or find a new vet. If your dog is staying home, he can probably go without a shot until after this is over.
But give all of his other clients vaccines? It’s ignorance.


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Discussion Starter #5
Then maybe tell him that you are upset and why, then find a new vet.

Thank you for the work you do.
Of course. And I will continue doing it. It’s for the common good. Truth is, if he cared about infecting his staff, they wouldn’t be there. Unless you can account for the whereabouts of everyone at that clinic everyday and who they interact with, the spread to staff will not be limited.

Not servicing healthcare workers is discrimination...and last I checked, that’s not ok.

We will definitely find a new vet, but it will certainly be difficult during this time.

Ohh and btw, yes, he will likely be ok without the vaccine but neither you or a vet can guarantee that. Think we’d have this pandemic on hand if we had a vaccine for this virus?


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I'm very sorry to hear about your story, and rather pissed off too. Thank you for the work you have been doing. And yes I would absolutely try and find a new vet, one that makes sense.
 

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Reading your story, I am also upset. The work you are doing is the work of heroes, especially in your location in America. True heroes.
We should be trying above and beyond to make the lives of people like you easier not harder. I’m so sorry.
 

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Yeah sorry you have to go through this and thank you for all that you do. You can ask maybe they would give you the vaccines to do? The vet not wanting to any take risks but at the same time he does not know the exposure of any of his clients who bring their pets there so it does not make any sense to me.
 

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For what it's worth, my vet didn't want me to bring my dog in for his DHPP either. I'm not high risk for Covid at all, haven't been sick. They just didn't want to see my dog for a single vaccine. My friend who works there just brought it to me when I saw her for something else. I gave him the vaccine myself and paid over the phone.
 

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I'm so sorry this is happening to you. It isn't right by any means. It is a form of discrimination and morally wrong imo.

Sure pet animals may be just fine being late for a vaccine. But there is a bigger issue that vets like this are not addressing. Just this past week our local PD put out public notices they were looking for a dog and owner because a person was bitten and rabies vaccine needed to be verified. Without verification the bite victim will have to have rabies shots. Those shot come with their own risk to the recipient.

Then you also have the over vaccination issue to the animal. By law in my state if a rabies vaccine is over due then you have to restart with a 1 year vaccine followed a year later with a 3 year vaccine. The is an undue burden on the animal and pocket off the pet. Especially since many times the 1 year vaccine is exactly the same as the 3 year. If the pet has already had a previous 1 and 3 year rabies vaccine it probably is immune for life and doesn't need more vaccine but that is a debate for another time.

As for giving the shot yourself. May or may not be recognized by your local area/ state. Thus being useless if you have to verify the shot. In my state I have license my dog and have to have a rabies vaccine certificate from a licensed vet or it doesn't count.

I have to call our vet as we just received our reminder card that Ziva is due for her 3 year rabies shot on May 3rd.

Again I so sorry you have to deal with this additional stress with all that you are already dealing with. It's not right and your vet should be ashamed.
 

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Thank you for being on the front line. I have little doubt that what you posted about community spread is accurate. I understand your frustrations right now especially when emotions are running high.

On behalf of the veterinary practice, keep in mind that their decisions are made on the premise that they might just be left fighting for their lives, something that you are too familiar with yourself.

Here's the balance:

Possibly die a horrible death from Covid-19

VS

Routine dog shots that your dogs probably still have immunity.
 

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They refused you because you are a health care worker? Here's my take on this...they could have found a different way.

A rabies shot has to be administered by a vet by law. But your dog isn't unprotected. The vaccine doesn't just run out. So yes, vaccinations can wait. I would not worry about the vaccinations at all.

But the cytopoint can not wait. This is something your dog actually needs for quality of life. As an RN, there is no reason they couldn't have left the medicine for you and told you how to administer it. I think it's just given under the skin, nothing special about it. I think a vet is supposed to administer this shot as well but in this situation, they could have made an exception.

There was an article Amanda just posted from the AVMA about animals contracting the virus. It seems like a small chance but it can happen.
 

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Just posting this for information to the members of this board as well as recommendations on who to reach out to:

As some of you know, I am a RN in one of the hotspots of the US for covid 19. My girlfriend and I own 2 pups(we both work in healthcare) . A mixed breed dog, and my gsd pup. My mixed breed is due for his yearly vaccines including rabies and my girl, is due for her cytopoint shot. My girlfriend works part time at the vet clinic we use (or used to at least). With the stay at home order in place, most vet clinics including this one have been doing a “drive by” type of service. Fair enough, right? I was told that bc I am a healthcare worker with covid exposure, the clinic would not see my animals and that we could simply wait on the vaccines. A day went by and I grew rather disgruntled. I work tirelessly day in and day out to save the lives of people with this terrible virus and my animals cannot get the care that they deserve bc of me? So, we called back. We were told “I thought we talked to you about this already, we can’t do it, bc it’s too big of the risk,” “the virus could be on their fur”. Well....my response, put gloves on. We were once again refused. Obviously upset, we received a call a few hours later saying that we could drive up in the field behind the clinic, unload my dogs into a kennel and then leave. They would give my dogs the shots outside, put them back in the kennel and then I could drove back up and get them. Is this how we treat our healthcare workers and their families? I am beyond pissed off. These are people in the same community I work my tail off for. I do not want to infect anyone. Nor would I ever expect someone to not take the proper precautions but this is an embarrassment to everyone in my line of work. News flash.....you don’t know who anyone is exposed to. You just know my profession and are in essence segregating is and denying my animals proper care. I work daily to save people of any color, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual preference, profession etc. everyone is cared for the same. To treat me in this fashion is just ungrateful and bad business imo.


