We at Northland Animal Hospital would like to, first and foremost, extend our appreciation and gratitude to our clients for their patience and understanding during this time. For six weeks, we operated with one doctor and one staff member, only seeing cases as necessary and making sure medications were getting filled. We did this to make sure we did not contribute to the spread of the coronavirus and so that our staff could take care of their families early on. As of last week, we started to bring staff back on so that we could extend our hours and facilitate the appointments we were allowed to see under the state of emergency orders.
As of May 18th, Northland AH will move further into this first phase of business as usual and have staff present Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for necessary appointments and pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and dietary item pickups BY APPOINTMENT. With the governor’s extension of the shelter-in-place and state of emergency orders, we will still be limited on what cases can be seen at our facility. For the month of May, we will continue to see sick and injured patients, but we will also look to start scheduling annual wellness visits for those that were due in March and April, as long as rabies or leptospirosis immunizations are due. During the past weeks, we have heard from many of you that are concerned about your pet’s nail trim needs or concerns with postponing your pet’s sterilization procedure. While we understand your concerns, the state has made it very clear that these are not essential services. In regards to sterilizations, the state veterinary association and representatives have written to the governor regarding the importance of these procedures and have urged an exemption for surgical sterilization procedures. On May 11th the American Veterinary Medical Association requested the governor lift restrictions so that non-urgent/elective veterinary services could resume. As of May 18th, we have not heard of any coming changes to restrictions.
If you have visited or even passed by our clinic in recent weeks, you will have noticed a change to our normal operations, as all services are being handled curbside. Because of our small staff size, pregnant staff, and staff with a compromised immune system or that are at higher risk, we have chosen to improve the efficiency and safety of curbside service for the coming months. This is a major change for us, as face to face consultations regarding patient care have been an important part of Northland’s excellence in customer care. We are paying close attention to all the information that is coming in regarding coronavirus and will continue to adjust our services as needed, with the hope and desire to return to normal face to face client relations in the near future.
One of the major adjustments we have asked our clients to make is to postpone their healthy adult pet’s annual visit by two months (i.e. those due in June will schedule an appointment for August). While your pet’s immunization might have come due, a healthy adult pet’s immunity status will likely last months past that due date. Our canine immunization manufacturer (Merck) has backed this decision, providing financial resources towards the costs of care if the pet develops a disease directly related to not receiving a booster immunization due to COVID-19. We are working to provide this same assurance for our feline patients as well. We have also verified with Kent County that dog license late fees will be waived as part of these delays. We will also continue to dispense heartworm control medications to make sure our patients do not miss their monthly dose during this time. We appreciate those who are continuing to purchase their medications through our hospital, as these purchases have helped with our business sustainability. We will continue to authorize prescription requests from outside pharmacies but caution clients that there have been significant delays by outside pharmacies, for various reasons. Our own contracted online pharmacy has been taking 10 days to get prescriptions to clients. Please note that our in-house pharmacy has been able to fill most prescriptions within 48 hours, offer home delivery, and has been able to obtain back-ordered items like phenylpropanolamine (Proin / PPA).
If your pet is in need of urgent care, we ask that you contact one of the local emergency hospitals, who are best equipped during this time to handle your pet’s care. We will do our best to help these visits go smoothly by forwarding records.
*Both these hospitals require a call before you arrive
**Please be aware each facility will have disease control procedures in place
Please continue to visit our website and Facebook page for information relating to our pets and the coronavirus. We will post any news, information, or future changes to our operations via these sources, as well as on our patient app, PetDesk.
We look forward to seeing you soon!