It has been nearly eight months since we adjusted the operations of the MU Veterinary Health Center due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our committed and compassionate team has continued to provide the highest-quality care to patients, large and small, throughout this stressful time. We appreciate your trust in us and thank you for your patience.
The measures we have taken to maintain the health and safety of our personnel and clients have allowed the VHC to remain open to provide critically needed services. Like many veterinary hospitals across the country, we are experiencing both an exceptionally high caseload and significant staffing shortages. These factors inevitably result in communication challenges and increased wait times. Therefore, we would like to provide you with some information to help prepare you for your next visit.
- Pull up, call up, and mask up! The VHC continues to provide curbside service. Only VHC employees are permitted in the building. This means that when you arrive, you will park in a dedicated Client Parking area and call us to let us know of your arrival. The appropriate personnel will be notified. There may be a wait, but someone will come to your car to speak with you, and then they will bring your animal into the hospital for care. Our employees and students are required to wear masks at all times. We require that clients also wear a mask while interacting with our doctors, staff, and students. Please have your mask on when personnel approach your car.
- Please call and please be patient. Because nearly all communication with clients now happens over the phone, check-in and check-out processes take longer. Our skilled office staff serve clients as efficiently as possible. However, sometimes the phone lines are completely tied up. If you have difficulty getting through on your first call, please try again. Also, keep in mind that non-urgent phone calls slow client service even further, so please be patient after notifying us of your arrival. Be assured our team is working hard to ensure every patient receives the care they need in a timely fashion.
- We prioritize our sickest patients. Our hospital continues to accept emergency cases 24/7. Emergencies are seen in order of severity of condition, not in order of arrival. The emergency service has remained continuously busy, so if you are bringing an animal to our emergency service with a non-life-threatening condition, expect that wait time may be several hours. After your animal is brought into the hospital and evaluated by a doctor, a team member will call you to discuss your pet’s condition and treatment options. If your pet will be staying with us, we will collect a deposit from you and you may leave if you wish, knowing that a doctor or staff member will call you when they have an update or if your pet’s condition changes.
- Our financial policies remain the same. For any estimate exceeding $300, we require a minimum deposit of 50 percent of the high end of the estimate. Payment of the full balance is due at the time your pet is discharged. Payment by credit card over the phone is easiest and fastest; however, we accept cash and checks.
- We want each patient to receive optimal focus and care. Every one of our specialty services are heavily booked, some for weeks and even months out. For non-emergencies, “squeeze-ins” are not possible, as those would result in patients that have already been waiting to be pushed out further. We know you are anxious for your pet to receive care, and we are seeing cases as quickly as we are able.
We understand these times are difficult and stressful for everyone, and that current procedures can result in frustration. These protocols are in place to ensure that we can continue to provide veterinary services throughout the pandemic. We look forward to the time when it is safe to resume normal operations and allow clients back into our building for face-to-face interactions. Until then, we appreciate your understanding and your kindness to our employees and students, who have dedicated their lives to caring for your animals.