A MESSAGE FROM YOUR TEAM AT TLAH
COVID-19 UPDATES
TEXT USCALL US
A MESSAGE FROM YOUR TEAM AT TLAH
COVID-19 UPDATES
TEXT USCALL US

4/5/2020

Starting on Monday, April 6 we will be limiting our hospital hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is in an effort to consolidate staff and adhere to a recent mandate by the California Department of Public Health to only see urgent and essential medical appointments until the crisis has passed. This mandate is to keep you safe so you don’t need to leave your home unless absolutely necessary, and to keep our staff safe by limiting our exposure to the public.

  • Our new hours will be Monday-Saturday 8am-1:30pm until further notice.
    • Please text us when you arrive to the hospital; wait in your car and a staff member will be out to get your pet or drop off your food/medication as soon as possible. We will call you if needed to ask any necessary questions or to take payment for services/products over the phone; please have your phone available to answer while waiting in your car.
    • We have been inundated with phone calls lately, and with our limited staff it has been negatively impacting patient care. Please limit phone calls to only appointment scheduling and necessary questions; you can text our hospital number for most questions or other issues. Please keep texts brief and please be patient when awaiting a response; due to time-consuming new protocols for COVID-19, it may take longer to receive a response than usual.
    • Please do not email our hospital with questions at this time, as we will not be checking email more than once daily; texting is the best way to get ahold of us.
  • Emergency cases will be asked to come in immediately; please call ahead so we can determine if you can come to the hospital or need to be referred to an emergency hospital for care.
  • Urgent cases will be given priority in scheduling.
    • This includes any medical issue that is causing pain or discomfort such as respiratory issues, back pain, urinary issues, vomiting/diarrhea, bleeding, ear infections, eye issues, lameness, new or worsening skin conditions, etc; also any patients for which euthanasia is being considered.
    • If our appointment schedule is full for the day and your pet’s issue is urgent & can’t wait, we’ll have you drop off your pet for the day so we can work them in between our scheduled appointments.
    • If our appointments are full for the day and your pet’s issue can wait, we’ll ask you to schedule for the next available appointment day.
  • What is an “essential” medical service?
    • Any service that must be performed in-person at the hospital, that addresses a critical maintenance need for your pet’s continued health or when there is a concern for disease transmission.
      • This includes puppy visits and adult vaccine appointments to prevent infectious diseases in our community pets, testing necessary for maintenance or altering of certain medications (seizures, diabetes, blood pressure), exams for health certificates for necessary travel, etc.
      • This includes puppy visits and adult vaccine appointments to prevent infectious diseases in our community pets, Cytopoint allergy injections, testing necessary for maintenance or altering of certain medications (seizures, diabetes, blood pressure), exams for health certificates for necessary travel, etc.
    • We will be postponing all elective procedures, services, and surgeries until after the crisis has passed.
      • These include spays/neuters, routine preventive dental cleanings (that don’t require extractions or other advanced treatment), yearly labwork if your pet is otherwise healthy, nail trims (unless long enough to cause pain/discomfort or nails are digging into paw pads), routine anal gland expressions (unless causing pain/discomfort), and breeding tests.
      • If you already have one of these types of appointments scheduled with us, we will be contacting you to reschedule.
    • Please be on time to your appointments – if you’re early to your appointment, we may not be able to see you until your appointment time, please be patient. If you’re more than 15 minutes late we may need to reschedule your appointment, or there may be a longer wait time than usual.
    • We will be instituting virtual consults for non-urgent appointments Monday-Friday from 3-5pm; if your pet needs follow-up testing or treatment, these can be scheduled as a drop-off or technician appointment for another day. These appointments are a convenient service for pets with non-urgent issues so that you don’t need to leave your home unnecessarily during the pandemic.
      • Also due to increased demand on doctor time for sick pets while in the hospital and limited hospital hours, the doctors may not have the ability to call you back same-day with answers to your questions. If you have a question about your pet, please schedule a virtual consult to discuss it with the doctor.
      • Please download our app to request a virtual consult:
        • Open the menu by clicking the top left icon with 3 bars on the home screen
        • Click “Appointments”
        • Click “Requested”, then “Request Appointment”
        • Enter the info as requested, then in the “Other Services” drop-down menu select which type of virtual consult you would like (phone or video). It’s important to describe your pet’s concern in the “Add a Comment” box so we can determine if a virtual consult is appropriate for your pet.
        • The request will show up in our hospital’s app dashboard, and we will offer a time in the doctor’s schedule where available.
          • Please remember that these appointments are available Monday-Friday from 3-5pm.
        • Once confirmed, we will message you with details for your apppointment.
        • The cost for virtual consultations is the same as for in-person consultations with the doctor: $68 for a new issue, and $34 for a progress check.
      • Food & medication orders may be delayed getting to the hospital due to nationwide shipping delays – please order well ahead of when you’ll run out of your pet’s food/medications to avoid any lapse in care. You can also utilize the autoship function on our online pharmacy to avoid any lapse in care.
        • If you need help ordering a food/medication from our online pharmacy, please let us know and we’d be happy to help you.
        • Also due to increased demands on doctor time for sick patients in the hospital, we will be writing scripts for clients wanting to obtain medications from outside pharmacies once weekly; we ask that to avoid delays in getting your pet’s food/medications, to please order directly from our hospital or our online pharmacy.
      • We humbly ask that you support our small business during this tumultuous time by buying your pet’s food/medications directly from our hospital or our online pharmacy. We will also be sending out information to buy a gift card for our hospital that can be used at a later date by you or can be gifted to family/friends to use anytime.

