Our pets getting sick is stressful enough on its own, but dealing with emergencies during the pandemic can be downright nerve wracking. I dealt with this first hand several months ago when I ended up at the emergency room with my dog Evie. She had been vomiting and had diarrhea so I called the vet. Since her energy level was normal and she had an appetite, they told me to monitor her at home. I did this for another day and was happy to see her symptoms going away. Another day later we went on a walk and she ended up having a terrible bout of diarrhea. It was worse than I had ever seen so I got her in the car and rushed her to the emergency room.
The impact of the pandemic on animal hospital processes
Because of the pandemic safety measures, pet parents were not allowed inside the hospital. So in order to be seen, I had to call and give all of Evie’s information over the phone. Her “check-in” was basically done remotely, to keep everyone safe. Once we arrived at the hospital, we had to wait in the car until a nurse called. This was a large part of the waiting game. Evie and I ended up waiting about 4 hours to be seen.
If Evie’s situation were more severe, I’m sure we would have been seen sooner. We were fine with waiting in the car though. When it was actually time to be seen, a nurse called and told me to pull around to the front of the hospital.
The one part of the new pandemic set-up that made me the most nervous was not being able to go inside with Evie. For safety, the pets are taken right from your car and into the hospital. She was very scared, but the nurse was kind and that eased my worries. Then more waiting. I waited about 2 hours for another call.
When it was finally time to pick Evie up, I pulled back around and she was brought out to me. A little shaken up, but she was happy to see me. Standing 6 feet away from the car, wearing a mask, the nurse explained the results. Everything was normal! She suggested I change her food, and keep monitoring her. I couldn’t go inside to pay, so I handed over my card and waited for her to bring it back out to me. Then me and Evie headed home.
7 hours of waiting and a lot of money later to find out Evie just had an upset stomach! I was happy to know she was okay though. If you find yourself dealing with pet emergencies during the pandemic, don’t panic. Just make sure to call the hospital immediately to check in ahead of time. The only real change I experienced was having to wait in my car.
The hospitals have all taken measures to keep everyone safe while still making sure our pets get the very best care. It is nerve wracking having to wait in the car for hours on end, but rest assured our furry friends are in good hands.
When in doubt, call your primary vet if you think your dog might be sick
If you think your dog might be sick, or in pain, give your primary vet a call. Most times they can let you know over the phone if you need to come in. If they think your dog needs immediate attention, they will tell you to go to the ER. If this happens, make sure to call them right away to make the check in process faster. In either case, remember to stay calm. Our furry friends know when we are upset or stressed, so staying calm will help them be calm too, and will make dealing with emergencies during the pandemic easier for us all.
Morgan and the DDI Team