Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospital™ Blog

Temporary Closure

Thu, 01/13/2022 - 12:28 - Carol

Please be advised: We will be closed from Thursday, January 13th through Sunday, January 16th, due to a small Covid outbreak amongst our staff. If you had an appointment during this time and were contacted to reschedule, please know that we will do our utmost to get you in as soon as possible. If your animal needs emergency care, please refer to our Emergency Services page. Clearly, we apologize in advance for any inconvenience.

Like so many other businesses our staff is like a family to us, and we had to nip this Covid outbreak in the bud. We're also scrambling to get more testing because our reopening will depend on confirming negative Covid status. We have some tests, but if you have a line on getting more tests, we'd love it if you let us know. We're not too proud to accept the help. 

The good news is our staff and our community generally have a fairly high vaccination rate, which makes us optimistic that breakthrough cases will not prove dire. We're also encouraged by news of this surge starting to crest in other parts of the country. The bad news is this Omicron variant is really transmissible. We encourage everyone who is eligible to get boosted as soon as you can. 

Meanwhile, we will post an update here on the blog when we have one.

Please take care of yourself and be extra kind to each other.

 

 

 

 

 

New Cancellation Policy and No-Show Fee

Fri, 12/17/2021 - 10:06 - Carol

For nearly 59 years, since we began in 1963, Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospital has never needed a cancellation policy. 

It isn't that "No Shows" never happened in all these years. They did, but infrequently. Indeed, they were rare enough to provide a welcome respite -- an opportunity in an otherwise packed schedule to take a breath and take a moment to catch up. 

Since Covid-19, we've seen many changing dynamics. Each appointment takes extra steps to ensure social distancing and keep our staff safe. It's been challenging. We miss our clients, some of whom have booked a lot farther out than they're used to because of the demand for appointments.

As the pandemic has dragged on, we've seen an explosion of people making appointments and just not showing up. It's definitely a pandemic thing, not a demographic or generational shift, or a new-patient thing. It isn't even just happening to us -- it's happening across the industry. But it is new and unusual, and it has a ripple effect to the rest of the community.

When we make an appointment, we reserve that time exclusively for your animal. The veterinarian and her entire team sets aside the time, ready to focus. We don't double-book and risk other clients having to wait. We respect your time. We have a waiting list of people who want to get in sooner. 

At Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospital, we value the relationship we share with every client, and we understand that sometimes schedule adjustments are unavoidable. Appointments may need to be changed or canceled. 

We respectfully request 24 hours’ notice for all appointment cancellations. Effectively immediately, late arrivals, missed appointments or insufficient notice will result in a US$70.00 fee for the first occurrence. Full details are outlined on our new Cancellation Policy page.

When appointments are canceled with sufficient notice, our team has the opportunity to fill the vacant appointment time with another wait-listed patient or an urgent care request. We hope the new policy results in less disruption for everyone, and more patients can be better served. Thank you, in advance, for your cooperation.

 

 

  

 

Sometimes People Need a Break

Sat, 10/02/2021 - 10:00 - Carol

Throughout October, we are taking Sundays off. 

It's been a long pandemic. Since the first moment, we've worked hard to adapt to a model that accommodates our clients, our staff and the science. Everything takes longer. Both our clients and our staff have adjusted, and have been terrific! Amazingly so. Nevertheless, it's been quite something. 

Throughout the pandemic, we've tried to stay open seven days a week. Right now we need a little slack in the schedule, to take care of ourselves. Apparently, we're not alone.

This change is not intended as a permanent hours change. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is to be flexible and continually reassess conditions.

We appreciate your understanding. So many of you have reached out with kindness and support, and have been truly wonderful and accommodating this whole time. We understand the stress one feels when an animal is sick. We really appreciate you working with us through the turbulence of this historic period. It's hard to put into words just how much we appreciate it. Thank you.  

And thank you for understanding while we take a breath once a week for a while. Sometimes people need a break.

End-of-October Update: Taking Sundays off throughout October has been a good thing with positive results. While we still do not intend being closed on Sundays as a permanent hours change, we do plan to continue taking Sundays off until further notice. Thank you for understanding.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pre-reopening Survey

Fri, 08/06/2021 - 18:52 - Carol

We made it this far! As California lifts many Covid-19 mandates, businesses strategize how best to re-open. We're also thinking about our eventual full re-opening and we'd like to take this opportunity to check-in with you.

If you would take a few minutes to answer a quick 3-question survey, we'd certainly appreciate it. In the survey we ask:

* Do you have any suggestions for how you would like to see us re-open?
* From our pandemic practices, what would you like for us to "keep"  on an ongoing basis once everything is back to normal?
* Anything else you'd like to share with us?

