Chattahoochee Animal Clinic – Dr Marcus Smith Announces TeleVet and CurbsideVet
May 12, 2020 | USA TODAY
Through the global health crisis, Dr Marcus Smith from Chattahoochee Animal Clinic, has looked at the local community in Roswell, GA and tried to make it as safe as possible to provide everything that’s needed to take care of everyone’s pets even if they’re not current clients.
Chattahoochee Animal Clinic can now be accessed through TeleVet, phone, curbside, video, or still physically coming in. Different procedures and policies have been enacted for all those options to provide safety for both staff and clients. More info about TeleVet is here https://myatlantavet.com/telemedicine
It began with curbside, and then a new Facebook page for the clinic that’s just for videos and messenger so that clients can sit in their car and watch the exam and take part in it, just as if they were in the room.
The Chattahoochee Animal Clinic has altered its experience to meet this new economy … Dr Smith says, ‘when this all went down, my thought was there’s gonna be a lot of new stuff that we’re gonna have to adapt to, and some of this new stuff may actually turn out to be an asset for my team and my clients down the road’.
He feels that telemedicine or virtual exams or curbside check-in, might carry on after this ends and that clients might actually appreciate these new options. For somebody who’s handicapped for example, if they really don’t want to, or can’t bring their dog in, the exam can be lived streamed so they are part of it, whereas before, they never would have been part of that.
The aim is to be a helpful and caring resource for the community. He adds ‘so we’re gonna get a good history on the pet when they come in. I’m gonna talk to them, spend time with them on the phone, I’m gonna go out to their car, keep 6 feet away and have a conversation with them with a mask on. Whatever it takes, whatever they need. My role is simple, if your pet is sick, we are here for you’.
To contact Dr Smith from Chattahoochee Animal Clinic in Roswell, GA visit the website above, or call 770-993-6329.
Chattahoochee Animal Clinic
1176 Alpharetta St
Roswell United States
2 CATS POSITIVE IN NY STATE
On April 22, 2020, the CDC released a statement concerning 2 feline patients that have tested positive for COVID 19. The cases were from different areas in New York State. Both cats were showing mild respiratory signs at the time of diagnosis, but are expected to make a full recovery. The first cat was in a household where nobody in the family was positive for coronavirus. The second patient was in a home with a known positive covid individual. Despite these findings, the CDC and animal health officials maintain that our domestic animal friends are not a source of transmission and should not have an impact in this pandemic. The interesting part of this report was in the second cat household. There was another cat in that household and was symptom-free and tested negative. As we know, if a cat or dog has an upper respiratory disease present, their ability to transmit the disease to other cats or dogs in the household is quite efficient and highly likely. This holds true for our traditional upper respiratory diseases, but not apparently for coronavirus. The CDC has compiled a set of guidelines that I believe are helpful and important to follow.
Until we know more, CDC recommends the following:
- Do not let pets interact with people or other animals outside the household.
- Keep cats indoors when possible to prevent them from interacting with other animals or people.
- Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least 6 feet from other people and animals.
- Avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather.
If you are sick with COVID-19 (either suspected or confirmed by a test), restrict contact with your pets and other animals, just like you would around other people.
- When possible, have another member of your household care for your pets while you are sick.
- Avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food or bedding.
- If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wear a cloth face covering and wash your hands before and after you interact with them.
Chattahoochee Animal Clinic is Open and Designated Essential
(April 1, 2020) Fulton County Board of Health announced a Shelter In order for Fulton County. We want you to know that per this order, veterinary care is considered an essential business. Therefore, we will remain open with the same operating hours.
In this order it states that you may: Engage in activities essential to the health and safety of pets in your household or another’s, including visiting a health care professional and obtaining medical supplies and food.
While it is allowed for you to come to our office to pick up medications, know that you can get medications delivered straight to your home click here.
Here’s what you need to know about Chattahoochee Animal Clinic:
- We are open and operating normal business hours
- We are running telemedicine all day via TeleVet
- CAC is doing curbside appointment check-ins and curbside medication delivery
- We offer video chat exams, so that you are able to take part in the exam from the comfort of your car.
In the field of veterinary medicine, we are just beginning our exploration with telemedicine. CAC is excited to enhance our care with this type of technology.
