These are challenging times.
First — we hope that everyone remains well.
Second — we are writing with some requests to assist us in continuing to provide essential medical care to your animals while balancing the need for self-distancing.
We cannot close the clinic — we must be able to deliver required medical care to your animals. Indeed, we have been surprised at how busy we have been over the weekend. Rather than a decline, the clinic experienced increase demand with more requests for appointments and more visits to purchase food and medication.
On the other hand, with your help, we can implement some measures to promote self-distancing in an effort to mitigate risk to you and our staff. There are other things that we will not do. For example, we do not intend on limiting our hours of service because we believe that would just compress appointments into a narrower time window.
Here is how we believe you can help us:
1. Our web store is open and available for the purchase of food and medication. If you are not set up with an account, please call us if you need assistance. We would ask you to consider the web store as a first option for such purchases, especially for the (understandable) ordering of extra food as a precautionary measure.
2. If you do need to come to the clinic for food or medication purchases, please call us in advance to arrange the order for pick-up. This would include flea/tick medication as we move from winter to spring. We would also encourage you to pay in advance so that we can minimize your time in the clinic.
3. We are reviewing our appointments to see if there are procedures or examinations that can be postponed. We would ask you to undertake the review. If we can postpone a procedure, we should do so in an effort to limit appointments at the clinic.
4. If you are coming for an appointment, please call us when you arrive so we can review the status of the waiting room with you and ensure the exam room has been sanitized after the previous appointment. Where possible, we will strive to move clients directly into the exam room although this will not always be possible. A call in advance of a drop-off for surgery or boarding would also enable us to have staff ready to take-in your animal.
5. If possible, we would appreciate “one parent per pet”. Obviously, there will be situations where this approach is not appropriate, especially for emergency cases.
6. When in doubt, call us. We may be able to fill a prescription over the phone or advise you if you should be coming to see us. Above all, however, our staff can help you determine if you should bring your animal to the clinic. The last thing we want is your animal not to receive needed care.
7. Wash your hands before and after you see us. Use sanitizer in the clinic. Do your best to maintain appropriate distancing. We have enhanced cleaning protocols in place but extra caution remains helpful.
8. Keep being wonderful and patient clients. We are here for you during these challenging times but may sometimes need a bit more time to respond or an extra moment when we answer the phones.
Again – don’t hesitate to call. Medical care for our animals is an essential service and we will do our best to meet your needs in the days and weeks ahead.
Dr. Mark Dilworth