Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospital™ Blog

Garage Now Open

Wed, 02/13/2019 - 11:27 - Carol

The indoor parking garage is now open to anyone with an appointment. If you only have a quick pickup, and there's space in the garage, feel free to use it. You're the "exception that proves the general rule." 

It's usually easier for quick pickups to park curbside, if there's space curbside, which is easy for loading stuff, but less optimal for loading and unloading animals. This is why we labeled the garage for Appointment Parking. The debate between calling it "Hospital Parking" and "Appointment Parking" centered around emphasizing that people with animals to unload, please park in here! 

It's truly okay for anyone to park in the garage, if there's room. We have faith in our lovely and sensitive community members who we know will strike the right balance. Our clients understand that animals are always top priority. 

Speaking of, please be mindful of animal safety. Most important: secure your animal before opening the car door. Specifically, this means you should secure your animal with a leash or a carrier before you open any car door -- even the driver's door. We have cardboard cat carriers available for around $7, and leashes are available for free in the garage. You can come by and get one beforehand. In a pinch, or an emergency, for cats the pillow case trick can work just fine, if you can manage to tie a knot with the open end. Most cats do seem to prefer a carrier.

Second most important message is: please feel free to call for assistance. If you want a little help, please call us at (650) 325-5671 and then be a wee bit patient while we finish what we're doing and come straight out to help you. Do not hesitate for a minute to call us and we'll be happy to assist you.

There are four bike racks located along the wall for bicycles. They have an eye hook for your lock. We think bikes are great! For cars, there is sufficient room, but not much extra room. Average size cars seem to have an easy time maneuvering in and out of the garage. Extra large cars also seem to maneuver just fine, but it just takes a few extra moves. Please be aware that pedestrians and bicyclists may be using the sidewalk, and go super slow when exiting. 

Welcome aboard!

 

Hill's Canned Dog Food Recall

Tue, 02/05/2019 - 16:55 - Carol

If you feed your dog Hill's Prescription Diet or Hill's Science Diet canned food, hold off (for now) and call us for a lot number cross-check, or food alternative. We've been made aware of a voluntary recall caused by an ingredient supplier overshooting the mark on Vitamin D – and too much Vitamin D can be a real problem.

The recall only affects canned food for dogs. None of the cat foods, dry foods or treats are affected by the recall, and are fine to feed your pet. It is also possible that the canned food for dogs that you are currently using may be unaffected as well. However, we'd rather spend time checking SKUs and lots and dates, than take ANY chances. 

Is this out of an abundance of caution? You bet. As of this posting, we have seen zero cases that we believe are affected by this. In addition, we have already reached out to every client who purchased Hill's canned food for dogs from us, directly. 

Most pets can tolerate short-term exposure to elevated Vitamin D without any ill effects. On the other hand, too much vitamin D can upset a dog's calcium balance. Symptoms can include vomiting, loss of appetite, increased thirst, increased urination, excessive drooling, and weight loss; if consumed at very high levels Vitamin D overdose can lead to renal dysfunction, kidney failure and heart failure. If your dog has exhibited anything like these symptoms, please contact us at once. When caught early, simply stopping the food leads to full recovery, but more advanced symptoms may require additional interventions. 

Our confidence in Hill's is not yet shaken. They have such a long history of great nutrition research and high quality food. Plus, they are being quite transparent about this issue, and are taking steps to ensure it doesn't happen again. The preventative steps involve the supplier doing an additional check before sending the ingredient involved, as well as Hill's implementing additional testing steps upon receipt. Test, then trust but verify. 

Here's what the company is saying, "We care deeply about all pets and are committed to providing pet parents with safe and high quality products.  Hill’s has identified and isolated the error and, to prevent this from happening again, we have required our supplier to implement additional quality testing prior to their release of ingredients.  In addition to our existing safety processes, we are adding our own further testing of incoming ingredients."

If you did not purchase from us, call us anyway with a can in hand to determine if your batch is included in the recall. Alternatively, you can check against the list that Hill's has posted, which is available on their website.