Thank you very much to our wonderful clients for understanding the need for these new policies, and please reach out with any questions or concerns. Like you, we hope this pandemic will be over soon so we can all return to some normalcy in our lives! Until then, please know that we’re here for you and your pets, and will continue to ensure their health above all else. Stay safe and wash your hands!

 

3/19/2020

Dear Clients of Tustin Legacy Animal Hospital,

In light of the current global COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic and in accordance with local and national recommendations, we will be altering our hospital policies and procedures effective immediately to help contain the spread of the disease in our community. These policies are in effect until further notice and due to the fluid nature of this crisis, are subject to change at any time. We will keep you updated as our policies and recommendations change over the coming weeks.

Our primary goal during this public health crisis is to protect the wellbeing of our patients, clients, and staff members. Please help us in keeping our staff members healthy so we can continue to stay open and provide your pets with essential medical services, by practicing social distancing and staying at least 6 feet from our staff members at all times. Our staff has been instructed to stay home if they’re experiencing any respiratory symptoms or other signs of illness, to better protect you and the rest of our hospital.

In this rapidly changing situation, we are keeping up to date with current recommendations by the CDC, American Veterinary Medical Association, and other national and local organizations to ensure we’re still able to provide vital services while having minimal impact on public health.

The following policies and protocols will be in place at Tustin Legacy Animal Hospital until further notice:

