Update from the College of Veterinarians of Ontario – April 1st

The College of Veterinarians of Ontario recognizes that pet and animal owners are concerned about the potential implications of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on the well-being of their animals. Although veterinary services are described as an essential business in Ontario, it is not “business as usual” for your veterinarian.

If your veterinary clinic is open, the College has recommended veterinarians use their best judgment to determine those services they can safely provide during this public health emergency. Priority will be given to essential services. You should contact your clinic for information on how to access their services at this time.  
Like all essential services during this time of public health emergency, veterinary facilities are expected to take steps to control the spread of infection. The College has asked veterinarians to adhere to public health measures to help protect themselves, their staff and their clients from spreading COVID-19.

Is it safe to take my pet to the veterinarian during COVID-19 pandemic? 

The public is encouraged to be responsible and avoid exposing veterinarians, clinic staff, and veterinary clinics and hospitals to COVID-19. The College expects that veterinarians follow all public recommendations and stay attentive to infection control and biosecurity protocols to safeguard employees and clients. 

When you contact the clinic or your veterinarian, they can discuss your concerns about your animal’s health and determine whether your animal should be seen in person by a veterinarian. Do not take your pet to the clinic if you are ill. Please ensure you engage in all public health measures (hand washing, social distancing, call before you visit, refrain from leaving your house if you are ill, etc.) to support the continued availability of safe veterinary services in Ontario.

TELELMEDICINE is an option:

Veterinarians are taking additional measures during COVID to provide services safely. Your veterinarian has been encouraged to use telemedicine to consult with clients; complete patient triage outside of the clinic or hospital; and postponing elective procedures. Again, trust your veterinarian’s judgment on the services they can provide during the limitations encountered by the current public health emergency. 

For more information: 

Worms and Germs Blog –– For further information on risks you may wish to keep in mind regarding your pets and the COVID-19 pandemic, visit the Worms and Germs Blog, published by the University of Guelph’s Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses

Please check out our website for all our COVID communications.  Access to our new webstore with 3000 items is available there as well.

 
WebStore info: March 26

Now that so many of you are staying home in light of current events, we’ve made it even easier for you to shop for your furry family members! You can now enjoy the benefits of home delivery of your pet’s products and diets, as well as a wide variety of non-prescription items for dogs, cats, and pocket pets. By following this link, you will be able to set up an account.

www.myvetstore.ca/grimsby

myVETstore will soon be accessible through our website, simply scroll down and click “Order Online”!

In addition to searching new products for your pets, the website has a Favourites tab which allows you to easily access your frequent purchases and special orders. After making your selection you can have your order delivered right to your door for a flat rate shipping cost of $10.

If you’d like to make things even more convenient, AutoOrder allows you to have things delivered to your home automatically, you simply need to choose how often you would like to receive certain products. By signing up for AutoOrder you can even save money as many manufacturers offer a discount for this service. AutoOrder can be edited or cancelled at any time. Treating your furry family members has never been easier!

Mar 27 Telemedicine

TELEMEDICINE:

To help keep you home, and decrease our contact with both clients and patients, it is helpful that our Regulatory Governing Body has made some temporary changes to the strict rules that we are required to follow on a daily basis. For the next few weeks/months, now we will be allowed to do some consultations over the phone with you and your pet, so that you can ‘stay at home’ as much possible. This will be challenging for our veterinarians, since our patients cannot talk and a hands-on physical examination is necessary to confidently be able to diagnose their ailments and pain level. However, we are going to do the best that we can give our constraints.

Phone consultations will only be available for ‘simpler problems’ where we may not absolutely HAVE to physically touch/visualize/treat the patient. Our team members will be doing their best to triage phone calls and decide which patients may be candidates for a phone consultation. These will be scheduled just like regular office consultations and will be made available at a slightly reduced cost. After payment has been received (see below) a veterinarian will phone you at a specified time. Photos and videos that you can email/text in ahead of your appointment time, or the use of FaceTime or ZOOM are potential ways to help make this as effective as possible. There are limited conditions that we will be able to offer this for, as most patients will likely still need to come into the office for a full physical examination/ blood samples/ x-rays/ treatments. Should you be triaged for a phone consultation (ie. telemedicine) but the veterinarian is unable to come to a diagnosis and/or treatment plan at this distance, it may be recommended that you physically bring your pet to the office after all. Please work with us as we venture into this new type of ‘distance medicine’.

March 25, 2020

COVID Update
ARE PETS AT RISK?

From what we know at this point the answer is NO. However, the surface of their fur could be a potential source of infection if an infected person coughed on them. Wash your hands and don’t touch your face.

NEXT STEPS:

We don’t know what the government will put in place in the upcoming days. We are hoping to remain open, even at a limited capacity. Many pets are on long term medications or special diets and we need to be available for these cases, in addition to providing service to any pets who fall ill or become injured during this time.

Currently, we are still open and want to continue to provide you with all our services which will help your pets live their best life.

In order to reduce the spread, and do our part, as of tomorrow (Wednesday March 18) we will be making the following changes regarding how our appointments are run:

1. We will not be allowing clinic access to clients. This change is extremely difficult due to our love for our clients as a part of our family, and your smiles and conversations that always brighten our day. However due to our close contact in our confined examination room space, and our limited area in reception, it is difficult to enforce social distancing, especially during busy times. The easiest way to achieve this is to not have more individuals in the clinic than necessary. We still recommend having a healthy friend of family member bring your sick pet if you are not feeling well or have traveled in the last month.

2. Please call us from your car when you arrive. We will let you know when you can bring your pet to the door for us to take them into the normal examination room to be assessed. Cats must be in carriers and dogs on a secure collar and leash.

