As we prepare for an extension of our stay-at-home orders, we wanted to reach out to you to share how we are still caring for the pets in our community. As you’ve seen throughout these past weeks, we continue to monitor the current conditions and adjust to find the balance between providing exceptional care for your loved ones and keeping our employees and clients healthy.
In order to keep everyone home and as safe as possible, we will continue to limit our services to only those services that are immediately urgent. We are defining this as appointments for ill, sick, or injured pets; hospice and palliative care consultations; euthanasias; health certificates for necessary travel; essential laboratory testing; pain management, including acupuncture therapy; or time-sensitive visits including but not limited to puppy or kitten core vaccine boosters or scheduled medical injections.
In addition to this previous list, we will be adding essential wellness visits. We will be scheduling appointments for those pets who are at risk of lapsing on vaccines for zoonotic diseases such as Rabies and Leptospirosis or those patients who are reaching 6-8 weeks overdue for Lyme or feline leukemia vaccines. In addition, if you are one of the many who are adopting new pets during this time, we are happy to perform your pet’s post-adoption examination.
As before, we will continue to perform urgent surgical and dental procedures as they arise. All non-urgent surgical or dental procedures will continue to be postponed to conserve personal protective equipment and anesthetic drugs.
These restrictions will continue through May 3rd. You will continue to receive reminders for your pets’ wellness services at the time that they are due. If your pet is not yet due for Rabies or Leptospirosis but are due for other services, please mark your calendars to reach out to us as restrictions are lifted to schedule these important visits for your pets. While vaccines, routine laboratory testing, and wellness examinations are generally not considered immediately urgent, they are essential for the long-term health and well being of your loved ones.
Our appointments will continue to be curbside service only with the exception of euthanasia appointments on a case-by-case basis. We are asking that you wear a face mask or covering for all interactions with our team members. We commit to doing the same. All appointments, including acupuncture and laser appointments, will be at the main St Francis location. For more information about what to expect with our curbside service, please visit our previous posts on Facebook or our website/newsletter blog.
With the need for distancing between employees and limiting the number of individuals within the building, we have made necessary adjustments to our schedule. We will be closed on the following Saturdays: April 18th, April 25th, and May 2nd. We will continue to be open Monday-Friday 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. Throughout April, we will only have two doctors on duty each day and a limited support staff. Thank you so much for your patience as we balance providing excellent care for our patients with managing high volumes of phone calls, emails, and medication refill requests during these unusual times.
Thank you to everyone for all of your efforts, support, and understanding throughout these weeks as we adjust our protocols on an ongoing basis. We are proud to always be at the forefront of the veterinary field no matter the situation and are thankful for the opportunity to continue to serve you.
Please visit our website, social media channels, and PetDesk regularly for additional information as this situation continues to unfold. If you have any questions, you may reach out to us via phone (651-645-2808) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) at any time.
EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT OF THE MONTH: AMELIA JORDAN, CVT
Each month, we will spotlight one of our team members in order of years of service at St Francis Animal Hospital.
Amelia earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Bryn Mawr College in 2008, then decided to pursue a career as a veterinary technician. She graduated from Argosy University in the spring of 2013, and earned her certification title in the summer of 2013. Before joining the St Francis team in February of 2018, Amelia worked in emergency and critical care shelter settings.
Amelia’s passion has always been in the area of animal behavior. She is currently taking a sabbatical to pursue a graduate degree in Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. She has provided us with regular updates and beautiful photos of Scotland.
In her free time, she enjoys running, traveling and spending time with friends, family and her three felines, Carbonel, Vera and Moo.
Why do you love being a veterinary technician?
I love being a veterinary technician because I have a passion for animal welfare and animal behavior and this career allows me to be an animal advocate. Being a veterinary technician also provides me with the opportunity to help strengthen the human-animal bond through client education. Educating clients raises awareness and helps individuals to be better pet owners.
Why do you love working at St Francis Animal Hospital?
I enjoy working at St Francis because each team member is very hard working and truly compassionate about animals. Each of the doctors works tirelessly to provide their patients with the best possible medical care. St Francis also offers a variety of care options, such as acupuncture, laser and massage therapy.
Thank you, Amelia, for being a part of the St Francis team. We miss you in the practice!
