COVID-19

Updated 1/1/2021

During this unprecedented time, the Village Veterinary Clinic of Hamburg will remain open for our community.  In New York State, veterinarians have been deemed essential.  We are able to operate as normal and see wellness, sick, and emergency visits as well as our physical therapy and surgical cases.   

Our policies have changed due to the coronavirus outbreak. We are currently “curbside” only.  Meaning is the only people allowed in the hospital at this time.

This has been a difficult year for everyone and while we move toward a brighter future, we hope everyone understands that we need to keep not only our staff safe but our clients safe as well.  
When you arrive for your appointment, you should remain in your car.  You will call or text on your cell phone (716-646-4023) that you have arrived for your appointment and you are currently in our parking lot ready to check-in.  

You will then be instructed on what to do next by a CSR (customer service representative).
 
Since all appointments are curbside, it is imperative you remain in your car.  We will come to you. Please do not gather outside of your car or the building.  We want everyone to remain socially distant.  

Please, do not leave until your appointment has been completed. If you do need to leave or you choose to leave you must notify the staff.  If you leave the parking lot and do not notify the staff, you will be charged a ½ day hospitalization charge.

*Restrooms are not available at this time due to safety precautions.

We have had a VERY large increase in call volume.  Any transactions, appointment check-ins, calls to make appointments, medical or emergency calls have tied up our phone lines.  

We are doing our best to alleviate this by using outside phone lines to call clients- please try to answer any “blocked” calls if you are here for an appointment or if you are awaiting a call back about a patient or emergency- it might be us!  

Alternatives?
You can also text us now! Feel free to text 716-646-4023
We recommend texting the hospital for check-ins or pickups of all appointments, surgery, and physical therapy appointments.
If you have arrived at the hospital for a food or medication pickup, feel free to let us know you are here via text!

Medication and food requests can also be made through a text message or on our hospital email (villagevethamburg@gmail.com). We ask you to include your name, pet’s name, the medication or food being requested, and phone number. If you are requesting a medication, please confirm how you are giving the medication (for example: giving 1 pill twice daily).

Texting should NOT be used for emergency questions. The texting feature is not monitored from 11 pm-8 am Monday-Saturday and 6 pm-8 am on Sundays.
At this time we are not allowing clients to come into the building for appointments.

We do not have visiting hours for our hospitalized pets at this time.

The only exception will be for euthanasia. ONE person will be allowed in the building per visit.

During your appointment, a veterinary technician will call you on your cell phone and talk to you about your pet. You can discuss with them any of your questions or concerns.

After your conversation, they will come out to your car and get your pet. Please ensure you are wearing your mask when you meet them, they will be wearing yours. Please be safe with the staff and try to social distance as best as everyone can.

We will then bring your pet into the hospital for the veterinarian to the exam. After the exam, the veterinarian will call you. They will discuss any findings, go over any of your questions or concerns, and go over any suggestions they may have.

We are trying to collect pictures these days for social media to share in the experience of what happens in the hospital, get your pet photo-ready!
Each parking spot has a sign with a number associated with it.

When you arrive at the hospital you call or text from your car to check-in.  When you call or text to notify the front desk you have arrived and are in our parking lot, you will let them know what number spot you are parked in.  Please remain in your car. You should not leave your car so that you can safely social distance from other clients. 
Yes, please wear a mask.  For the safety and consideration of others, a mask must be worn at all times.  It is mandated by Governor Andrew Cuomo that if you are in a public space and cannot safely social distance you must wear a mask.  

Our staff is greeting you at your car and it is required that you are wearing a mask, properly. This means that it is covering both your nose and mouth. If you are not wearing a mask, you will not be allowed service.

Here at the VVC, we are trying to safely social distance while meeting you at your cars and during food or medication pickups. For everyone’s safety, please keep 6 feet apart.
#1 Bring your cell phone!
– You will be using your cell phone to check-in for your appointment when you have arrived at the hospital.
– Since all visits are curbside, you will be using your cell phone to communicate with the medical staff and to make a payment over the phone as well.  
– Please know what your cell phone number is- we write it on your file at check-in.
– Please have your cell phone fully charged.  
– Please try to avoid making calls or playing games on your cell phones while waiting, it can make it difficult for us to reach you.
– To help free up our phone lines, we are also contacting you from other outside lines- please answer “blocked” calls during your appointments.  It might be us! 

#2 All dogs must be on a leash and all cats in a carrier
We do not want anyone chasing after that squirrel! 

#3 All clients must be wearing a mask
In New York State, if you are to go in public it is mandatory that you wear a mask.  We will have ours on, please wear yours. 
If you do not have a mask on we will deny you service.  

#4 Credit card, debit card, or care credit card
For health and safety reasons, we ask that you pay with a debit, credit, or care credit card. One of our staff members will take your payment over the phone.  Cash or check payments are strongly discouraged for health and safety reasons.
For health and safety reasons, we ask that you pay with a debit, credit, or care credit card.

For food, medication, or curbside visits one of our staff members will take your payment over the phone when possible. Cash and check payments are strongly discouraged.

Emergency visits are credit card, care credit, or cash only.  
If your pet needs food or medication please text, email (villagevethamburg@gmail.com), or request via the PetDesk app to order.  

One of our veterinarians will approve your refill. If there is an issue, such as an overdue exam or bloodwork is due, we will contact you.

If you are making requests through text or email, we ask you to include your name, pet’s name, the medication or food being requested, and phone number. If you are requesting a medication, please confirm how you are giving the medication (for example: giving 1 pill twice daily).

