Important COVID-19 Information
The ongoing pandemic has indelibly changed our lives and the way that we will be able to treat our patients here at LVAH. Over the past few months several factors have come together to form the perfect storm that has resulted in reduction of staff to the extent that it has become difficult to maintain the caseload we have been seeing since the spring. Sadly, for the first time in our long history, we have had to put a hold on seeing new clients and patients until we are able to staff up to levels prior to the pandemic. Additionally, we will have to shorten our hours of operation in order to avoid overburdening our doctors and staff.
Rest assured, we will continue to focus on the safety of our clients and staff, and as such, curbside visits will continue well into next year. There is no definitive end date at this time. With this, please understand that curbside visits are sometimes challenging on our part, and do not always start and finish in the time allotted. We ask that you be patient and understanding of factors that are beyond our control, and advise that you not schedule visits to our hospitals around the time of other time-sensitive commitments and allow us the needed time to work carefully and thoroughly with your pet.
Lastly, a few words regarding vaccines. Please remember that vaccine due dates are not the same as expiration of immunity. Most every vaccine provides excellent immunity beyond the booster due date. The emphasis for yearly exams is the exam itself, not the vaccines. It is an opportunity to review the individual needs for each patient and develop a plan specific for that patient. Due to high demand for our available appointment time, not all preventative care exams will be able to be scheduled on the yearly anniversary date. We will prioritize these appointments for those who have rabies vaccines that are expired or about to expire since this is a legal issue, and patients who will be boarded and need boosters to meet entry requirements.
There is no doubt that we all pray for a quick end to this pandemic and an assurance of our collective safety and return to a normal life. We are resilient, and we will get there. Until then, let’s continue to work together and care for each other as we’ve all been doing for the common goal.
- Telehealth at Lehigh Valley Animal Hospital -
We are committed to keeping both you and our staff safe while still taking care of your furry family members! We are excited to announce that beginning April 6th, 2020, we will be offering virtual visits to our LVAH patients to aid in social distancing due to COVID-19.
If you think that your pet needs to be evaluated by your LVAH veterinarian, please call our office and speak with one of our Customer Care Representatives (CCR) and with the help of one of our veterinarians on staff, they’ll help to determine what the best way will be for your pet to be evaluated! While most visits are compatible with virtual visits, there is a short list of situations where this mode of communication if not appropriate. If it’s been decided that a virtual visit is the best way for your pet to be evaluated, please see below for a summary of what to expect during your visit.
A “snapshot” of your virtual visit:
Once your virtual visit is scheduled by a CCR, you will need to sign an authorization form to allow your LVAH veterinarian to provide your pet with veterinary telehealth. Please provide an updated email address and a CCR will email you the authorization form via DocuSign. Please read this form and provide an e-signature immediately upon receipt. Once this is signed, both you and our hospital will be emailed a copy of the signed form.
Once we receive your signed authorization form, a CCR will call you back to take payment for the virtual visit over the phone. The virtual visit is $35 and during this visit, your LVAH veterinarian will discuss your concerns, obtain a thorough history, evaluate areas of concern on your pet and will be able to provide an assessment and decide on a management plan. If medications are being prescribed as part of the management plan, these can be filled at our hospital and you can pay/pick them up at your convenience during our business hours using our usual “No Contact/Curbside Protocol” (see below). If your veterinarian’s assessment is that your pet needs to be seen physically in the hospital, we will schedule this visit accordingly and the usual Sick Exam fee will be reduced to a Medical Progress Exam fee during this follow-up appointment.
Once your virtual visit has been scheduled/paid for, please refer to the instructions below on how to download the Zoom Video Conferencing app onto your smartphone, tablet or laptop/computer. If using a laptop/computer, please make sure you have a camera and microphone installed on this device. Please download and troubleshoot this app PRIOR to your scheduled virtual visit appointment time. The most common issues we see using the Zoom app is that we either can’t see or hear you! Please make sure that when prompted “Zoom Would Like to Access the Camera” and “Zoom Would Like to Access the Microphone” on your device, you click “OK”. Please make sure when prompted, you click “JOIN WITH VIDEO” and “CALL USING INTERNET AUDIO”. Please call our office if you’re having issues with the Zoom app so we can troubleshoot prior to your visit. This way, your veterinarian will be able to focus the entire virtual visit on your fur baby!
At your scheduled virtual visit appointment time, please check your email from your veterinarian with a link to your Zoom meeting. Click on the link and it’ll bring up your Zoom app and allow you to see and hear your veterinarian! If you don’t get an email exactly at your appointment time, please be patient as your veterinarian is likely finishing up with another appointment. Our staff will do our very best to keep you informed if the doctor is running behind in appointments!
