As Covid cases rise in our region, we’ve recently had some very close calls with clients potentially exposing us to the virus. Ever since we were allowed to re-open this summer, we have been one of the only vet clinics in the greater St. Louis area who stopped curbside care, and let pet owners into our building.
Let’s face it, we’re spoiled.
I really enjoy being able to talk to you in person. Everyone has been fantastic about wearing masks properly, social distancing, you know, doing “all the things”.
We have put this off as long as possible, and I have dreaded going back to curbside, like we did in the spring. However, our priority has to be keeping all of us safe, and staying open to help pets. Too many clinics are having to temporarily close due to lack of staffing – we don’t want to be one of them!
Effective immediately, all clinic appointments will be curbside like we did in spring (see below). House call appointments are being severely limited, but not entirely stopped. So as much as we love seeing you, we have to make some adjustments for a few weeks. We are not loving this, trust me.
Keep reading, you’ll be glad you read this…
Clinic appointments – We will be conducting curbside clinic appointments differently than we did in spring.
- You must bring your dog or cat out of the car. We can transfer the leash or carrier to a technician on our front porch.
- Please wear a mask for any and all encounters with veterinary staff, even if it’s just a couple seconds.
- For dogs who don’t want to go inside without their owners, you may walk in the front door with your dog before returning to your car.
- For large dogs who have trouble walking, like always, we can use our x-ray room as an exam room- it’s the door on the far right.
- For euthanasia appointments, we will let 1-2 people, wearing masks, inside the building.
- For the small handful of dogs (or cats!) that are simply SO anxious we cannot safely handle them without their owner present, you may enter with your pet after we discuss the plan for the appointment on the phone.
- If the weather is nice – we can still see appointments outside in our fenced area! (dogs only)
- Payment – If we do not have a card on file, we can swipe your card or take a check or cash right in the parking lot, or we can take your card over the phone. Online payment is an option too if you want 100% no contact. The problem with that was once people got home, the last thing on their mind is paying the vet bill – I get it!
- YES! Your pet can still have his or her holiday picture taken! We’ll bring them in, snap some photos, and text you the best ones – and the bloopers! 🙂
Zoom meetings during appointments – a great option!
We hate doing appointments curbside as much, maybe more, than you do. To make it a little better, we offer each appointment its own Zoom meeting. THESE ARE 100% OPTIONAL. I will simply call you on the phone if you don’t want to Zoom. You’ll receive a separate email the day before your appointment inviting you to join the Zoom meeting during the appointment. The doctor will start the meeting once your pet is inside the building. We are not good at trouble shooting, so if you haven’t used Zoom before, have the app on your phone and ready to go prior to your visit! We will just do a phone call if you experience technical difficulties.
Telemedicine appointments – another option
Depending on your situation, we may offer a consult on our Teletails app as an option. You and your pet just stay home, and we can video chat! Any medications can be picked up or mailed. Here’s the telemedicine website.
Since we can’t have people come into the building, lots of easy ways to get your meds. Just let us know your preference!
- Pick up from clinic- curbside. Text “here for meds” to 618-221-0702. Your name will pop up, and we’ll know who it is! We will run the meds out to your car!
- Through the mail – takes a day… or three.
- Pick them up from the white drop box outside the middle front door (which is sanitized multiple times a day)
Payment for medications or appointments:
We can take cash or check, and even swipe credit cards right in the parking lot! And there’s always the option to pay online. Here’s the site to pay online if you’re curious: https://metroeasthomevetcare.
House calls – We are still making house calls, but are very limited
If your pet cannot get into a car or come to the clinic, and it needs more than telemedicine can offer, then yes, we can come to you. We are both offering in-home euthanasia services as well, but these are limited. House calls are scheduled on a case-by-case basis.
When I say I’m going to miss seeing you all in appointments, I mean it! It’s been recommended by the state VMA and various other professional organizations to go back to curbside, but I have stalled as long as I could. All of us hope to go back to “normal” as soon as possible, and my hope is this only lasts a few weeks.
Thank you for your patience, your kindness, and for just being you!
Dr. Karen Louis DVM, MS, cVMA
Owner, Metro East Home Vet Care and Low Stress Clinic