While we are relieved that none of our patients seem to have been affected, our hearts go out to those who have. 

 

 

 

Just The Fax Ma'am

Wed, 01/30/2019 - 10:37 - Carol

We have a couple of significant updates for you. First off, procedures and surgeries are now being conducted on-site. 

During the transition, we made use of a specialty surgery center in San Mateo for most surgical procedures. To keep things convenient for our clients, pets were dropped off and picked up at the animal hospital, and our staff transported them to and from the specialty center. Until now.

We are pleased to take the large step forward of now performing all procedures and surgeries at our new state-of-the-technology animal hospital. Now, lab work, X-rays, surgeries, dental – everything's under one roof in Redwood City.

The second update is to let you know that we've got a new fax number. The new fax number is: (650) 549-8844

Please make a note of it. If anyone else you work with needs to be updated, please do so. 

We've had no luck coming up with an easy word-based way to remember it. The closest was (650) liz-vvig, which is fun to say, but light on meaning. That's okay. It's just the fax.

But while we've got you on the line, might we express our sincere gratitude for your patience during the transition. We will post another update in a few days. Until then, we continue to work on the punch list. 

 

 

 

 

New Year, New Sidewalk

Fri, 01/04/2019 - 10:15 - Carol

Quick status report as we dive into the New Year, plus a couple heads-ups. We hope your holidays were lovely, full of family and friends. As clients travel, it is our honor to take care of their pets, particularly those with specific medical issues. Over this season, our boarders enjoyed the new hospital, complete with new hospital smells. 

 

With the holidays behind us, the contractors are hard at work on the punch list of final items to complete. Most punch list items can happen in and around our operations with minimal or no impact. That said, during the month of January, on weekdays we are closing at 6pm and keeping our weekend hours to Saturday only. Our team members will be on-site with boarders on Sunday, but we won't be open to the public on Sunday, throughout January.

 

The last status update explained that a street project in the works since January -- as in last-January, or January 2018 -- finally fell into place. The project was supposed to take a few days, and mostly did, except one unforeseen delay to the road portion, and one of the agencies will need to return. 

 

Meanwhile, we took the opportunity to address a few sidewalk issues. For example, a cut-out for a former driveway harkened back to the 1940s. It was narrow and had a steep incline. In this day of smart phones, it could have been a tripping hazard. So, we leveled it out. 

 

These upgrades should make the public parking a bit easier, particularly along El Camino Real. There's also public parking along Buckingham. For now, if possible, please use public parking. While the garage parking is available, the safety signage is in production. We're keeping available garage parking to those who have special needs. If you, or your animal, has a special need, use the garage, but with caution, driving slowly as you enter and exit it across the pedestrian sidewalk. 

 

Wherever you park, remember to secure your pet FIRST before opening your car door. If you need a leash or a cat carrier, we have them available to take home, so your pet can arrive safely to the hospital.

 

That's quite a lot of progress, with more to come, and we will keep you posted. We very much appreciate all of your patience during this transition. 

Thank you!!

One Step at a Time

Thu, 12/20/2018 - 09:07 - Carol

We have a modest status update of some progress to report. While there are still steps to take before we are ready to welcome everyone and invite you to our open house, beginning today our reception staff is answering calls in real time, and we will conduct most scheduled appointments on site at 2707 El Camino Real in Redwood City.

For the time being, surgical and anesthetic procedures will still be conducted at the specialty surgical center in San Mateo, and our evening hours are still slightly limited. All of our X-ray machines and lab equipment are up and running, and have been calibrated by the experts. So, we can take care of most needs in the Redwood City location.

By way of a headsup, a street project in the works since January, requiring cooperation between ourselves, the County Public Works and even CalTrans, finally had the pieces fall into place now (of course). It's a yin-and-yang situation. On one hand, the location of the torn up section of sidewalk could be better; but on the other hand we really need this project done. If you encounter it over the next few days, a traffic management representative will be happy to escort you across to our front door. The project should be completed over the next few days. This will enable us to perform some sidewalk upgrades, which is a bonus.