No Contact/Curbside Protocol
Whether you have an appointment scheduled with a veterinarian/nurse, are dropping your pet off for a procedure, are picking up medications or dropping off fecal/urine samples, when you arrive at our hospital, give us a call from your car and we’ll give you instructions on the next steps of your visit.
If your pet has an appointment with the veterinarian, once you speak with a CCR to “check-in”, a nurse will call you to get a thorough history on what’s going on with your pet. They will then let you know when to meet them at the door to the hospital. The nurse will meet you wearing appropriate PPE for both your and our staff’s protection. If you have a cat carrier, please place the carrier on the ground so that the nurse can sanitize the areas that have been touched. If you have a dog, the nurse will carefully place a 2 slip leads over your dog’s head and once secured, the nurse will ask you to remove your own leash and bring it back to your car with you. Do not unclasp or remove your leash until the CCR has assured you that the 2 slip leads are securely in place. Once your pet is in the hospital, the veterinarian will do a thorough exam (like we normally would!) and then the doctor will give you a call to discuss your specific concerns, their exam findings and they will recommend a treatment plan. Once the agreed upon treatment plan is completed (and your pet has been spoiled with lots of treats and belly rubs!), a nurse will call you again to summarize the visit, go over any medications that are being dispensed and address any other concerns you may have. The nurse will then forward you to a CCR who will take payment over the phone and schedule any follow-up visits. They will then let you know when to meet the nurse at the door and we’ll bring your pet and any medications to you.
We will also be offering curbside pick up for medications/food and curbside drop off for samples that you’re bringing to the hospital for testing. Simply call when you arrive, pay by phone (if you haven’t already paid) and a CCR will leave your medications/food on a bench or table with your pet’s name on it. If you’re dropping off a sample, you can leave it on the same bench or table with your pet’s name on it and a staff member will go out to retrieve it.
Thank you for cooperating with these extreme but necessary safety measures. With your help, we can continue to provide you with the exceptional pet health care you depend on and entrust in us, and we can return to our normal protocols including face-to-face visits as soon as possible. Most importantly, please BE SAFE!
Now that the first case of COVID-19 has been documented in the Lehigh Valley, it is time for serious consideration and discussion regarding the safety of our clients and staff as it pertains to face to face interactions in our offices.
First and foremost, there are members of our community who, by virtue of their pre-existing health or immune status, should not be communing in public places for their own safety. If your pet needs an appointment with our nursing staff or doctors, or you have business that must be done within the office, we ask that you consider your own safety first if you are at increased risk, and consider our safety and the safety of other clients if you have reason to believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19, or if you are generally not feeling well and, particularly, if you have symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. Consider limiting the number of people arriving to the appointment with your pet. Consider a “drop-off” appointment if you do not want to or cannot be in the building among other people. Depending on the severity of this health crisis over the next few days and weeks, it may be wise to consider delaying well visits until a safer time.
We are committed to the health and well-being of your pets. We are also committed to the safety of our clients and staff. Rest assured that we have instructed our staff to wipe down all surfaces possible with disinfectant as often as possible, but this should not be a substitute for the role that your own personal hygiene will play in your safety and the spread of this disease.
Finally, as a reminder, there is no evidence to date that your pets can be involved with the spread of this disease. However, known or suspected infected individuals should minimize contact with your pets. Please see a complete list of guidelines and information regarding COVID-19 and the veterinary community at https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/animal-health-and-welfare/covid-19
It means the absolute world that you trust us with the life and health of your pet! We are devoted to the highest quality of care, and thank you for helping us accomplish our goal!
Please do not hesitate to contact either of our offices with any questions or concerns you may have.
Lehigh Valley Animal Hospital hopes you all stay safe, healthy, and happy!
Welcome to Lehigh Valley Animal Hospital
Your Veterinarian in Allentown & Bethlehem, PA
Allentown: (610) 395-0328
Bethlehem: (610) 837-6188
Compassionate family pet care - for LIFE
Our mission is to provide the highest quality veterinary healthcare for our clients’ beloved pets. We will provide this care in a professional manner with a compassionate, personal touch. We resolve to continually earn the respect and trust that our clients have placed in us in every visit.
Our hospital provides quality pet care, with a personal touch, to our clients and their pets. With over 60 years combined experience, our knowledgeable and caring veterinarians emphasize total pet health and wellness throughout the lifetime of every pet. We pride ourselves on our compassionate and professional staff that treats our client’s pet as if they were their own. We are committed to educating clients about their pet’s health as they develop and grow, into their senior years, as well as when sickness or injury occur. We are here to service our clients and their 4-legged family members as extensions of our own family.
Lehigh Valley Animal Hospital
Please submit serious inquiries to LVAHAnimal@gmail.com