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Animal Clinics and Covid

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    #41
    Mine is currently curbside only, and I was less than thrilled with their communication (never got to talk to the actual vet, only the tech, and not even always the tech who was present for treatment), although I have no reason at all to doubt their treatment.

    But that said, I absolutely understand and support their desire to minimize contact. This isn't AIDS with its limited transmission, and we KNOW it isn't. The fact that people are forced to risk their lives to keep their jobs ringing up groceries is a travesty, not an excuse to put a vet in this position. It's not going to go away but there will be a vaccine in the foreseeable future, probably in the next twelve months. At that point things can hopefully start to get back to normal.

    Comment


      #42
      Both my regular vet and the spay/neuter clinic I took my young one to have a hybrid approach right now. Clinic came to your car with the paperwork to fill out, then when it was done, you could take it and your pet inside to the desk one at a time. Pickup was staggered and you could go to the desk to pay, then they brought your pet to your car. That particular clinic is always very busy, and I think this was much more orderly than pre-COVID days.

      My regular vet was doing curbside only, and still are for routine things like vaccines, heart worm tests, meds pickup, nail clipping, stuff like that. When I took my sick cat in Wednesday, they checked me in and had me wait in the car with him until the exam room was ready and then went straight in there. Only the vet or the tech was in there with me at one time, and they did take him to the back for blood draw (they normally do that anyway). Instead of going to the lobby to pay, they brought the bill into the room and I gave them my card and they brought back the receipt and then left right away. Today when we went back for the last time, they took us into the room, did the billing/cremation arrangements and paid ahead of time, and I stayed with him the whole time while he was euthanized. They let me have as much time before as I wanted. When it was over, I left through the side door to my car. It made sense to me to do it that way--for routine stuff where people didn't need to go in, they didn't, those with sick pets could. Masks were required to go into the building, which was fine. I did take it off briefly to kiss him goodbye when nobody else was in the room, and that was fine.

      Comment


        #43
        Originally posted by Rackonteur View Post
        I want to stay with my cat so the vet can show me and tell me whatever I need to know. Especially a new vet -- and I would expect a vet to feel the same about a new patient.

        One online friend told me that at his vet clinic a tech comes out to your car with a carrier, transfers your cat from your carrier to theirs, then take your cat inside. Which is worse? Putting cats in carriers that held other cats? Or disinfecting the carrier and then putting the cat in with the residue of the disinfectant?
        providing the transfer succeeds and the cat doesn't get loose and run away?!!?
        I'm sorry but that's ridiculous! This has gotten out of hand. You wear a mask, everyone in the clinic wear a mask. Cats especially are scared. They need their owner.
        "Punch him in the wiener. Then leave." AffirmedHope

        Comment


          #44
          Took my dog to a curbside appointment last week - my dog hated it, but it was overall fine. I put my dog in a slip collar because I knew her natural reaction would be to try and back out of a flat collar should the tech try to walk her away. Tech ended up carrying my dog because she said "no thank you" to being led away from me. While I was waiting in the car, a young may handed his dog over to the technician in a flat collar, and the dog just about backed out of the collar. Luckily, the owner got in front of her and she came forward, preventing that from happening. The clinic is right next to a very busy and fast-moving four lane road. I wish they'd put slip leads on every dog before taking them away from their owners - seems like a tragic accident just waiting to happen.

          Comment


            #45
            I've had to go to 3 vet appointments since COVID - the first with my regular vet for regular wellness/shots. If she hadn't been due for literally every vaccine, including her 3-year rabies and DHLPP, I probably would've delayed. I pulled up to a designated parking spot when I arrived, called in to let them know I was there, and the vet called me prior to sending a tech out in order to take a history and ask some questions, did I need any med refills, etc. Then the tech came out - I had already gotten my dog out of the car and we did a low-contact hand-off, everyone wearing masks. My dog wears a Gentle Leader mainly because if she sees a squirrel or a cat she loses her mind and tries to drag you, but I always let them know they can take it off when she gets in the room because she's pretty compliant. Then I sat in the car and the vet called me after the exam, went over any findings. After that, the receptionist called with the final bill to take my payment, and after that the tech came back out with my dog. It worked well for us as my dog loves all people, especially the vet and the staff gives her cookies so she's not hard to please. I did have to allow about 2x the amount of time for a normal visit, but I kind of expected that and brought my Kindle with me to read in the car.

