COVID-19 Update

February 22, 2021

It has been a full year since Petcetera shifted from in-clinic visits to curbside service. There have been many challenges and adjustments along the way. We are grateful that we have been able to remain open during the pandemic and provide services for our patients and clients. We thank you all for your support and patience.

As the spring season nears, we are preparing to gradually shift back to an in-clinic setting. With this change, we will be implementing new protocols to maintain the safety and health of our staff and clients. The following will be an outline of what to expect as we move into this next phase.

  1. MASKS will be REQUIRED to gain entrance into the facility.
  2. Only ONE client will be allowed in per appointment.
  3. You will be designated a door in which to enter the facility. Doors are labeled.
  4. Upon entering the entryway, we ask that you sign in to the visitor log.
  5. Hand sanitizer will be available for your use as you enter/exit the facility.
  6. A technician will meet you in the entry to escort you to the appropriate exam room.
  7. All dogs must be on a leash. Cats and other small animals must be in a secure carrier for their safety.

Clients that are uncomfortable being in the facility may request to continue with curbside appointments. Certain procedures are very short and will not require an owner to enter the facility. Suture removal, heartworm test (without exam), anal sac expression, nail trims, routine injectable treatments, etc. will remain curbside at this time. The lobby will remain closed for food and medication pick-up. These services will continue as curbside.

Anyone experiencing cold/flu symptoms (cough, congestion, sore throat, fever, loss of smell/taste, headaches, chills, or overall aches/fatigue) should not enter the facility. Anyone with exposure to a known case of COVID-19, anyone who is under a quarantine order, or anyone with illness in the household should not enter the facility. If your pet needs care and one of the above applies to you, please contact the front desk to make arrangements.

As it took some adjustment moving to curbside, it will also take some adjustment moving back to our in-clinic appointments. Please be patient. Please do not schedule an appointment if you have another commitment in a short time frame. We will do our best to run on schedule, but emergencies and the protocols to keep everyone safe may interfere with even the best laid plans. Again, thank you all for your support. We are so grateful to you all and look forward to continuing to care for your family members!

Sincerely,
Dr. Stacy Lord and the Petcetera Staff


COVID-19 Update

November 20, 2020

As the pandemic continues and North Dakota cases rise, we are experiencing staff shortages due to exposures and illness. Due to this staff shortage, we are unable to run at full capacity. I am grateful that we have been able to keep up for as long as we have, but staff are exhausted and overstretched.

I am asking for your cooperation so that we can stay open and continue to serve our patients with critical and urgent care needs. The volume of phone calls on any given day is overwhelming and the staff present are unable to return phone calls when their time is needed to care for patients in the hospital.

At this time, all non-urgent questions and concerns will be handled as time allows. This means that it may be 2-3 days until you receive a call back. If your pet has an urgent or time-sensitive matter, please relay that information when you call. I have advised staff to triage call backs in the order of urgency. At this time, if you are not a regular client at our practice, please contact your primary veterinarian for questions and concerns.

All medication refill requests need to be made 48 hours in advance. Please plan ahead so that your pet does not run out of its medications. If your pet is on a daily medication, you may be able to order that medication directly from our online store. That medication can then be shipped directly to your home. Our online store can be accessed from our website. There is a tab along the top that will redirect you to the store.

As always, your pets are very important to us. We care deeply for our patients and want them to get the best care possible. There may be times when a critical patient is referred to the Red River Animal Emergency Clinic in Fargo for further care. This is a level 2 emergency and critical care facility that is staffed 24/7. It is important to remember that we are a general practice, and although we try to assist emergencies to the best of our ability, we do not have 24-hour care or staff available to care for these critical cases. If you are being referred, it is because that is in the best interest of the patient.

Thank you all for your support during this difficult and unprecedented time. We appreciate your patience and understanding. We will also do everything we can to assist you, even if that means that we have to refer you so your pet gets the care it needs.

Take care and stay well.

Sincerely,

Stacy Lord, DVM


COVID-19 Update

July 22, 2020
Dear Petcetera Clients,

It’s hard to believe that our new “normal” has been in place for 4 months. This has been incredibly challenging and stressful for staff and owners alike. Much of what we have known and come to expect has changed over the past couple months. We strive for providing quality and compassionate care, while also protecting the health and wellbeing of our clients and staff.

We continue with our curbside services as COVID cases grow in our region and state. For those of you that haven’t experienced this yet, it adds several steps to the average visit. Upon arrival at our facility, we are requesting that owners call the clinic to let us know you have arrived. Generally, a receptionist will ask some basic information from you and then hand the appointment off to a technician. The technician will then call and get some information regarding the health and status of your pet, the reason for the visit, and plan for the appointment. The technician is then going to come out and retrieve your pet and escort them into the facility. Our technicians continue to wear PPE to protect you, the staff, and the pets. Once the pet is in the facility, the doctor and technician work together to perform an exam, diagnostics, treatments, and any other services that are necessary. Once the exam is complete, the doctor will call to discuss the findings and further plans or recommendations with you. Following that discussion, support staff will check you out over the phone and bring your pet back out to you.

