TO OUR VALUED CLIENTS AND REFERRING VETERINARIANS
We at Alberta Veterinary Dentistry are acutely aware of our roles and responsibilities in the face of this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. We are closely monitoring our provincial and federal veterinary association recommendations in order to protect the public and ourselves, yet still provide service to those patients whose oral and dental conditions need immediate attention.
The Government of Alberta has declared Veterinary Medicine an essential service.
Since we are a referral-only practice, most of our patients are in urgent need of care. The regular veterinarian has done the initial assessment and has felt the pet’s condition is serious or complicated enough to request a referral. As veterinarians and veterinary technicians, we are obligated to relieve animal suffering and ensure animal welfare wherever possible.
In accordance with our veterinary association recommendation, and with a good deal of common sense, we have made several changes at AVD and continue to re-evaluate the situation on a daily basis.
We have always proudly maintained an exceptional level of cleanliness and infection control in our practice. However, for the past several weeks we have increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfection to ensure a safe environment.
We have contacted all clients who already have appointments scheduled that we feel are non-urgent and offered rescheduling into June or later. These rescheduled appointments will be reviewed again as we get closer to June.
While I have always offered complimentary post-surgical rechecks 2-3 weeks post-surgery, these rechecks are being evaluated on a case-to-case basis. Many clients will be asked to send a photo of their pet’s mouth for me to review instead of returning to the clinic.
For urgent and time-sensitive cases, we will be operating on a “no-contact” basis. When clients arrive at the clinic, they will be asked to phone the clinic and a staff member will come out to the parking lot to collect their pet. All necessary paperwork will be emailed before the appointment date, which the client can fill out and send back to us.
For consults and any necessary rechecks, I will call the owner in their vehicle to review the history and get any other pertinent information. I will then examine their pet and call again to discuss the findings, the recommended treatment, and the urgency of getting the treatment done. The patient will be returned to the client’s vehicle and one of our veterinary nurses will generate and email an estimate. The estimate will be reviewed over the phone at a mutually convenient time (either while still in the parking lot or after the client has returned home) and a surgery date will be set.
Surgery drop-off and pick-up will be handled in a similar manner. Admission paperwork can be completed in advance and one of our nurses will collect the patient from the vehicle and the client can return home. I will telephone the client with an update once their pet has been anesthetized and the necessary diagnostic information has been obtained (detailed examination and dental radiographs). Once the surgery is completed, the client will be contacted and a discharge appointment time will be scheduled. Discharge instructions will be emailed, along with photographs and x-rays that summarize the surgery. Once the client arrives for pick up, one of the nurses will phone to review the discharge instructions and then bring the pet back to the vehicle.
We ask that if any clients are under quarantine or self-isolation, or have any flu-like symptoms, please advise us of this and we will discuss other options.
Please be assured that we will maintain our high standard of care for your pet while they are with us. We are confident that through these measures, we will ensure the safety of all involved and be able to continue to provide necessary treatment for all of our patients.
Dr. Terrie Faber and the Team at Alberta Veterinary Dentistry