            The second was a trip to the emergency hospital 2 weeks ago after an offleash dog charged and bit my dog and my regular vet couldn't accommodate us. I called when I arrived to brief them on the issue, and arranged for my vet to send over her records. They operate on a triage basis obviously, so since my dog wasn't actively bleeding or in distress we had to wait about 90 minutes before anyone came to get us. That was a hot day, but not direct sun and there was a breeze, so instead of running the air the whole time I hung out with her in the back of my SUV playing music. I had to bring her to the vestibule in the front of the hospital for hand-off and filling in forms, and then the vet called me again after the exam. Thankfully none of her wounds were terrible, so we got away with wound care, antibiotics and pain meds with orders for strict exercise restriction and rest as well as a follow-up with my vet after a week. After the receptionist called me for my payment, I went back to the vestibule to pick up my dog, meds, and to sign the receipt. They emailed the invoice and receipt to me as well, which was nice and something I wish my regular vet did for record-keeping purposes.

            The third was last week, back to my original vet for a wound check, which I probably could've skipped since she was healing just fine. They followed the same protocols as they did back in May, except it was much hotter this time so I had to crank the A/C in the car to avoid both of us melting. Thankfully the appointment was brief, and we were in/out in the course of about 30 minutes.

            I also stopped by in between to pick up a heartworm preventative refill - that one was easy because they already had her bloodwork in the records, so I just paid over the phone and called them when I arrived. They dropped the meds on a table outside in a bag with her name on it, and then I went to collect it and was on my merry way.

            No complaints here, but my dog is also great at the vet so she doesn't really care whether I come back with her or not. All of my appointments were either routine or low acuity, so there wasn't a lot of back and forth between me and the vet. I would expect to be able to come in with a euthanasia, and if it were a complicated issue with x-rays or something visual I would hope I'd be allowed back to be a more active participant in the discussion. But for the issues I had, this system worked perfectly fine.

            Comment


              #46
              At my vet you wait in your vehicle ( or outside it) and they come out and get you for your appointment. They take your payment while inside the exam room and then you are escorted out and they clean the room( s) and bring the next appointment in.

              There is actually less of a wait time doing it this way. I normally sat in the waiting area forever!

              If you are just picking up meds, or food etc they have a walk up window .

              Comment

                Original Poster

                #47
                Originally posted by CindyCRNA View Post

                I'm sorry but that's ridiculous! This has gotten out of hand. You wear a mask, everyone in the clinic wear a mask. Cats especially are scared. They need their owner.
                Thank you for this.
                Rack on!

                Comment

                  Original Poster

                  #48
                  Originally posted by DoubleClick View Post
                  Took my dog to a curbside appointment last week - my dog hated it, but it was overall fine. I put my dog in a slip collar because I knew her natural reaction would be to try and back out of a flat collar should the tech try to walk her away. Tech ended up carrying my dog because she said "no thank you" to being led away from me. While I was waiting in the car, a young may handed his dog over to the technician in a flat collar, and the dog just about backed out of the collar. Luckily, the owner got in front of her and she came forward, preventing that from happening. The clinic is right next to a very busy and fast-moving four lane road. I wish they'd put slip leads on every dog before taking them away from their owners - seems like a tragic accident just waiting to happen.
                  All the vet clinics I have been to keep slip collars in the lobby and routinely put one on each dog as they lead the dog away from the owner, even when the dog is inside the building with the owner. I thought all vet clinics did this. How crazy not to! As you say, a tragic accident waiting to happen.
                  Rack on!

                  Comment


                    #49
                    My vet will send a tech out to get your pet and take them inside. They did this March-July. My most recent visit last week I was allowed in with a mask.

                    I do believe the owners were allowed in if the animal was being put to sleep. Potentially for other emergency things as well. Not sure what the protocol is with new clients, but I can definitely see wanting to go in the first time as well.

                    One of my dogs hates the vet, but beyond her normal stress drool and looking back at me when they took her, she was fine. She internalizes her stress anyway. The other pup and my kittens have no issues.

                    But I also had no issues sending in my pets, even the stressed one, because I've been using this vet for a long time and trust them. The vet would call my cell during the exam and talk to me--ask questions or give instructions or whatever.

                    As someone who works in an office (not vet) where I've had so, so many customers complaining that they're not allowed in I sympathize with the vet office. We're all trying to keep ourselves safe while still providing a service. If one of the staff in the vet's office were to get sick, they'd have to close for two weeks. Any vet's office closing for two weeks would be awful.