As you can see, there are so many extra steps here. This all takes time and unfortunately, that means we aren’t able to see as many appointments as we did previously. Also, with all the phone communications, it can be very difficult to get through on our phone lines. If you are here for an appointment, please do not leave a voicemail. Hang up and try again. Voicemails are checked periodically, but not constantly. If we don’t know you are here, it will lead to unnecessary wait times and frustration for everyone.

If you have the PetDesk app, you can request appointments and medication refills directly through there without having to call in to the clinic. Please do not use this app for an urgent or emergent situation. This should be used for routine wellness appointments or non-urgent matters. Also, we have our own online store/pharmacy, where you can order food and prescriptions that can be delivered right to your door. This pharmacy is filled directly through our suppliers, so you can rest assured that the medications are safe, effective, and have been stored appropriately. If you do need to fill a medication through the clinic, paying ahead when you place the order makes it very quick and convenient for staff to run out your medications when you arrive. The online store/pharmacy link is on our website.

We greatly appreciate your patience and loyalty during these stressful and unprecedented times. We are doing our best to see as much as we can in a reasonable time frame. We understand the frustrations with having to push back routine appointments. However, we also have to make sure that sick or injured pets are being tended too as that need arises. Thank you for your understanding.

As always, please contact us with questions or concerns that you have. We will do our best to address them. Please take care of yourselves, each other, and your furry friends. Thank you again for your support.

Dr. Lord and Petcetera Staff


5/13/2020

We are experiencing extremely high call volume at this time. We have resumed taking all appointments to ensure that our pets stay up to date and protected. With increased cleaning procedures and reduced staff members, we are unfortunately not able to see as many patients in a day as we previously did.

  • If you are needing to schedule an annual exam, vaccine, heartworm test, or any other routine procedure for your pet, we ask that you please use the Request an Appointment Form on our website or through our PetDesk App on your phone.
  • If you are simply looking for a medication refill you can request through the PetDesk App or our NEW online pharmacy as well.
  • If you are calling for an appointment or to pick up meds and you get sent to voicemail please hang up and call again.
  • If you are calling for medication or an appointment request feel free to leave a message and we will return it as soon as possible.

3/18/2020
Dear Petcetera Clients,

The time has come for us to implement our emergency protocol regarding the current pandemic. This decision has not come lightly, but we will heed the warning from the CDC, US Government, and AVMA to move forward with social distancing in an effort to interrupt transmission of this virus.

As of March 20th, 2020, we will no longer allow clients or deliveries within the facility. I want to assure you that, at this time, we will still be operating to provide comprehensive and compassionate care to our clients and their pets. We are doing this in an effort to remain healthy and continue to provide care to you during this difficult time.

The following protocol will be our standard operating procedure until further notice. All elective surgeries, comprehensive dental cleanings, and routine wellness appointments will be postponed at this time. We will still be evaluating and treating patients with medical concerns. Patients that have time sensitive vaccines (puppies, kittens, Lyme vaccine boosters, or required for admission to another facility) will also be examined and vaccinated.

In order to achieve the social distancing, all patients will enter and exit the building with clinic personnel in personal protective equipment. Clinic personnel will come out to your vehicle, retrieve your pet, and bring them into the facility. A licensed veterinary technician will be speaking with you, by phone, prior to your appointment to obtain relevant medical history, address questions and concerns, and relay information at the doctor’s request. In complicated cases, the Veterinarians will be speaking with the owners, by phone, to discuss diagnostic testing, treatment options, and plans. Once a plan has been made, the veterinary staff will contact you, by phone, to receive payment for services and go over any questions or instructions. The patient will then be brought back to your vehicle by clinic personnel. We ask that you stay in the parking lot, with your phone ready, to assist in these communications.

Medications and prescription diets that need to be picked up will be curbside. This means that you will call with your request. The staff will fill your medications/diets and take payment over the phone. Once you are in our parking lot, you will call the clinic and someone will bring your items out to your vehicle. We ask that you plan ahead to ensure a smooth and efficient transfer.

Emergencies and end-of-life concerns, such as euthanasia, will be addressed case by case. If you have specific concerns, please call and speak with our staff. We know that there will be special situations that arise, and we will do what we can to work through them. Our priority right now is to avoid complete disruption of services, which is what will happen if one of our staff becomes infected and exposes the entire staff. Please know that we understand your concerns and we will all need to work together with patience and understanding to get through this difficult time.

Please take care of yourselves, stay healthy, and protect your families by avoiding social contact as much as possible right now. We will update as changes develop.

Sincerely,
Dr. Stacy Lord and the Petcetera Staff

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Resources for Information Regarding COVID-19

WHO Information Page

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

CDC FAQs

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html

ND Health Information Page

https://www.health.nd.gov/diseases-conditions/coronavirus

MN Health Information Page

https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html