To take this survey visit this webpage: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HSN2P5G

All answers will be kept confidential and treated anonymously using the survey link above, so feel free to be as candid as you'd like.

Thank you very much for taking the time.

Happy Holidays

Wed, 12/23/2020 - 11:31 - Carol

What a year it's been! We've all had to adjust to a fast moving situation, and then re-adjust, and then re-re-adjust. You've adjusted with us, and we can't thank you enough. 

This year, there aren't the usual holiday parties or staff photos to share. This year, not-having a party means you care.

Instead, we bring smiles from Ireland. The Dog Trust's Santa Paws dog-toy giveaway provides us a glimpse into how a dog picks "their" toy, and two minutes of smiles for us all.

 

If you need two more minutes of smiles, here's the same event from last year, with puppies.

 

We're so grateful to you for kindness, support and cooperation throughout this unusual year. We wish you and yours all the best for 2021!

 

 

 

 

COVID-19: Why Is My Vet So Busy??

Fri, 12/11/2020 - 16:08 - Carol

It's not just the holiday season. It's not just you. If you feel like we've been super busy all year long, you are correct. Here's a short, 4-minute video about "why" (and a few suggestions about what you can do):

All of the suggestions are sure to go double during the holidays. But know this: we are here for you and your pet, particularly in an urgent or emergency situation. When it comes to emergencies or any veterinary needs, we have a plan. Call us.

While your plans may be simpler due to the pandemic, we know you'll find a way to safely enjoy the holidays and savor every cuddle with your animal companions. 

 

 

 

Meet Dr. Celia Megdal

Thu, 12/03/2020 - 16:46 - Carol

We'd like to introduce you to the latest addition to our world-class veterinary crew here at Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospital™. Dr. Celia Megdal comes to us literally from the top of her class. She grew up in the suburbs in Southern California. For college, she went across country to Brown University in Providence, RI where she graduated Magna Cum Laude.

She's easy going, pleasant, and very smart.  Her smile alone can capture your heart.

Collegiate volunteerism took her on a trip to South Africa, which inspired her decision to become a veterinarian. Her lightbulb moment happened while working at the C.A.R.E rehab center in Phalaborwa. She was caring for the cutest little creatures in the world -- orphaned baby baboons -- when one of them got caught on a fence with a pretty nasty cut around his abdomen. (The little guy made it, with human help.)

She was already studying Cognitive Neuroscience, and went back to Brown ready to add pre-vet and a focus in Animal Cognition to her major course of study.

Through the rest of her academic career, her volunteerism continued with externships at Marine Mammal Center and the Georgia Aquarium.

"I started out in wildlife and zoo and aquatics because I wanted to get ahold of as many animals as possible," explained Dr. Celia Megdal. "I wanted to learn as much about all the fields as possible. I really do love it all.  I really love surgery, and I really like neuroscience cases."  

It's not surprising that she's also Fear Free Certified® and available for guardians of animals with behavior issues. Currently, she sees both dogs, cats and pocket pets. In the future, Dr. Megdal will also be available to see "exotics," such as reptiles and possibly birds; and is working on her certified aquatic veterinarian license, which will be good news for our neighbors with koi ponds. 

These additions to her work roster may not happen right away as she's also busy planning her post-pandemic wedding, to be held on a ranch, unsurprisingly.  Meanwhile, she and her silky terrier mix, named Glitch, and her fiancé enjoy the great outdoors, with activities such as hiking and scuba-diving. In her spare time, she enjoys crafting, graphic design, and since the pandemic, she's been painting in water color a bit.

Clearly, Dr. Megdal is the complete package and we are thrilled to have her on board. Please join us in welcoming Dr. Celia Megdal to the team.

 

 

 

Pets and Smoky Air

Mon, 09/14/2020 - 14:42 - Carol

The wildfire smoke has a tremendous impact on all of us here in the Bay Area. But what about our pets?

When it comes to walking the dog or letting them play outside, or live outside, nothing beats relying on actual data. We've got two sources for you. We can recommend both sources, even though we have a slight preference.

PurpleAir.com is easy to remember. It's a crowdsourced map, maintained by a manufacturer of low cost air monitors, deployed IoT (Internet of Things) style. It tends to be more localized, more current, but not quite as accurate as the AirNow.gov site.

Unfortunately, the AirNow.gov site crashed during the Camp Fire last year. AirNow.gov is the gold standard for precision, run by a partnership of individual states, the U.S. federal government, Canada and Mexico. If you can only look at one source, say on your phone, our preference must lean toward "precision" over all else, thus: AirNow.gov.

That said, earlier this month we noticed a KQED report about a pilot program started in August, to combine the AirNow government monitoring devices with the PurpleAir sensors in one map. The AirNow devices are represented in circles and the PurpleAir sensors represented in squares, with triangles at temporary monitors. The pilot program was launched by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Forest Service.