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I agree with you 100 and 10 %.....it's times like this that bring out the worst in people......but it also brings out the best in some people....people who are brave--fearless and doing there job no matter what it is making a difference every day...doctors-nurses-EMTs--people just like you who go to work daily in the worst of times.....THANKS so much for doing what you do-keep making a difference...(y)

I wouldn't want to be one of the people crippled by fear of the unknown....hiding under my bed waiting for COVID19 to come and get me...must be a great way to live day to day life.......when this is over and things are close to normal--YES I'd find a new vet but I'd also have your story all over social media--Facebook--Twitter etc.....but that's just me.....be safe and thank you once again....
 

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Get your vet to give you a prescription for the cytopoint and just administer it yourself (and save yourself money). It can be administered under direction of a veterinarian, e.g yes you can do it. I also do my own DHPP vaccines and whatever else vaccines I choose to do I administer myself at home. Rabies is trickier due to the laws, but if you want to have it asap for documentation reasons I'm sure you can find a vet or walk in clinic to do it. Obviously it's not fair. My vet doesn't know what I do for a living because I choose not to share that information. Sometimes you just have to walk away, not worth pursuing imo.
 

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I asked about a prescription for cytopoint to adminster last year and was told the company will not allow it at this time. This is administered by weight and the dog has to be weighed each time. A pound or two could make the difference in dosage. Before anyone offers the suggestion that my vet was lying. He was not. He's also a friend. However, I would think in this case, a special dispensation might be applied. I would go so far as to call the company. This is a quality of life issue and the dog should not be refused care based on owners occupation. A solution should have been offered the first time you called.
 

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@Nscullin, you are a hero! I keep seeing the stories out of your city, and it's heartbreaking -- all of you who are in hospitals, testing sites, and convention center pop-up medical centers are the difference between life and death for thousands of people in our hard-hit state. I know it's profoundly stressful for all of you, and I'm very grateful for the important work you're doing.

The people in your vet's clinic are scared, and that's probably clouding some critical thinking (and empathy). Flipping around the situation, the same vet would be surely be furious if they had a pediatrician refuse to see their own kids because the vet had handled animals with strep zoo in their practice, right? (It's highly infectious, deadly, and zoonotic -- just thankfully RARE.)

Depending on how angry you are, the state vet board might be interested in this -- attempting to abandon a patient during treatment (Cytopoint) may be a violation of an ethical duty. The vet board might need to issue some emergency guidance simply to remind all of the state's vets not to abandon patients owned by healthcare workers. (Abandoning the patient seems possibly to be what yours initially wanted to do by declining to give the Cytopoint -- though he backed off from it with the "field kennel" option, so he probably isn't going to be subject to any sort of sanction....I'm guessing.) Short of that, I also think the local news and even our Governor's task force would want to know this is happening to healthcare workers.

For any frightened vets or vet techs reading this, here's an idea of how clinics can do better for our heroic frontline humans during this pandemic: offer your frontline healthcare clients' dogs a free bath as part of drop-off service, and wash down the dog before any exam or treatment. The dog is basically a porous surface that virus might land on, so washing the dog is about like washing your hands. Making the bath a free "extra" as part of any exam/treatment would go a long way to being good citizens and neighbors right now. Most busy, stressed-out healthcare workers would be delighted to pick up a squeaky-clean dog because they probably don't have time for home-grooming right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks everyone for your concerns a recommendations. I will certainly be writing the board of vet medicine for this state as well as contacted local news and not to mention the good ole Facebook post. Going to wait until I can gather my thoughts and write it professionally.


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Well I’m glad they called you back and were going to giving see your dogs even though not to your liking. I hope they send food to your hospital and you to make up the inconvenience. It sounds like cloudy judgment. As it did not make any sense to me at all. Then righted it. It sounds like vets are doing all different things. My vet is doing routine exams and surgeries and having people still come in to office and exam rooms. They have a big overhead. I would imagine they space out appointments. I received an email a over a month ago that my pediatrician’s practice the ones who do sign up to serve on the frontline do not see the any patients if they are sick - any cough, sore throat - So I wonder how do they determine if a kid has strep -coughing from asthma etc - it’s all a telemed appointments now with calling in prescriptions to pharmacies.
 

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Thanks everyone for your concerns a recommendations. I will certainly be writing the board of vet medicine for this state as well as contacted local news and not to mention the good ole Facebook post. Going to wait until I can gather my thoughts and write it professionally.


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I want to join everyone else in thanking you for your selfless and courageous service!

I also think if you take some time to calm down and put this in perspective, you'll see that shaming a person or business for being terrified of the unknown is really not the answer!

Their response is a knee jerk, and irrational decision for sure. It's very likely they'll realize that themselves in the future, as stories of more courageous Vets and human caregivers come out, and they'll have to live with that shame because it'll be too late to change it! Karma is a real thing! That should be enough...
 
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