December 18th, 2020
AVVC COVID ANNOUNCEMENT
To all our valued clients:
Over the past 10 months we have all experienced unprecedented changes in our lives both personally and professionally as a result of the COVID pandemic. We need to make you aware of a direct consequence of this current crisis as it relates to the practice of veterinary medicine on a national and local level.
We are seeing an unprecedented increase in patients both in private practice and at veterinary emergency facilities. It seems that everyone decided that it was a good idea to adopt a dog/cat/rabbit etc. when they were quarantining at home. Some clients adopted more than one pet. This is great for the rescue and shelter organizations who are seeing more than double fold adoption rates. However, it is putting a tremendous strain on veterinary clinics and their staff. There are simply not enough licensed veterinarians and technicians to handle the increase in patient load. In addition to an increase in wellness visits, we are seeing a 30 percent increase in sick visits. Some of the increase in case load is due to community practices that have had to close multiple times due to employee COVID outbreaks. The regional emergency facilities (Ocean State Veterinary Specialists and Tufts Veterinary Treatment Services) are having to turn emergencies away because they are overwhelmed. We recently received an update from Ocean State outlining how they are managing their incoming cases and prioritizing those patients they will and will not see. They are having to turn emergencies away because they are maxed out on cage space and doctor availability. They’re asking regional general practices to allow more time during the week to see same day sick visits so we can accommodate more last minute sick patient calls. Hopefully this will help take the strain off the ER doctors. Abbott Valley already uses this strategy in scheduling appointments each day. However, we are going to increase the number of appointments we set aside for same day sick calls. As a result, we will have to schedule our wellness visits further into the future than we normally do.
How will all of these changes affect our clients? First off, if you have a puppy, kitten or healthy adult that is due for vaccines, you may have a delay in getting an appointment. Secondly, because of the ongoing strain on our staff and the increase in patient load, waits may be longer during visits and for re-filling medications. (We’ll be continuing our COVID policy of curbside service and no clients in the building for the foreseeable future. The risk of contracting the virus is too great for our staff. If we have a COVID outbreak among employees, we’ll have to shut the practice down for at least a week which will only add to the veterinary health crisis.) Lastly, if you have a true emergency after our regular business hours there is a chance you may not be able to get into any of our regional emergency practices. If you find yourself in such a situation we urge you to call ahead. There will be a list of phone numbers at the end that includes our existing and other regional emergency facilities. Lastly, we are asking all of our clients to have some understanding of the emotional and psychological burden we, as veterinary healthcare professionals, are facing. We never want to turn away our clients because we are “too busy”. That has never been part of our mission. In fact, it is very hard for us to say no to any client that calls when their pet is ill or injured. We are all working very hard at the moment and doing our best to see every patient that needs to be seen during our open hours. We ask that if your pet is having any symptoms that concern you please call for an appointment as soon as possible rather than waiting. If the symptoms develop into a health crisis that we are not equipped to handle, it may be very difficult to find a 24 hour emergency facility that is willing to see your pet. This situation is not unique to Abbott Valley. All general practices are dealing with the same crisis.
In conclusion, we value all of our clients and patients and care about their well-being. We are doing our best to handle an impossible situation. We are working hard to keep our patients and our staff as safe as possible under extraordinary circumstances. However, there are limitations to what we can do given the number of staff we have and the hours in a day. We are asking for your patience, understanding and your willingness to plan ahead.
The AVVC Care Team
Regional Emergency Facilities:
Ocean State Veterinary Specialists, East Greenwich RI 401 886-6787
Tufts VETS, Walpole MA 508 668-5454
Foster Hospital for Small Animals, Grafton, MA 508 839-5395
MassRI Veterinary ER Swansea, MA 508 730-1112
Angell Animal Medical Center, Boston MA 617 522-7400
Veterinary Emergency Group, Newton MA 617 729-4446
June 11th, 2020
UPDATE FOR AVVC UPCOMING REOPENING - ENTRY FORM
Until further notice, if you have an appointment and must enter the building, you are required to fill out and submit this form every time you enter.
Please download the PDF from the button below, fill the form out and email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 15th, 2020
UPDATE FOR OUR MODIFIED OPERATIONS
DURING COVID-19 OUTBREAK
The health and wellbeing of our veterinary team and our community is of the upmost priority as we continue to learn more about coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impacts. We will be making the following modifications to our operations for the next 2 weeks and possibly beyond.
We will be limiting activity to medically necessary appointments and procedures only. We will not be performing nail trims, grooming or other non-emergency procedures until further notice. If your pet has a Rabies vaccine that is about to expire please call our office so we can advise you.
We will be contacting those clients with already scheduled routine appointments in order to postpone them. We will be in contact to reschedule once the situation moderates and we have further directive from the CDC and the State of RI.
Emergency Services continue to operate 24/7 for life-threatening emergencies at Ocean State Veterinary Specialists in East Greenwich and Tufts Veterinary Treatment Services in Walpole, MA.
We will be providing curbside food and medication pick up for those that call at least 6 hrs ahead of time. We’ll collect payment over the phone when you call from the parking lot and then bring it out to your car.
Update Client/Visitor Policies
To protect the health of employees and clients, we are making the following adjustments to ensure safety for those visiting our facility:
For Clients with Previously Scheduled Appointments :
If you are sick with a fever or respiratory signs, please postpone your scheduled appointment if possible
If you are healthy and have not traveled to a CDC designated high-risk zone in the past 2 weeks, please come to our front desk to check in for your appointment as usual and our front line will direct you. If you would like to wait in your car rather than the waiting room, we are happy to accommodate you and we will call your cell phone.
If you are immune-compromised and concerned about social distancing, please alert the front desk when you make your appointment. We’ll make arrangements to send a staff member out to your car where we can take your pet into the building for their appointment while you wait in the car. (If your pet has issues with aggressive behavior we may have you pick up oral medication ahead of time to sedate them so they are less frightened and more easily handled.) We can then have the doctor call you after the exam to discuss diagnosis and treatment options. If your pet needs to be hospitalized we will make arrangements for that as well.
Please be advised that when you make your appointment you will be asked the following questions.
In the past two weeks:
Have you had a fever?
Have you been coughing?
Have you traveled to the CDC designated high-risk areas?
If you answer yes to any of them we ask that you wear a mask to the office.
For Clients with Emergency Care Needs:
Please call ahead so that we can discuss your pet's condition over the phone and determine the best plan of action.
If it is decided that your pet needs to be seen, please make every effort to find a healthy person to bring your pet to the hospital.
If you are unable to find someone to bring them to the hospital, please call and wait in your car in the parking lot. We will come to your car to assess your pet. Please cover your mouth if you have to cough or sneeze.
If we determine that we need to take your pet into the hospital, we will keep you updated by cell phone.
For All Clients and Visitors
Please understand that until further notice, we can no longer allow owners to visit their hospitalized patients in our hospital. For clients with animals who are critically ill or require a critical medical decision, please work directly with your clinician to make appropriate arrangements.
As always, please continue to adhere to the CDC guidelines for personal health and hygiene. Please wash hands, keep a safe social-distancing (6ft) and observe our handshake-free hospital rules.
Please note that these policy updates do not impact our availability. At this time, our hospital is open and is actively providing care to our small animal patients.
We understand that circumstances may change as the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold. Please feel free to call us if you have any questions.
Thank you all for your co-operation, fortitude and strength during this most challenging time.
The AVVC Staff