APRIL: NATIONAL HEARTWORM AWARENESS MONTH
April is National Heartworm Awareness Month. Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitoes. Because mosquitoes are so prevalent in MN, all dogs, cats, and ferrets, even if they are indoors, are susceptible to this potentially fatal disease.
Heartworm Tests: We recommend that all dogs be tested for heartworm disease once per year. You may be receiving reminders for your dog’s heartworm test now. However, with COVID-19, we will need to delay these routine laboratory tests until restrictions are lifted unless your pet is in the clinic for other reasons. Please mark your calendars to schedule these tests once we are permitted to do so. It is important to test annually to catch potential infections prior to the onset of signs.
Preventative Medications: We’re all so focused on protecting ourselves from coronavirus, but it’s important to not forget to protect our loved ones from other infectious diseases as well. It is safe to have your pet on preventatives, even if your dog is overdue for his or her heartworm test. We recommend Heartgard Plus once monthly for dogs, Revolution Plus once monthly for cats, and Revolution once monthly for ferrets. While heartworm disease is seasonal, we actually recommend these preventatives year round for all pets as these preventatives also protect against the intestinal parasites, roundworms and hookworms. These parasites are present year round and are zoonotic. This means that they can affect humans in the family. Protecting your pets mean that you are also protecting your two-legged family members as well!
More than ever, we ask you to support your local independently-owned small businesses. Small businesses across the country are struggling to maintain normal operations. Please consider stocking up on your pets’ spring heartworm and flea/tick preventatives by purchasing from St Francis or from our online store instead of a large warehouse like Chewy or PetMeds. Your purchases will help sustain our business and support our employees throughout this period.
Instant Rebates: We are now able to offer instant rebates – no more waiting for your rewards card to arrive! Buy 12 Heartgard Plus and 12 Nexgard or Frontline Gold, and receive a $60 Instant Rebate; Buy 12 Heartgard Plus and 6 Nexgard or Frontline Gold, and receive a $35 Instant Rebate; or Buy 6 Heartgard Plus and 6 Nexgard or Frontline Gold, and receive a $25 Instant Rebate.
Vetsource Online Store: If you have not yet utilized our online store, visit www.stfrancisanimalandbird.com and click on Vetsource Online Store. For first-time users, you may enter either HURRAY25 or AWESOME25 for a discount off of your first order. Items will be billed and shipped to your home, but purchases will still partially benefit St Francis. This is an excellent option for ordering medications and pet food from the safety of your own home.
AVMA: Pets & COVID-19
From the AVMA: “It is important to remember that there is currently little to no evidence that pets or other domestic animals that are naturally exposed to SARS-CoV-2 become sick with COVID-19 or spread the virus to other domestic animals, and no evidence that they can transmit SARS-CoV-2 to people. Accordingly, there is no reason to remove pets from homes even if COVID-19 has been identified in members of the household, unless there is risk that the pet itself is not able to be cared for appropriately. 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.”
Happy Easter: Avoid Dangers To Your Pets
Happy Easter! Remember that along with the joys of the season, this holiday also brings some dangers to pets. All parts of Easter lilies are very toxic to cats, causing acute kidney failure and potentially death with minimal ingestion. If your cat has ingested any part of an Easter lily, seek emergency care immediately. In addition, chocolate is toxic to all species. It’s also important to prevent your cat from ingesting plastic grass from Easter baskets as this material can cause a dangerous gastrointestinal obstruction. Keep your pet safe while enjoying the holidays!
St Francis Team Updates
April 19th marks Dr. Stefan Knep’s 15th Anniversary at St Francis Animal Hospital. We love his humor; care and compassion for his fellow team members; and the excellent care that he always provides to his patients and clients. Dr Megan Schommer has been with the St Francis team for 4 weeks, starting her new job amidst a pandemic. As some of you have already discovered, she is an incredible addition to our team, providing the same level of exceptional service that St Francis has been known for over the years. Sabrina Reed, CVT, has officially completed her Level II Fear-Free Certification and is currently working on her Level III studies. Look to her for guidance on your pet’s behavioral issues and behavioral training. Finally, we wanted to wish a very warm welcome to our newest team member, Certified Veterinary Technician, Jessie Pudil, CVT.