                    Comment


                      #50
                      I call when I arrive for my appointment and a vet tech comes out and takes my cat, in its carrier, into the clinic, and then brings it back out when he's done. Payment is by credit card over the phone. The vet then calls me at the end of the day, or the following morning if we are waiting for blood work results, and discusses with me. My vets and the staff are all excellent, I have no qualms about not being there while the exam is going on, although I would prefer to be there.

                      Comment


                        #51
                        My vet is still doing curbside and it’s actually been working quite well. You have to call when you get there and the tech gets all the info that they normally would with you in the exam room, then they come to get your pet. After the treatment, either a tech or the vet (depending on what was done or what needs to be discussed) will come out with the pet and you pay over the phone.

                        My cat is a stressed out mess whether I’m with her or not, so it doesn’t make a difference to her if I’m in the room for the initial exam and they always take her to the back for treatment anyway. I’m the ultimate pet helicopter parent, and I’m totally ok with waiting outside in my car. I guess the difference is that I talk to a tech before my cat goes in, then the vet himself will talk to me right after he’s seen her/ before he takes further steps, then the vet comes out to talk to me again when they give me back my cat. She’s been dealing with some long term health issues, so we see them more often than I’d like, but I’ve been happy with their set up. It sounds to me like you probably need to find a clinic that better suits your needs.

                        Comment


                          #52
                          I understand that you’re upset about your experience, but I feel like your responses have a tone that imply that any vets that only do drop off are overreacting (at best) or not providing proper compassion or care (at worst). Vets deal with enough bs as it is - do we really need to add on judgement/shaming/etc based on how they’re handling the pandemic?
                          It is their clinic and their staff, so they get to decide what risk and exposure is necessary. If you don’t like their decision you are obviously welcome to go elsewhere.

                          Comment


                            #53
                            We are still operating curbside and the amount of ungrateful, demanding, rude clients I have to deal with on a daily basis is getting overwhelming. This is being done to keep everyone safe and healthy, not to inconvenience anyone. The local ERs are turning away anything that isn't an actual medical emergency, so what would people do if we had to shut down for two weeks or longer? People really need to readjust their expectations and have a little bit of empathy towards those of us in the veterinary field!

                            Comment


                              #54
                              So our curbside appointment was this past weekend. It went far better than expected- my friend who is a tech there came out to get him but had me walk him to the actual door because he is wicked strong and seem really confused about why he was leaving me. But once I got to the door, he went right in with her. I requested that they muzzle him and they did but said he was a very good boy just worried.

                              On another ridiculous note, they are pretty sure he has pollen allergies. Which is great since he comes to work with my DH and I every day.... at a tree nursery.... sigh
                              No mourners, no funerals

                              Comment


                                #55
                                I would not be ok with an outside transfer from carrier to carrier (way too much chance of a cat getting loose) but otherwise I am fine with curbside. I am grateful my vets continue to operate the way they do, I want to support all their efforts to stay safe.
                                ~Veronica
                                "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                                http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                                Comment


                                  #56
                                  Originally posted by vxf111 View Post
                                  I would not be ok with an outside transfer from carrier to carrier (way too much chance of a cat getting loose) but otherwise I am fine with curbside. I am grateful my vets continue to operate the way they do, I want to support all their efforts to stay safe.

                                  ^ this no way with the transfer in the parking lot !!!

                                  in addition ... I NO longer risk the 'weighing in' in the lobby on the floor !


                                  I will not allow my cats to be placed on the floor scale in the lobby !

                                  Weigh the entire carrier and cat and then the carrier when the cat is safely inside the exam room and do your math !

                                  I never ever take chances on my four legged friends...

                                  Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

                                  Comment


                                    #57
                                    My vet (cat only) has been doing curb-side only - you fill out paper work ahead of time, then when you arrive you give them a call. they call you when they are ready, at which point you walk to a table near the entrance, place your cat-in-carrier on the table, and step back before the tech steps forward to collect the cat. Discussions with the vet are by phone from the car.

                                    In general, I have no issue with the practice, and am happy for whatever we can do to keep vets operating safely. I have had two hiccups, though.