  • As of Wednesday, March 18, 2020, only patients (your pets) and hospital personnel are allowed inside the building until further notice.
  • We will be operating on an appointment-only basis for your pets’ medical issues; you can request an appointment by calling/texting our main number 714-587-4888, or by utilizing our app. We will not be accepting any walk-ins, and we recommend postponing elective surgeries until the current crisis passes. Please call ahead if your pet is having an emergency situation for guidance on whether to come to our hospital or to an emergency facility.
  • We will be extending our Dental Month discount through the end of April, to accommodate clients unable to currently leave their homes due to the current situation.
  • We will be spreading out appointment times to avoid clients congregating at the hospital; please adhere to your appointment time, as you may not be able to be seen if you are more than 10 minutes late to your appointment. The front door will be locked at all times with a reminder sign on the door, and clients are not to enter the hospital at any time unless directed to do so by a staff member.
  • If you are sick or have had any signs of illness in the past 2 weeks, and your pet needs to be seen at the hospital or you need to pick up food or medication, please send a healthy family member or friend in your place to limit exposure of our staff to any illness. We can take payment from you over the phone if needed.
  • We will be offering a concierge service if you need to bring your pet to the hospital:
      • Ahead of your visit please take a picture of any relevant records and text or email them to us prior to your appointment.
      • Text or call us at 714-587-4888 when you arrive for your appointment. Wait in your car and a staff member will come to you wearing personal protective equipment to gather your pet.
      • A technician will call you to discuss your pet’s medical history and ask relevant questions regarding your pet’s current symptoms while the doctor examines your pet in the hospital.
      • The doctor will then call you to discuss any relevant findings and recommendations, and obtain your authorization to proceed with diagnostic testing and treatments.
      • Medication instructions will be given over the phone and labels will be on all prescriptions sent home with your pet. Payment will be taken over the phone as well, and your invoice will be emailed to you.
  • If you need to pick up your pet’s food or medication at the hospital, we ask that you please follow a similar procedure:
      • Call or text ahead to request the food/medication and let us know when you’ll be coming to the hospital, and we’ll take your payment over the phone and get your food/medication ready for you.
      • Please allow us at least 2 hours for any request so we may properly prepare for your arrival.
      • Call or text when you arrive and a technician will bring your items to your car; please stay in your car and your items will be placed onto the sidewalk by your car for you to retrieve after the technician walks away.
  • We’re currently working on implementing a method of conducting virtual consultations for patients who have been seen for the same issue as is currently affecting them within the past year; please stay updated for further instructions.
  • We will be allowing a maximum of 60 days on refills of any medication at this time, to ensure we don’t run out of essential treatments should any medications become unavailable from our distributors. If testing such as bloodwork or a recheck exam were required before further refills, we will be happy to postpone that requirement until after the public health crisis passes so your pet can get the medications they need, as long as they have not had any change in medical condition since their last visit.
  • We recommend utilizing our app to perform many important functions, including requesting appointments and medication refills, as well as connecting directly to our online pharmacy. We recommend utilizing our online pharmacy to ship your pet’s food and medications to your home as much as possible, to limit your need to leave your home.
  • We also humbly ask that you support our small business during these tumultuous times by purchasing your pet’s food and medications directly from us (either directly from the hospital or via our online pharmacy) rather than from outside pharmacies like Costco or Chewy.com. We are a staff of four very capable women who are working hard every day to keep your pets healthy, and we love what we do. Thank you for your ongoing support of our hospital!
  • We will not be accepting any cash payments at this time; we will only be accepting credit cards and CareCredit to limit contact with fomites that have the potential to carry the virus. Payment will be made over the phone only, with manual entry into our credit card terminal, and your invoice and any relevant documents will be emailed to you.

 

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association:

  • Infectious disease experts and multiple international and domestic human and animal health organizations agree there is no evidence at this point to indicate that pets become ill with COVID-19 or that they spread it to other animals, including people.
  • If you are not ill with COVID-19, you can interact with your pet as you normally would, including walking, feeding, and playing. You should continue to practice good hygiene during those interactions (e.g., wash hands before and after interacting with your pet; ensure your pet is kept well-groomed; regularly clean your pet’s food and water bowls, bedding material, and toys).
  • Out of an abundance of caution, it is recommended that those ill with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. Have another member of your household take care of walking, feeding, and playing with your pet. If you have a service animal or you must care for your pet, then wear a facemask; don’t share food, kiss, or hug them; and wash your hands before and after any contact with them.

 

Please feel free to contact our team at any time with questions or concerns, via texting or calling us at 714-587-4888.

Sincerely,
Your Tustin Legacy Animal Hospital Team

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