UPDATE MAY 14, 2020
Dear Valued Client,
We hope that this note finds you and your family safe and healthy. We wish to thank all of you for your support and understanding during our service disruptions due to the COVID 19 pandemic. We appreciate the offers for PPE, the words of encouragement, kind gestures and patience that you have all shown. We are blessed to be part of an incredible, kind and caring community. We also would like to sincerely thank all of the front line workers for their dedication and bravery in the fight during this pandemic.
Please carefully read the important update below on NEW changes to our service.
We are pleased to inform you that our “urgent care only” government restrictions have been lifted. For everyone’s safety, we are still required to operate under a locked door/curbside service model however we are now able to start addressing the backlog of more routine care appointments, blood testing, elective surgeries and vaccinations.
We ask for your patience as we work through the lists of clients that have been affected by our restrictions and whose appointments and surgeries have been postponed over the last 2 months. We are increasing our staffing to try to work through the backlog as quickly as possible, however this will take time.
The first phase of appointments we will be accommodating are the patients due for heartworm/tick borne disease blood testing. These appointments are the first priority due to the time sensitive nature of results being required by early June in order for prevention to safely start.
Our second phase will be to address the surgeries that have been waiting or postponed. Surgeries will be scheduled Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays after the blood work backlog has been addressed.
Our third phase will be to open the schedule to new puppies and kittens that have been waiting to start their booster series, then overdue rabies vaccines followed by all other overdue vaccine patients.
We expect to be experiencing a very high call and email volume. We will be working through our lists of postponed patients to contact you first. Please email appointment and surgery requests to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will contact you to schedule your appointment. Priority will be given first to patients that have been postponed from the schedule for the last 2 months.
We will still be required to screen for risk factors of COVID. We ask you to call the clinic when you arrive so that we may arrange to transfer your pet into the clinic. We realize that not being present with your pet is very difficult but we promise to give them lots of encouragement, treats and love while they are with us. We are missing all of you and your pets and look forward to seeing you together when it is safe to do so.
The Staff and Veterinarians of the Ilderton Pet Hospital
UPDATE March 24, 2020
To Our Valued Clients,
We have always been here for you and we will continue to be here for you! We are in this together. Words cannot express our deepest regrets that we have had to limit our time together with you and your pets.
We thank you very much for your understanding during the last week of service disruptions. We are pleased to report that we have been granted an exemption to the mandatory provincial business closures and will be able to remain open at this time provided the health of our staff permits us to do so.
Please note we are trying to optimize our staff time and we will need to make a slight reduction in hours as follows effective Monday March 30th:
Monday to Friday 9am-4:30pm and Closed Saturdays.
With limited medical and surgical supplies and direction from our College, we must conserve what we have for emergency and urgent care cases. We have been working through our appointment book to delay all elective surgery and routine appointments. Please bear with us as we work to contact all of the affected clients.
We are experiencing a very high call volume so we ask if you are able to email us at email@example.com with any non-urgent food, medication refill and prescription requests. Please allow 48-72 hours for in stock items and we will contact you once your prescription is ready. Please understand our supplier is doing their best to keep up with demand and have advised us to expect wait times of at least 1 week for many items.
We would like to ask clients to help us with maintaining the recommended 6 foot social distancing by using “arms length” hand-off when transferring an animal to clinic staff and by waiting at the bottom of the clinic stairs while picking up food medication and supplies.
