FAQs As Vet Med Teaching Hospital Continues Operation During Shelter-In-Place

The teaching hospital has changed its procedures in order to continue operations safely during the pandemic.
By Aubrey Bloom, Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences April 2, 2020

sign in a parking lot directing drivers to temporary small animal hospital entrance
The temporary “drive-thru” entrance for the Texas A&M Small Animal Hospital.

Texas A&M Veterinary Medicine

As the federal, state and local procedures continue to evolve in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences’ (CVM) Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) is continuing to provide care to its patients and is offering the answers to some frequently asked questions:

Is the hospital open?

Yes. Even though Brazos County is currently under a shelter-in-place order, the VMTH is considered an essential service and is still open for urgent and emergent cases. For questions about the Small Animal Hospital (SAH), call 979-845-2351. For the Large Animal Hospital, call 979-845-3541.

Do I still go to the same place?

The parking lot in front of the SAH is closed, and all traffic should enter via Veterinary Way from Raymond Stotzer Parkway. Upon entering, a station has been set up where clients will be asked some basic screening questions and then will be instructed on where to proceed based on their answers. This video details the VMTH drive-through services.

What are the changes to the normal procedures?

In an effort to ensure the safety of clients, their animals and the staff inside the hospital, a number of changes have been made in recent weeks. The most noticeable are that clients will no longer leave their cars and that the VMTH is currently not performing elective procedures.

If I’m potentially sick with COVID-19, can my pet spread it to other people?

Dr. Wesley Bissett, director of the Veterinary Emergency Team, said, “At this point, what we know right now is that animals are not involved in the disease transmission cycle as something that can support viral infection and replication, but what you do have to worry about is what virus may be on their coat.

The solution to that is pretty straightforward, and that is that the animal needs to be bathed with soap.

But when you’re bathing your pet, you need to take some basic protections. You need to wear gloves. You need to have something on that’s going to keep you from getting wet and making direct contact with the animal. You also need to keep the water pressure low as you’re getting the animal wet and then rinsing.

But after that, again, from everything we know right now, that animal is safe. It’s not going to contribute to the disease. So, if you’re concerned about that, arrange for that type of bath to take place and then that animal should be safe in the event that you need to have one of your loved ones provide the care that it needs, so you don’t have to worry about that while you’re recovering from illness.”

Is the VMTH doing any telemedicine or are there ways I can communicate with a veterinarian from my home?

The SAH is expanding the use of its telemedicine portal VirtualVet for rechecks and other services to minimize trips to the hospital. For information on VirtualVet availability, email or call 979-845-2351.

How is the VMTH handling personal protective equipment?

The VMTH is working with the Texas Division of Emergency Management to help colleagues in human medicine to access personal protective equipment.

Media contact: Jennifer Gauntt, or 979-862-4216

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