3. A veterinarian and a registered veterinary technician will be working as a team with each patient for the entire examination.

4. Being able to speak with you is an important part of our examination. We would like to be able to speak directly with you on your cell phone during this appointment time so that we can obtain all the information that we need, and address all of your concerns; no different than if we were face to face. Although this will require more staffing on our part and will take longer, we feel this is one of the best ways to keep any potential spread of infection at bay.

5. We ask that all payments for all food, medication and services be done over the phone by credit card to avoid the repeated handling of our banking pin pad. If the pin pad is required for debit payments, we will wipe it down before and after each use. Cash is not preferred.

EMAILS & PHONE CALLS:

We have been inundated with excessive emails and phone calls with clients ordering food and medications for their pets. This has made it challenging for us to be able to reply to emails in a timely manner. We will do our best to answer all emails within 48 hours but if you have an urgent need please phone us.

HOURS:

At this time our hours will remain the same and we will continue to offer any veterinary care needed for our patients, focusing on ill and emergency cases as our priority.

FOOD & MEDICATION:

We are asking clients to order as they would regularly. Our supplier can not keep up with the sudden increased amount of food and medication orders. With that being said, they have made it a priority to ship medications first. Pet foods are being will be dealt with secondarily meaning it may take 3-5 days to arrive. Our supplier has doubled their staff but are hoping clinics will order as they normally would, and not excessively. We have all intentions of being available for orders and veterinary services throughout the coming weeks. Reminder that our regular protocol for reorder medication is to contact us at least 48 hours before needing the refill.

Please call us from your car and we will bring your food and/or medications to the clinic entrance. Payment must be done ahead of time, preferably over the phone by credit card.

Thank you for your understanding and we appreciate your cooperation in helping us decrease person to person contact, while allowing us to continue to care for our patients.

Your Health Care Team at Grimsby Animal Hospital

please put a date over the last notice of March 24, 2020

(they want newest on top)

put this notice after the March 24th one (this one at bottom)

March 17th

To our valued Pet Owners:

Here at Grimsby Animal Hospital the health and safety of you and your pet is important to us.

We are taking all the recommended precautions to minimize the risk to the public and to our staff. With the recent concern regarding Covid-19 (Novel Coronavirus) our Care Team is keeping themselves healthy and staying home if they develop any symptoms of illness.

Likewise, if you are ill or in quarantine, and unable to bring your pet in for an acute illness, or ongoing condition, please call us to speak with a Veterinarian or one of our Registered Veterinary Technicians for guidance.

As new developments unfold on a daily basis, we are here for you and your pets during this uncertain time. Please do not hesitate to call if you have any questions or concerns.

The Health Care Team at GRIMSBY ANIMAL HOSPITAL

March, 24 2020

NON-ESSENTIAL VS ESSENTIAL SERVICES:

In light of the announcement yesterday of all non-essential businesses closing, our governing body has fought hard to deem veterinarians as an essential service.  With that, there are strict rules we must follow.  We can now only see sick or injured patients and will not be able to continue with any ‘non-essential services’ at this time, such as vaccinations and annual checkups.  We will be cancelling all pre-booked vaccinations, and ‘elective surgeries’, including spays, neuters, dental procedures, lump removals, etc.  However, we will continue to be available for urgent and life-threatening conditions and surgeries.  We will be contacting our pre-booked appointments to reschedule, a few weeks at a time, as we see how things unfold.  It is imperative that we practice social distancing in order to maintain our health so that we can continue to stay open to serve our furry friends.

OUR PLANS:

WE ARE OPEN at our regular hours… for the time being.  We will be reducing our staff in hopes of keeping everyone healthy and available to help you and your pet.

** Please see our March 19th email regarding the new COVID-19 protocol regarding how we are seeing appointments at the clinic. **

NEW PAYMENT OPTION:

Our goal is to take ALL payments over the phone.  We prefer to avoid cash and the use of the debit machine as much as possible.  Credit card transactions have always been an option (visa and MC) but we now can accept e-transfer as well.  If you have online banking, then you likely have e-transfer as an option.  

EMAILS & PHONE CALLS:

We have been inundated with emails and phone calls with clients ordering food and medications for their pets. This has made it challenging for us to be able to reply to emails in a timely manner.  We will do our best to answer all emails within 48 hours but if you have an urgent need please phone us.

FOOD & MEDICATION:

We are open to serve you, so there is no need to stockpile food or medication.   Since our supplier will not ship us any food or drugs in excess of our normal orders, there is no point in clients ordering excessively since we will not be able to fulfill orders anyway. Please continue to order food and drugs as you normally would.  While our regular protocol for medication refills requires 48 hours’ notice we need to extend that to 2-5 days before needing a refill, since shipments from our supplier have been inconsistent during this time.

**COMING!!** ONLINE FOOD ORDERS:

We have been working to get our online webstore up and running as quickly as possible.  This will be accessible through our website and will increase convenience for clients by providing them with access to be able to order their pet food, some supplies and products and have it delivered directly to their house!  MORE TO COME!!

TICK MEDICATION:

We have pre-ordered our heartworm, internal parasites, flea and tick medications (Nexgard Spectra, Nexgard, Interceptor, Bravecto- cats). The warm weather is coming so you can call ahead, and we will be able to prepare it for pick up.  Heartworm tests will be required for young dogs that haven’t had a test before. We will be contacting those clients directly. 

We are pleased to be able to be available to care for your furry family members during these uncertain times.  The world is changing and so we must adapt.  We will get through this together. Stay safe and stay healthy!!

Your Health Care Team at Grimsby Animal Hospital