Stay safe and healthy,
Your friends at Ilderton Pet Hospital
March 19/20 Update #3
March 17/20 Update #2
To Our Valued Clients,We have continued to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and would like to notify you of additional changes that will be put in place for the welfare of our staff, clients and patients. We are taking great care to implement changes and safeguards to help to reduce the spread of this virus while trying to maintain the necessary medical care for pets in need. Reducing the exposure risk to our staff and clients is our number one priority.We have postponed all routine appointments, elective surgery and non urgent care effective immediately. If you have an elective appointment scheduled, we have attempted to contact you to advise you of this change. The few exceptions are for pediatric patients in the middle of a vaccine booster series and surgical procedures that are deemed time sensitive and medically urgent. We will be seeing only emergency and urgent cases for our clients until otherwise notified. In some cases, minor concerns may be addressed via video or phone conferencing.We will initiate a locked door policy with no client or delivery access to our building. When you arrive at the clinic for your pet’s surgery or urgent care appointment, please call 519-666-2288 to let us know you have arrived. We will collect a history and pertinent information from you over the phone, the make of vehicle you are in and take your cell phone number. A staff member will come to your car to collect your pet and take them into our building while you remain in your vehicle. We will examine your pet, make a treatment recommendation via phone and discharge your pet over the phone. A disinfected payment terminal will be brought to your vehicle for invoicing purposes or you can choose to give your card information via the phone if you prefer. Please ensure you arrive to your appointment with a phone. We understand that being with your pet during your visit is a valued part of the experience and support, however in the current situation we believe the safeguards must be put in place to protect your health and the health of our staff.For food and medication orders, you may order and pay via etransfer or over the phone. When you arrive, please contact us and we will set the medication/pet food outside of the building for you to pick up. If you are in self isolation or have COVID or COVID exposure and require delivery of medication or food for your pet, please don’t hesitate to contact us.At this time our goal is to remain open provided our staff health and legal obligations support that. Small animal veterinarians are not considered an essential service under Ontario’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act which means that under the current State of Emergency declared by the Ontario government, we may be ordered to close. Our professional association is currently working to have an exemption provided to this rule given the need for pet’s to receive access to medications and care. At this time, we recommend that if you have a pet on chronic medication, that you contact us to ensure we can set you up with a month’s supply. We thank you for your support and understanding and wish all of our clients well.
Sincerely,Dr. Kim Anderka, Dr. Christina Douthwaite and the vets and staff at Ilderton Pet Hospital
March 16/20 Update #1
We have been monitoring the rapid developments with COVID-19. Our greatest priority is the health and safety of our clients, staff, patients and community and we recognize that the current pandemic situation is causing much stress and concern for everyone. We would like to update you on our revised COVID-19 plan, put in place effective immediately for the Ilderton Pet Hospital. As mentioned previously, this situation is changing rapidly and we ask that you monitor our Facebook site and Website regularly for further updates.
In order to protect our clients and staff’s safety, we will continue with our frequent, diligent disinfection protocol of high touch surfaces. Hand sanitizer and/or hand washing is available to all clients.
We will be asking clients that have travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days, are exhibiting any respiratory symptoms associated with COVID-19 or have had any exposure to someone who has COVID-19 to avoid coming into our hospital. If your pet is having a medical emergency or requires urgent care, please call ahead and inform our staff that you are at-risk or positive for COVID-19. We will determine the best method to ensure that your pet can receive the care they need while minimizing the risk to our staff and other clients.
We recommend having 1 family member attending appointments when possible and will attempt to maintain a 2m distance when possible, avoiding handshakes and personal contact. Given our small facility, and difficulty observing the social distancing in our waiting room, we encourage clients to call us when they arrive at the clinic and we can advise them if they are able to come in directly to the appointment or should wait in their car. Any clients who prefer not to enter the building, can request the option for us to pick their pet up from their vehicle and take them into the building to perform the procedure as needed. This is recommended for immunocompromised clients or anyone who is more comfortable with that option.
We are happy to have orders for medication and food paid over the phone or via etransfer to facilitate fast pick up and minimize clients in our waiting room. It has been recommended in order to keep the supply chain available that we limit bulk purchasing of pet food to a maximum 2 month supply per pet. We have been advised by our supplier that pet food may take longer to access so please allow at least 3-5 days notice for orders.
In order to support social distancing, we may reduce our elective and routine care appointments for the next 2 weeks. This will be re-evaluated based on health unit recommendations.
Our staff will be observing self isolation procedures as warranted and are encouraged to stay home if they are not feeling well. If our situation should change or a closure of the practice is required, we will promptly post further notices as required. Our goal is to maintain the opportunity to care for your pets during this unprecedented time. In the event of a closure of our practice, rest assured we will do our best to maintain lines of communication for existing clients and medication refills as required.
We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as we strive to follow recommendations to the best of our ability in a time when swift and significant changes are occurring. We encourage all clients to monitor this situation closely and do their part in flattening the curve of transmission. Wishing everyone all the best in these challenging times.
Useful resources regarding the veterinary implications of this constantly evolving situation are available via www.ovma.org, www.canadianveterinarians.net, www.wormsandgermsblog.com, www.wsava.org, as well as www.canada.ca/en/health-canada and http://www.health.gov.on.ca
The Staff and Veterinarians at Ilderton Pet Hospital