IMPORTANT: If you suspect a serious illness or have an emergency, please call our office directly. Televet is not for those types of situations.
Televet…What is it?
Televet is a telemedicine platform that will allow you access to virtual appointments with our veterinarians. Communication for this appointment can be made via text, phone, and video chat. You are also able to upload pictures and videos to help aid your veterinarian on the case. This service is ONLY available to current clients and patients of Chattahoochee Animal Clinic. We cannot legally use telemedicine for new patients or patients that have not been seen in-clinic within the last year.
Telemedicine is not the answer for every patient.
In human medicine, the patient can talk to their doctor to discuss the symptoms they are experiencing. Our patients obviously cannot do this. So, we rely heavily on physical exams and diagnostic testing to help us reach our decisions on the best course of treatment.
For many of the problems our patients experience, our veterinarians need to lay their hands on the pet to help determine the source and severity of the problem. However, telemedicine does have a place in the modern veterinary practice.
If during the consultation, the veterinarian recommends that the patient be seen at the hospital for additional testing or treatment. The cost of the TeleVet consultation will be applied to the in-house physical examination fee.
How it Works:
The Pet Owner creates a new consultation, including a written summary with pictures and/or videos. Payment is submitted with the case.
The veterinarian assigned to the case, receives the consultation details online and will review the information provided
The doctor will communicate with the pet owner via phone, text, or video chat and reach a diagnosis and then formulate a treatment plan for the pet.
Chattahoochee Animal Clinic reserves the right to decline the use of telemedicine if our veterinarians believe it will cause substandard care for our patients. Owners must accept that using telemedicine will limit our abilities to give complete information, diagnosis, and treatment.
To the valued clients Chattahoochee Animal Clinic:
We continue to remain OPEN during the outbreak of COVID-19. However, we are modifying protocols and the methods that we conduct our appointments to comply with CDC guidelines and keep both staff and clients safe.
- We are asking clients who are sick (respiratory disease, cold, flu) or clients who have potentially been exposed to COVID-19 to NOT ENTER THE CLINIC. Please contact us ahead of your appointment and make special arrangements to provide care for your pet.
- We are offering “car-side pickup” as preferred option to reduce your exposure to others and maintain the ideal of social distancing. We can go to your car and retrieve your pet for the appointment without you having to enter the clinic. The doctor will be able to communicate directly with you and CAC will provide the same high level of care for your pet inside the clinic. Please call the clinic when you arrive, so that we can notify our staff to come out to your car.
- Medication refills are still readily available in clinic or “curbside”. Our staff can bring medications and prescription diets out to your car. Please just call when you arrive at the clinic and we will bring them to you.
- We are spreading out appointments to eliminate congestion and close contact within the lobby. Our reception staff is also placing appointments directly into rooms prior to check-in to limit the number of people in the lobby at one time.
- DROP OFF Appointments: Please take advantage of this type of appointment. We are able to get your pet outside on the porch, in the parking lot, or from your car (Preferred) and take care of their medical care needs, while drastically reducing exposure to others. We are offering a FREE bath for any drop-off visits for preventative care.
- Our staff may be wearing gloves and a mask to retrieve your pet from your car for an appointment. We do NOT have COVID 19. We are only doing this to keep our staff safe out of an abundance of caution.
- We may have limited staff at times during this outbreak, but we will do our absolute best to avoid any delays during your visit.
In the works….
I am personally looking into the ability to provide telemedicine as an option for short term care of patients that are unable to come to the clinic. I will also look into the feasibility of having a live video of the exam in the clinic, while the owner is waiting in the car. This could potentially enable an owner to take part in the exam, while maintaining the social distancing recommendation. I will keep everyone posted as we evolve with the COVID-19 situation.Thank you to all of our CAC families for being patient and understanding of our procedural changes during and surrounding your visit to the clinic. As this situation is fluid, I will continue to modify our policies and guidelines as dictated by the CDC and AVMA. CAC’s persisting goal to be available to provide our high level of care for the pets of our community will not waiver during this pandemic. We are all in this together, both human and furkid, and we will get through these uncertain times. Please stay safe and take care.
Marcus Smith DVM
We are doing our best to stay abreast of current developments. We understand there is a lot of information (and misinformation) floating around. Updates can be found at:
American Veterinary Medical Association:
Thank you for your understanding and patience in this situation.