As we all learn to deal with the new normal of living with the novel coronavirus, we here at Croton Animal Hospital have instituted some changes in our protocol for client appointments with the goal of minimizing contact between clients and staff. We anticipate staying open and serving our patients until such time as we are instructed to close by governmental health agencies.
As of this writing, the latest information from Idexx Reference labs is that they have found no evidence of covid19 infection in thousands of samples submitted from pet dogs and cats in the US and South Korea. The lab has developed a test for the disease in these species that is ready to launch if it is deemed necessary by the CDC. Owners still need to be aware that their pets can have the virus particles reside on their fur and collars if an ill human has contact with them when infectious. Please avoid unnecessary contact with all of your pets when you feel ill.
In light of the latest recommendations by the CDC and mandates by New York State, we have adjusted our hours and staffing to avoid contact between clients and between clients and staff. Our hours will change from the present schedule listed on our website to the following; Monday and Friday 8am-6pm, Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday 7:30am-6pm and Saturday 8am-1pm. We will have scheduled appointments between 9am and 5 pm on weekdays and 9am-12pm on Saturday. Appointments will be scheduled at no more than two per hour with a gap of 15 minutes between each appointment to allow for sanitizing between each appointment. Only scheduled appointments will be accommodated with the exception being life-threatening emergencies. Clients will not be permitted to enter the building. Clients will be asked to complete a health history form (available on our website) at home and to call from the parking lot upon arrival. We ask that cat carriers be cleaned inside and out the day of the appointment. An assistant will come to the parking lot and he/she will request the owner place a our slip lead on the dog and transfer the pet to the assistant outside the car. The assistant will take your completed history form as well as your cell phone number and your pet into the hospital. The veterinarian will perform the exam and will call you with those findings and an estimate for recommended care. Upon your approval, the treatment will be completed and payment will be completed over the phone with credit card or by payment to the assistant with cash or check when your pet is returned to you. Pets presented for an outpatient procedure will be scheduled specific drop off appointments and discharge instructions will be discussed by phone, unless specific arrangements are made. As above, owners are asked to call from the parking lot upon arrival. House calls will be suspended until further notice. If you are ill or you have been instructed to quarantine at home, please do not schedule appointments. If you need medication or a special diet for your pet and you are under quarantine, please call us and we will arrange for delivery to your home for a nominal fee.
We understand these changes in protocols represent a hardship for all but we genuinely appreciate your efforts to keep our staff and yourselves safe. It is our hope that we will be able to stay open with these changes in protocol, but there is always a chance that health agencies may determine that we must close. Should that happen, we will notify our clients through an email blast such as this one, a Facebook post, a tweet (@crotonah) and an outgoing message on our office phone. We will keep ourselves available to our clients by monitoring our Facebook page for your queries, our email (firstname.lastname@example.org), twitter (@crotonah) for your tweets and our office voicemail. Furthermore, we are exploring a telemedicine platform that would afford us the opportunity to offer our clients a telehealth communication portal throughout this pandemic and perhaps beyond. We will announce this to our clients once it goes live.
Thank you to all our clients for your understanding and patience. We wish you all the best during this difficult time.
The Staff of Croton Animal Hospital