Clearly, we're all pretty tired of being indoors in 2020, but smoky air reduces the dog walks to shorter ones so that we don't end up both sick and tired. Hopefully the forecasts suggesting cleaner air by mid-week bear out. 

However, the fact is, we haven't even hit October yet. It's always a good time to refresh emergency preparedness kits and go-bags. And now you have data resources for air quality at your fingertips. 

When it comes to smoky air, it's pretty intuitive, but worth stating, that the the negative health impacts we avoid are the same for all living creatures, including our animals. It's important to be mindful of the particulates in the air not only for our own health, but the health of our pets.

 

 

 

COVID-19: Pandemic Pet Poisoning

Sat, 08/08/2020 - 14:07 - Carol

Thank goodness for the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). They recently brought our attention to a new dynamic happening as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We're grateful since we have been keeping our heads down, working to take care of our staff and your pets. It's unlikely we would have seen it otherwise.

Pet poisoning is up since the outbreak of COVID-19. Call volume to pet poison hotlines have picked up as more people started working from home. It's unclear whether the dynamic results from a) far more use of disinfecting cleaning supplies b) the animals are actually getting into more things than ever before or c) their behavior hasn't changed, just our ability to see it has changed. 

Puppies and younger dogs, in particular, tend to explore the world with their mouths. Since the first shelter-at-home was ordered, pet adoptions have also seen an uptick. It's most likely the rise in pet poisoning cases is due to "all of the above." 

The most common danger is your medication. You may drop a pill and it bounces, or your pet is simply faster to get it than you. Since you are now spending more time at home, this kind of incident is even more common. Also, common household cleaners can pose an issue. For example, if an animal walks through a puddle with bleach in it, they are not only exposed with their skin, but are likely to lick their feet and ingest it.

In an effort to minimize exposure to disinfectants, confining pets to a room or crate while using these products is recommended. It is also important to prevent their access to products, like hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes, which are toxic if ingested.

If you have five minutes, the Animal Poison Control Center has published a video with common concerns resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. You can watch it here:

 

You should always feel free to call us with any pet issue, including poisoning concerns. For information, there are two reliable online resources that AAHA suggests. Pet Poison Helpline is run by the Animal Poison Control Center, and their website has a lot of info about specific potential poisoning sources. Also, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center has information listed in general categories. Both have veterinarian toxicologists available 24/7 to consult, if you need to reach an expert after hours. 

We are really grateful to AAHA for bringing this issue to our attention. As the name might suggest, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) is a national organization, setting the standard for excellence in our profession. We're glad they are watching the national trends, and keeping us informed during these challenging times.

As we all continue to battle COVID-19, stay safe, and stay healthy!

 

 

 

 

 

COVID-19: Update from the Front Lines

Thu, 07/02/2020 - 08:47 - Carol

We thought you might want a status update from us, since we're all in this together.

We're not going to sugar coat it. This pandemic is tough. As it goes on, it gets tougher on some levels, and it's exhausting. Yet, we've been very lucky. As of this writing, we know of only one confirmed case among our staff, and she has recovered. The drive-in and drop-off "no contact" appointment model is working well. And we will never ever forget the wonderful "Stay" banner and other expressions of appreciation from the best clients in the world.

As medical professionals with respect for this virus, we are very conservative. When it comes to our staff, we take the long view. Anyone with a sniffle or cough goes home and stays home. Anyone with an ill family member, or who has been in contact with a known COVID-19 case, stays home and quarantines for 2 weeks. In addition, we require extra work time for obsessive disinfecting. These conservative approaches have led us to be short staffed. We are adding additional staff, and we look forward to introducing you soon.

What can you do to help?  Your kindness and patience is always appreciated. Unless it's urgent or an emergency, please try not to wait to the last minute to call for an appointment. We're currently booking about two weeks out. If you have to cancel or move your appointment, please let us know 24-48 hours ahead - or even better, as soon as you know - so someone else can take the appointment. 

If you recently received a reminder, or know you need an appointment coming up, please get it on the books. Once you have an appointment, you may want to ask to be added to the wait list for an earlier opening. 

We keep a certain amount of appointments open for emergencies and urgent needs. When those aren't needed and come open, or an appointment is canceled, we will call you to see if it works for you. If it does, that's great; the flexibility helps everyone. If it doesn't, that's okay. No worries.

It's not easy living through a historic pandemic. We will all get through this, but there's no point in pretending it's not tough. It's tough. 

But we're tough too!! Credit goes to the quality of our staff - and our wonderful clients - for making it through this together, even when together happens at least 6-feet apart.