Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospital™ Blog

Fri, 05/20/2022 - 10:34 - Carol

Happy Spring! We have three updates for you -- a Covid update, a thank you, and a reminder.

First, this Covid pandemic is causing us a bit of whiplash lately. Just when we began to think about slowly loosening up on protocols, we got smacked back into reality. We had started to take a limited number of in-person appointments for a few cases which we thought warranted more intensive interaction. Then, earlier this month, we had a small outbreak amongst our staff. 

The good news is that nobody ended up hospitalized (thanks to getting our vaccines and boosters, no doubt). The other good news is few were involved. Everyone's recovering nicely, but it was a harsh reminder that we are not in charge -- the virus is in charge. 

Apparently, "lifted mandates" that infer an "all clear" are not the same as boots-on-the-ground reality. As such, we are back to being more careful and conservative. We're still suspending House Calls, and conducting appointments as dropoffs. In addition, for a little self care, we will be closed on Sundays during June. 

Secondly, we want to sincerely thank you for your response to our new cancellation policy. The response has been very positive, overall. We appreciate all the support and respect. Implementing a new policy like that is a little nerve wracking, but it did the trick. It's allowed us to accommodate more of your fellow community members. We are most grateful.

Finally, with spring comes an increase in mosquitos, which carries Heartworm. Consider this your friendly reminder to ensure heartworm prevention is up to date. If you are new to pet care or just want a refresher on the topic, see our helpful information page on Heartworm. The bottom line is: a little prevention makes all the difference.

Those are our three quick updates.  Enjoy the terrific weather and have a Happy Spring!



Fri, 04/08/2022 - 14:50 - Carol

There's been a lot of talk lately about getting booster shots for COVID, but today we're talking about getting booster shots for canine distemper for our dogs. There is reason to pay attention right now in the Bay Area.

Recently, there have been several media reports, including the San Francisco Chronicle who warns of "an outbreak of what is believed to be canine distemper, a sometimes fatal viral disease that is highly contagious among some mammals. It appears to be spreading at high rates, threatening to infect domestic dogs."

Canine distemper can be prevented or greatly reduced by a vaccine. Typically, puppies are given a series
of vaccinations "to increase the likelihood of building immunity when the immune system has not yet fully matured." 

Vaccinations need to be done on a schedule to maintain immunity throughout your pet’s lifetime. Yearly wellness checks will include keeping canine distemper vaccinations up to date, along with any other recommended vaccinations.

Here's where the COVID pandemic and this effort intersect. COVID has made it more challenging for all of us, and these days the schedule is pretty tightly packed with appointments booking out weeks in advance (except for bona fide emergencies or urgent care, of course). If your animals haven't had their wellness exam on schedule during the pandemic, it might be a good idea to get that appointment on the books. 

It's particularly important if you are starting to get out more and your animal is likely to come into increased contact with other animals. Canine distemper is spread through airborne exposure, as well as from shared food, water bowls and equipment. Infected dogs can shed virus for months. And like we already said, canine distemper can be treated, but can not be cured, and is often fatal. Vaccination is the key.

Viruses on surfaces and spread with airborne exposure – it all sounds so familiar, doesn't it? So, while we clearly encourage everyone to get a COVID booster, we definitely encourage making sure your dog gets their canine distemper booster too.




Fri, 03/18/2022 - 12:56 - Carol

We have some of the best clients in the world. They tend to be smart and nice, and really partner with their veterinarian collaboratively. We not only recognize it, but we also really appreciate it.

Here's why:  

While its true we have experienced an uptick in No-shows, our cancellation policy seems to be helping on that front. And we do occasionally experience, um, non-nice clients. Sad, but true.

For the most part, our clients know this profession requires a complicated mix of medical knowledge, laser focus and warm compassion on the patient front, plus education, patient communication and more compassion on the client front. You appreciate our skills and work with us to really be proactive partners in your animal's health. You "get" the importance of yearly wellness exams, and tend to them.

On our side, we have also been taking steps to try to protect and care for ourselves during this extra stressful pandemic time. We discussed and implemented a boundary on the no-shows front. We closed on Sundays for several months when we detected the need. And we will be taking our time to figure out any COVID-related protocols for slowly allowing clients back in the hospital space. 

In the meantime, we thought you might find the TEDx talk enlightening and informative. Most of all, we wanted to express appreciation for our wonderful, kind clients, and point out we DO recognize the outsized impact your patience and kind words have on our day and on our mental health. We appreciate you. Thank you!



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.



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 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.



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.  



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.



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!



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. 



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.