Although 2020 is almost over, the threat of COVID-19 still holds strong. As a community, Country Valley Veterinary Clinic (CVVC) is doing their utmost to protect you, your pet, and our team from this pandemic situation. To ensure everyone’s safety, we are continuing to practice curbside care, despite the fast-approaching winter season. But, we have made a few changes to our protocols, and wanted to let our clients know what to expect, and how we plan to get through the winter to a brighter 2021. 

Why are you performing curbside veterinary care?

At CVVC, we are committed to providing the pets of Montgomery County and the surrounding areas with the quality care they need. We understand you would like to be with your pet in the exam room, but we are following state guidelines, which state, “Curbside intake and pickup of animals should be used, wherever practical, to minimize the number of clients in waiting areas and exam rooms.” So, despite the fact that we enjoy our clients taking an active part in their pet’s care and our face-to-face discussions, we are sticking to the COVID-19 safety guidelines. 

How does curbside care work for my pet?

Curbside care means that, in most cases, clients may not come inside the clinic. After taking your pet inside for a physical exam and treatment, we will contact you by phone or text for a history. Dogs must be on a leash—we will swap your leash for ours—or in a carrier if they are small. Cats must be in a carrier for their safety. Once we’ve discussed your pet’s treatment with you over the phone, we’ll perform any necessary diagnostic tests or formulate treatment plans in our hospital before returning your pet. While we strive to be as efficient as possible while you wait for your pet, curbside care is naturally slower than traditional service, so we have hired extra team members to provide the best service possible to combat these increased appointment times. As usual, emergency situations and sick pets are treated first. 

How does curbside care keep me safe?

Although we seem to spend our days cleaning and disinfecting more than treating pets, we are committed to complying with New York’s safety guidelines during the COVID-19 crisis, and to protect our clients’ health and safety. The New York state government has put detailed guidelines in place for all businesses, not only veterinarians, and we are doing our part to minimize the infection’s spread.

Are there any exceptions to curbside care?

While we strive to stick to strict curbside care, we may make exceptions. For a euthanasia case, we will allow up to two people to accompany their pet for their final goodbyes. We will also try to accommodate cases that require a drop-off appointment. Other situations are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and are up to our veterinarian’s discretion. 

If we do make an exception to curbside service, we have a few requirements to ensure your safety, and our own. We will require you to complete a COVID questionnaire, wear a mask over your nose and mouth at all times, and allow us to take your temperature with an infrared thermometer. We will also need to take your pet out of the exam room in most circumstances to further limit contact and disease transmission. We understand that not being by your pet’s side during their veterinary care is incredibly difficult, but rest assured, our team is doing their utmost to provide the same efficient, high quality care as always. 

What are your curbside care policies for winter?

While we had hoped to open up for the winter months, COVID cases are rising, and New York veterinarians are still required to perform curbside care. To make our practice run more smoothly, we are changing a few of our current policies: 

  • Drop-off stations — We will be setting up several drop-off stations to allow you to more easily transfer your pet from your car to our team. After you check in, we will call or text when we are ready to bring your pet into our facility. At that time, we will assign you a drop-off station—all stations are clearly marked with a large numbered orange cone. You will pull up to the appropriate station, go to the cone, and hand off your pet to our team member. You can then wait in the employee parking lot behind the building, if necessary.  
  • Drop-off patients — If you cannot wait in your car, let us know, as we are accepting a limited number of drop-off patients. We ask that you pick your pet up no longer than one hour after drop off, unless you have made other arrangements. 

Depending on the weather, we may allow a minimum number of clients into the building. We ask that you bear with us as we make changes based on winter weather and community safety.

If your furry pal needs veterinary care, don’t despair. Our Country Valley Veterinary Clinic team is seeing patients, despite cold weather and COVID-19. While our protocols may have changed a little, our level of care is still top-notch. Call our hospital to schedule an appointment and to check on our updated protocols that will keep you and your pet safe.