When you come to pick up your medication or food you will pay over the phone.  We will bring your items out to you. Please remain in your vehicle unless instructed to do otherwise. 
You can pick up your medications or food during these times: Monday-Thursday 8 am-7 pm, Friday 8 am-6 pm, and Saturday 8 am-1 pm. Unfortunately, we do not allow food or medication pick-ups during our emergency hours.  

If you prefer not to leave the comfort of your home, we do have an online pharmacy we are associated with and your order can be.  To order your pet’s food and medications, simply click on the link here: Covetrus
If you are sick, please stay home!

According to the CDC, the symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, vomiting or nausea, diarrhea, loss of taste, and smell.  Symptoms show up 2-14 days of exposure.  If you are displaying any of these symptoms, you should not bring leave your house- contact your doctor.

– If you are sick- please stay home and notify us if your pet is ill.  
– If you have been exposed to someone that is COVID-19 positive and your pet is ill, please notify us prior to bringing your pet in. 
– If someone in your household is COVID-19 positive, please please notify us prior to bringing your pet in.
– If you have traveled outside of Buffalo recently, please notify us prior to bringing your pet in.  
– Practice “social distancing” Stand 6 feet apart at all times
– Wash your hands Hand washing should be done 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday”)
– Wash your hands OFTEN!
– Use hand sanitizer
– No handshaking Use “elbow bump”, wave, or shake the dog’s paw!
– Cough into your elbow or tissue (we understand not every cough means coronavirus)
– Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
– Wear your mask when in public settings
– Unfortunately, we do not have restrooms available at the hospital due to not being able to sanitize appropriately for public use.

For more information:
CDC- coronavirus
NYS- PAUSE
White House- coronavirus
New York State Travel Advisory
Can I give my pet COVID-19?
Although there have been a few cases of dogs and cats testing positive in the US for COVID-19, the AVMA, CDC, and other veterinary organizations still have a firm stance that it is a very low possibility this will occur.  
Chickens and Pigs- no
Ferrets and cats- are susceptible, but very rare.  Mild respiratory signs are all that have been seen in a few cases.
Dogs- very rare.  They are seen as a “dead-end host”.  Meaning they are not able to pass it along to others. 
Pets do not play a role in the spread of COVID-19.  USDA, CDC, AVMA, and others are not recommending pets be tested for COVID-19 at this time.

Can my pet give COVID-19 to me?
There is still no reason to believe that you can get COVID-19 from your pet.  This is still just a human to human virus.  

What if I am sick and own a pet?
The CDC and AVMA both recommend that you separate yourself from your pet if you are experiencing symptoms or have been confirmed positive with COVID-19.  Although the risk of your pet contracting it from you is very rare, it is best not to change it.  You should limit snuggling, petting, kissing, hugging, touching their food dishes, or being around them in general.  If you do need to interact with them you should wear a mask or wear gloves.  Wash your hand frequently.  Wash their dishes frequently.  

Should my pet wear a face mask in public?
No. Face masks may not protect your pet from the disease and may cause them to have difficulty breathing. 

Should I make preparations for my pet if I become sick?  
Ensure your pet has proper identification.  Their tags should be visible and able to read.  Your address, name, and phone number should be up to date as well.
Your pet’s microchip information should be current and up to date.
You should designate a trusted caregiver (family member, friend, neighbor) if you become ill.  If necessary they may need housekeys, know your emergency plans, and know your pet’s medical history.  
Have a record of your pet’s medical history available, any health issues they need to be aware of, as well as the contact information of your pet’s veterinarian.  
Be sure to have at least a two-week supply of food, any medications or supplements your pet may be on, and necessary supplies (for example litter or crate).  
Have a leash and harness available for your caretaker. 
Refill monthly medications for fleas, internal parasites, heartworm preventive, etc. if you are down to a two-week supply. 
Be sure your pet is up to date on all vaccinations.
Have a record of all medications your pet is on (dosages, how often they are taken, and times).  

Can I take my dog for a walk?
Yes, you can still take your dog for a walk. This is a great exercise.  You should ensure you are following proper social distancing.  Avoid crowded areas.  Uses a leash.  If you are sick, you should stay at home.  If you are going to walk, you should also wear a mask (since you are in public, this is a mandated order in NYS). 

Can coronavirus live on my pet’s fur?
Although the virus can live on various surfaces for several hours it has not been known to survive or live on pet hair for long.  If you are sick with COVID-19 the best option for your pet is to avoid contact.  

What can I do if my pet feels anxious?  How can I help them cope with being home or going back to work?
Our pets pick up on our stressful and worrying cues.  It is best to try and keep a routine.  If we are mentally and physically healthy, our pets will benefit.  If you note that your pet is displaying stressful, fearful, or even aggressive behavior you should contact your veterinarian.  
These behaviors can include eating things they shouldn’t, chewing (themselves or objects), scratching, barking, licking, urinating, or defecating in the house or outside their litter box, etc.  If you notice any changes in their normal behaviors such as eating, you should contact your veterinarian.  
It is helpful to keep a routine at home, similar to what you did when you were at work.  You may also consider taking a 15-minute drive a few times a week so that your pet gets used to you not being home.  
It is also a great time to teach them a new trick or start/continue with obedience training.  With many of us home, we can put more time into these types of activities.  If you have a pet at home with a phobia, you can even start to work conquering that.  You may need some guidance however from your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist.  

USDA-coronavirus