This progress represents a few non-trivial steps forward. We appreciate your continued patience during the transition, and will keep you posted as the news develops. 

We're Moving Now

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 10:40 - Carol

Over the weekend, we began the transition to the new location. At this point we are all moved out, but still moving in. Scheduled appointments for this week were contacted in advance, and they are being conducted as house calls. 

Which brings up phone calls: we had some hickups with the phone system transition, have been deeply concerned about it, and are doing everything in our power to troubleshoot and resolve the problem. We have the technical talent on site now. A voicemail system can currently accept messages and is being monitored during business hours.

Nonetheless, we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. 

Most people contact us to: schedule an appointment or to get a prescription refilled. If possible, please use the RxRefill and Request Appointment webforms on the midpen.com website if you have either of these needs. If you need an urgent appointment, on the "Request Appointment" form, choose "Special Reason" then "other" and describe your urgent need. These forms are being monitored every hour, during business hours. Our phone message system is also being checked regularly, though the webforms are preferred and may be more expedient for you.

From a service perspective we're going mobile. At this point, we are conducting veterinary technician appointments by housecall (at no additional cost), and offering complimentary pet taxi for procedures. Our procedures are still being performed in a specialty surgical center in San Mateo, as they have been the last several months. 

Again, we apologize for the inconvenience during this unique time. Once we are ready to welcome visitors, we will invite you to an open house. Meanwhile, you can contact us via webform or leave a voicemail, and we will do our best to accommodate what you need.

Thank you for your patience.

Big Iron Plumbing Outside

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 09:44 - Carol

All the new plumbing and drainage and sprinklers that are inside goes with some big iron plumbing outside! 

This particular chunk is most impressive and has to do with the new sprinkler system, specifically preventing backflow. Yes, you read that right. All that big iron just on the sprinkler system. There's even more big iron underground, for plumbing, drainage, sewer, etc. Long story short: we are definitely equipped with plenty of plumbing and drainage, and ready to do some big-time animal grooming. 

Pathways of Indoor Plumbing

Fri, 12/07/2018 - 11:37 - Carol

It's not just our grooming area that requires so much good plumbing. Plumbing and drainage exist throughout the facility. 

This means we had to dig out the trenches first, and lay down the proper pipes. Then, pour the cement perfect enough that nobody can tell anything was dug out in the first place.

Creating Shear Walls

Mon, 12/03/2018 - 09:30 - Carol

If you've ever heard the term shear wall, you may know that it's done with ply instead of sheetrock.  But did you know that it's the nails that act like little shock absorbers to help dissipate the force from an earthquake?

Shear walls are a type of structural system that provides lateral resistance to a building or structure. A structural engineer establishes the thickness of the plywood, the specific nails to be used and the "nailing schedule." The term "nailing schedule" sounds like something to do with time, but it's the distance or spacing between the nails. The engineer specifies the location of the nails in the middle of the panel (AKA diaphram), and along the edges. Together, the ply and the proper nails with the proper nailing schedule work together to provide resistence to the earthquake's lateral forces.

Framing Out Walls

Thu, 11/29/2018 - 15:26 - Carol

Unless you’re familiar with construction, you may now know that framing out walls doesn't begin with the wood -- it begins with paper plans. Which is why, if you recall, right after demolition, we set up a working office space. 

It's not good enough to read the plans. Our carpentry foreman had to really study them, because any mistakes made at this stage of the game would have ramifications down the line and could prove extremely costly. Electrical and plumbing, wiring and HVAC, even toilet placement, all depend on the framing. It had to be right. 

Lucky for us, our carpentry foreman is really organized, unbelievably efficient and proved to be a champion. He’s remarkably professional. With sufficient studying, walking the space and clearing up any questions with the architect, our heroic carpentry foreman marked it out, and he and his team got to framing out the walls.