As pet owners, our primary responsibility is to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of our animals. Helping our pets lead long, happy lives goes beyond showing them love and affection; we must make sure that our pets receive the medical attention they deserve.
By Patricia Calzo Vega
From preventive vaccinations to emergency treatments, your neigborhood veterinarian is your go-to person for securing your pet’s health and it’s only fitting that you maintain cordial relationships with the people you trust with your furbaby’s life, beginning with demonstrating considerate behavior and following procedure at the animal clinic.
Vet clinics are a hotbed of activity. This is especially true for practices like Pendragon Veterinary Clinic in Quezon City and The Pet Mobile in Paranaque City that offer a wide variety of services. Pendragon has an in-house laboratory, while Pet Mobile offers grooming and boarding services; both clinics keep regular hours, but conduct emergency treatments around the clock. Clinic staff have their hands full with all the tests and tasks that need attending to, so it falls on pet owners to keep their respective pets in line while waiting for their turn.
Animal Scene asked their doctors and staff about proper etiquette for visits to the vet.
(Note: Pendragon Veterinary Clinic respondents are Mayem Yao, DVM, Lena May C. Valera, DVM, and Thea Gladys M. Salvador, while The Pet Mobile is represented by Elma
Q: What do you consider as standard etiquette for owners bringing pets to your clinic?
Pendragon: Most of our patients do not come in with appointments, they are mostly walk-ins, and are attended to on a first-come, first-served basis. However for follow up consultations, owners are advised of their expected date of return. Waiting time at the clinic comprises mostly of having to wait for laboratory results, which may take up to an hour. Therefore, if you are in a rush and have a busy schedule, we do not recommend that you come in with your pet and complain about the wait.
Pets can sometimes behave differently in a different environment and among different other animals. Those that are a bit difficult to manage are either requested to stay within an exam room or in their vehicle with their owners.A lot can be determined by the vet through history, so for new patients, we ALWAYS recommend having your pet’s vaccine records on hand along with any prior history of disease and treatment.
Pet Mobile: Pets must stay in their respective cage or carriers if they are not easy to handle. Exemption applies if owners can completely control their pets even in the presence of other dogs and cats waiting in line. Pet owners must make sure to follow pre-procedure instructions before heading to the clinic. For instance, pets should be given a bath before vaccination, while those due for catheterization must be given enough amounts of water to facilitate the procedure with ease. For pets requiring surgical procedures, pet owners should make sure that last food and water intake must be within 12 to 24 hours.
Q: How do you handle emergency cases? Do these take precedence over other walk-ins or appointments?
Pendragon: Should the patient load be heavy enough to create a waiting line, rest assured that emergency cases are always handled first. Similar to a human hospital, our vet nurses are trained to do a triage as a patient enters. They will then assess a patient as emergent, urgent and non-urgent. Should you fall in the category of emergent or urgent, your pet will be bumped up the line.
Pet Mobile: Emergency cases are always approached first. They don’t have to wait in line for a long time because every second counts. When our clinic is full and an emergency case comes up, we explain the situation to other walk-in clients and they are very considerate and obligingly give up their slot.
Q: Are their any special rules for pets that need to be confined?
Pendragon: Our clinic’s protocol with regards to confinement is rather strict. We require specific tests to be done, such as Distemper ELISA tests because Distemper is a highly infectious disease and may be airborne. To protect all our patients, we need to assess if a patient is a possible shedder of the disease; if it is then it is placed in the isolation ward. Unlike other clinics, we automatically provide a “starter kit” for the patient, which includes a mat for them to lie on, a stainless bowl, a special diet, and an application of anti-tick spot on treatment.Visiting hours are the same as our regular clinic hours (930 am to 630 pm), but we allow later visits until 8 pm, upon request.
Pet Mobile: Visiting hours for confined patients are the same as our regular clinic hours (9 am-7pm). Before confining patients, we generally assess the clinical signs and explain to owners why we have to confine their pets. They must read the confinement agreement thoroughly before signing. We allow owners to give their pets treats even during confinement, for as long as it does not affect the treatment regimen.
Q: Are their any special rules for boarding pets?
Pet Mobile: For boarding pets, we have certain rules, such as having proof of a complete vaccination history, to ensure the safety of all boarders during their stay at the clinic. Owners can provide food for the duration of their pet’s stay, or they can avail of meal service at extra charge. The lead time for reservations and cancellations is at least 3 days before the preferred or scheduled date; this enables the clinic to accommodate walk in boarders.
Pendragon Animal Health Group, Inc. (Pendragon Veterinary Clinic)
Clinic hours: 930 am-630 pm (will open for emergency cases)
Address: Rm 203 Amaremca Bldg. , 107-A Kalayaan Avenue Diliman, Quezon City
Landline: 436 – 3833 , 401 – 9674 (emergency hotline)
Cellphone: 0922- VETHELP ( 0922 – 8384357
The Pet Mobile Animal Clinic and Grooming
Clinic and boarding hours: 9am-7pm (open 24 hours for emergency cases)
Address: 313 El Grande Avenue, BF Homes Paranaque
This appeared in Animal Scene’s February 2015 issue.