JANUARY 2022 – Updated COVID19 Protocols at Port Royal Animal Hospital
For a Veterinary Emergency call (902)532-7387.
Our hospital has been following NS Public Health Guidelines since the beginning of the pandemic, and will continue to do so. Between the COVID measures and the incredible influx of new patients and clients needing veterinary care, it seems there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish it all. Our schedule is full daily, and appointments are being planned 3-4 weeks in advance. We make every effort to remind folks of their appointments, and if you need to reschedule, please make us aware at least 24 hours in advance so we may open up that spot for another needing care. [Please see our “Missed Appointment Policy”, below.]
Until further notice, we are not accepting new clients. We do hope we can say differently in the not-to-distant future. We will post that information here, when the time comes.
In light of recent and dramatic increases in COVID-19 cases and the apparently accelerated spread of the omicron variant, the Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association has advised its membership to return to Phase 1 of Re-opening. Nova Scotia is still in a State of Emergency.
We are asking clients to be mindful of the following:
~ please do not enter our hospital if you are feeling unwell, or have been instructed to self-isolate by NS Public Health
~ as an essential service, we do not require our visitors to show proof of covid vaccination, but we do require you to be properly masked at all times while interacting with our staff, whether inside or outside the hospital. We also ask you to limit your time at the front desk/inside the hospital, and respect the limit of 2 persons in the reception at one time also while respecting a physical distance of at least 2 meters. We also bring your attention to hand sanitizer available for your use.
~ we have resumed curbside only service, until further notice
~ please call (902) 532-7387 – for a veterinary emergency; to announce your arrival; to make an appointment
~ when possible, please email: email@example.com – to preorder supplies or prescriptions
~ where possible, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, with general questions, or updates on your pets’ condition
~ please be aware that our phone lines are often busy during office hours – if your call is not urgent, please leave a message; but if it is a veterinary emergency, please try again, or, follow the instructions to reach the Dr on call
~ please recognize we are a one-veterinarian hospital with her small but mighty team, serving the needs of many; for this reason we ask you to respect that calling the Dr outside of appointment hours is for emergencies only; please note there is a telephone consulting fee when your call does not result in an emergency visit
~ even with these boundaries, being on call 24-7 is an impossible task, when also a human being who needs rest and nourishment of the body and mind; that is why emergency coverage is shared with Dr. Neil Pothier of Bayview Animal Hospital – this means that on occasion, if calling us after hours for an emergency, you may be directed to contact Dr. Neil, and your pet may need to go to his hospital (Digby, NS); please expect a similar, but not necessarily exact Covid19 protocol at his hospital; once your pet’s immediate needs have been addressed, the medical record will be forwarded to us
From our end, you can expect the following measures are taking place:
~ all of our hospital team members have received both vaccines for COVID19 protection, and some have received their 3rd
~ we continue to follow NS Public Health Guidelines regarding mask-wearing, handwashing, and physical distancing at work and in our personal lives
~ we continue to practice thorough cleaning procedures of high-contact areas, in addition to our regular hospital cleaning
~ we keep abreast of daily COVID 19 reports and adjust our protocols as needed
~ our staff do not come to work when sick – although this is a must for containing and preventing spread, it is challenging working short-staffed; so far we’ve been lucky the Dr has not been the one out sick – if it is, it will mean cancelling all appointments for that time period
~ Hospital Hours:
Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday – 8 am to 5 pm
Wednesday and Friday – 8 am to 1 pm
Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays – CLOSED
FOR APPOINTMENT OR EMERGENCY, CALL (902) 532-7387
Curbside Service Protocol:
(Note: with recent increase in COVID cases, we have resumed curbside only service, until further notice).
Upon arrival, please park in one of our designated parking spaces and dial (902) 532-7387 to announce your arrival, or, if you don’t have a cell phone with you, please pop into reception with a mask on to alert us you’re here. One of my staff will be out to collect your pet for the appointment, while you remain with your vehicle. Please have your pet (cats/small dogs in a carrier; dogs on a leash) and secured in the rear, passenger seat of your vehicle. Please wear a mask while our team member removes the pet from the vehicle.
Curbside service permits us to be more efficient in our handling of the patients and also minimizes direct contact between ourselves and our clients. It is more or less an extension of our waiting room. This also results in less waiting in a small exam room for the client AND the patient. I also feel I can be more thorough, with your pets’ records at my fingertips, to refer to as we are speaking (you, on your cell in your vehicle, and me, at my computer workstation), especially when lab reports and such are involved in this discussion.
Having said that, curbside service is not without its challenges! We allow for 30 minute appointments – this starts from the appointed time (check in) and includes the history-taking, physical exam and consultation, testing, if any, and conclusion (check out). We appreciate it very much when clients arrive on time, and remain available to speak to the Dr. or her assistants, and to receive their pet within that 30 minute time frame. (Rechecks and outpatient procedures are allotted 15 minutes.) It is very difficult to stay on schedule when we cannot return your pet to you (we have to prepare for the next one!) or the Dr. cannot speak to you during that 30 minutes because the client has physically left the area during their appointment.
Thank you to our wonderful clients for their patronage and for entrusting and including us in the care of their furry family members! A special shoutout to my amazing, empathetic, hardworking team – none of this would happen without you. I am grateful for all of you. All the best in 2022 to one and all!
Jody Cunningham, DVM
**Missed appointment policy: We recognize that stuff happens and you may need to reschedule or cancel your appointment with us. For those no show appointments or not giving at least 24 hours notice to cancel, a fee of $29 (plus GST) will apply. It will also forfeit any multipet discounts from future visits. For repeat occurrences, in order to secure a future appointment, the exam fee will need to be paid in full, and is nonrefundable, if the appointment is missed nor cancelled within 24 hours. Our goal with this policy is to open up otherwise unused appointment time for another pet in need. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.