                                    One was when a cat needed to have two suspicious markings/lumps on her skin checked out. I gave the best instructions I could, but despite that the vet could only find one of the two lumps. She could not find the other. Now presumably if the vet can't find the lump (it's a tiny thing that feels like a wart) despite a detailed examination, it's probably not that big a deal. But still...I wish it could have been checked out. Had I been in the room, I could have found it myself and guided the vet.

                                    The other was when I ran a cat that had been vomiting clear stomach acid to the emergency vet. Same deal - hand off carrier at the door, and wait in car. And as emergency vet experiences sometimes go, I was not the most urgent case, and so our examination got pushed back several times. Which was fine - I get it. It's a very good thing to not be an urgent case.

                                    The problem was, they kept forgetting to update me. I dropped off the cat and was told that she was next to be seen. Waited in my car for an hour, then called to ask what was going on. Some other more urgent cases had come in, so we had to be pushed back (fine), but we were next to be seen.

                                    Waited another hour, called back. Same story - more urgent cases, so we had to be pushed back, but we were next to be seen.

                                    Waited another hour, and...you can probably figure out how this goes. I ended up waiting in my car over 4 and a half hours in the parking lot. And while I understand totally why that was and do not object to the waiting itself, I would have very much appreciated being updated instead of having to call (I was disciplining myself to once an hour to try to avoid being a pain). Had I been in a waiting area inside, I suspect my experience would have been different.

                                    ***

                                    From the other side of the table, my sister is a vet herself, and advocated for her practice to allow vets to individually decide whether they would allow their clients to come into the examination room (as opposed to a universal curbside policy). She feels that she can treat the animal much more effectively if she is face to face with the owner. And she said that she had to have an end-of-life conversation with a client over the phone, and it was awful and horrible.

                                    Comment


                                      #58
                                      My vet (cat only) has been doing curb-side only - you fill out paper work ahead of time, then when you arrive you give them a call. they call you when they are ready, at which point you walk to a table near the entrance, place your cat-in-carrier on the table, and step back before the tech steps forward to collect the cat. Discussions with the vet are by phone from the car.

                                      In general, I have no issue with the practice, and am happy for whatever we can do to keep vets operating safely. I have had two hiccups, though.

                                      One was when a cat needed to have two suspicious markings/lumps on her skin checked out. I gave the best instructions I could, but despite that the vet could only find one of the two lumps. She could not find the other. Now presumably if the vet can't find the lump (it's a tiny thing that feels like a wart) despite a detailed examination, it's probably not that big a deal. But still...I wish it could have been checked out. Had I been in the room, I could have found it myself and guided the vet.

                                      The other was when I ran a cat that had been vomiting clear stomach acid to the emergency vet. Same deal - hand off carrier at the door, and wait in car. And as emergency vet experiences sometimes go, I was not the most urgent case, and so our examination got pushed back several times. Which was fine - I get it. It's a very good thing to not be an urgent case.

                                      The problem was, they kept forgetting to update me. I dropped off the cat and was told that she was next to be seen. Waited in my car for an hour, then called to ask what was going on. Some other more urgent cases had come in, so we had to be pushed back (fine), but we were next to be seen.

                                      Waited another hour, called back. Same story - more urgent cases, so we had to be pushed back, but we were next to be seen.

                                      Waited another hour, and...you can probably figure out how this goes. I ended up waiting in my car over 4 and a half hours in the parking lot. And while I understand totally why that was and do not object to the waiting itself, I would have very much appreciated being updated instead of having to call (I was disciplining myself to once an hour to try to avoid being a pain). Had I been in a waiting area inside, I suspect my experience would have been different.

                                      ***

                                      From the other side of the table, my sister is a vet herself, and advocated for her practice to allow vets to individually decide whether they would allow their clients to come into the examination room (as opposed to a universal curbside policy). She feels that she can treat the animal much more effectively if she is face to face with the owner. And she said that she had to have an end-of-life conversation with a client over the phone, and it was awful and horrible.

                                      Comment


                                        #59
                                        Originally posted by Darkwave View Post
                                        when a cat needed to have two suspicious markings/lumps on her skin checked out. I gave the best instructions I could, but despite that the vet could only find one of the two lumps.
                                        For my short-haired, lumpy old dog, I circle his lumps with a marker so that I can be sure to get the vet to see all of them, and heck, I'm in there with him. They can be fairly hard to locate.

                                        My first dog died of hemangiosarcoma, so I am extra paranoid about tiny lumps. The marker wouldn't work well for some types of fur, but worked great on a whippet.

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