Lowcountry Headlines

Lowcountry Headlines


Veterinary clinics moving to curb-side appointments to fight COVID-19

ByDanielle Seat|April 1, 2020 at 6:15 AM EDT - Updated April 1 at 6:39 AM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Centers for Disease Control says there is no evidence the novel coronavirus spreads through animals, but it’s the person-to-person contact veterinary offices are trying to avoid.

Veterinary Clinics in the Tri-county area are moving to curb-side appointments, and some are even going virtual.

At the West Ashley Veterinary Clinic, along with some others, the new protocol keeps pet parents in their car while their animals are seen inside. The appointment starts with a conversation over the phone. Then a vet technicians will come out and grab your pet. After the appointment they bring the pet back out to your car, and all payments are made over the phone.The West Ashley Veterinary Clinic is one of several that started a new protocol that keeps pet parents in their car while their animals are seen inside.

“Certainly there are limitations, but there are with any diagnostic,” veterinarian Dr. Lauren Tierney says. “But there is some real scenarios where there’s some benefit I think for long term and certainly right now.”

The appointment begins with a conversation over the phone, then a vet technician will come out and take your pet inside. After the appointment, the tech brings the pet back to the owner's vehicle.

All payments are made over the phone.

"It's good. They're keeping their distance," pet owner Jonathan Downie says. "And it's real convenient that they're coming out straight to your car and taking your animal in. I haven't had to touch anything."

Because the curbside appointment actually takes longer, they are extending their hours to be able to see as many sick pets as possible, opening earlier during the week and staying later on Saturdays.

“We’re certainly doing everything that we can to be of help and protect ourselves,” Tierney said. “And so certainly there’s risk with doing anything. I mean there’s certain risk in going to the grocery store anymore. But I think its part of our job that we want to continue to help our patients and our clients get through this.”

Some clinics say they are looking into virtual care as their primary source for appointments while others are holding off on check-ups and vaccinations until all of this passes.

Before heading into your local vet, it’s best to call to find out what their policy is.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Photo: Live 5 News

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