Our Services

Given current circumstances, this information is in flux.  We will strive to keep this information as up to  date as possible, but as you might expect, our primary energies are directed toward the care of our patients.  If you have any questions, please call us.

Telemedicine section updated 3/26/20.  

Covid-19

The arrival of Covid-19 has changed so many aspects of all of our lives and we are all struggling to find ways to cope with these changes. Please be assured that we are doing everything we can to continue to provide you with the best possible care. The veterinary profession is now faced with a new set of rules and regulations designed ultimately to ensure human safety as well as protect resources that may be needed for human health care if that becomes necessary.

 

I set up this website as a means of rapidly and efficiently conveying to you what these changes are as well as any new medical information that I feel is vital to pass on.  I encourage you to read this entire page, lengthy as it is, as soon as possible.  It is important that you understand how we will continue to practice, how it will affect you, and what we are doing to keep you (and both of us) safe. We also have a Resources section with links pertaining to Covid-19 and your pet, as well as links to other local pet services. Please check back regularly to get the latest news.  If after reading about our services you still have questions, please give us a call to discuss further.

 

We have prioritized getting this site up and running so we can get the most important information to you immediately.  If you provide us your email, we will notify you of significant changes.  We look forward to streamlining our practice's communications to you via email.  At the same time, I don’t anticipate having time to field numerous clinical email inquiries - the best and fastest way to reach me is still by calling the business number and leaving a message on the answering machine: 412.278.2111.

I want to thank each and every one of you for your patience and understanding as we all strive to face these unprecedented challenges together with dignity and grace.  May you all be safe and healthy.

House Calls

 

At this point in time, Governor Wolf has included veterinarians in the list of “essential services” that may remain operational.  We have been instructed to limit our contact with clients by only seeing sick and injured animals in person.  This means there will be no house calls for routine healthy pet appointments and vaccinations. The healthy pet still needs to be seen annually in order to prescribe medications and diets but that will be done via telemedicine (described below).

 

If we come to your house for an appointment, be assured that we are taking additional measures (wearing gloves, disinfecting with alcohol, etc.) in our best efforts to keep you (and us) safe.  We are also firmly insisting on social distancing of at least 6 feet.  This means that for the duration of these measures, owners may not be present in the room during exams. With dogs, if there is a securely fenced-in yard, it may be possible to do the exam there (even then, the owner should remain inside).  If we can access the yard without passing through your house, even better.  Each case, each house is a different scenario and we will work with you to accomplish our common goal of safety.

Please be sure to inform me if there has been any travel by any household member, whether domestic or international. 

 

Please also be sure to let me know if there has been any suspected or known exposure to Covid-19 by anyone in your household, or if anyone in your household is considered high risk. This is for everyone’s well-being.

 

Please be assured that if at any time I (or my employee) have suspected or known exposure or experience symptoms, we will immediately cease all house call appointments and medicine deliveries.

Telemedicine

With the need to limit contact between humans, we have been given permission by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to conduct some pet exams via telemedicine, including wellness and some sick pet exams.  We must have examined an animal within the last 12 months in order to be allowed by law to prescribe medicines or prescription diets to the animal; that can accomplished by a virtual exam.  We are currently up and running with Skype, which you can download for free, and may soon offer other online options as well.  We will be invoicing and accepting payments through Paypal (which means you can use a credit card to pay, whether or not you have a Paypal account).  Alternative arrangements may be possible as well.

 

Obviously we cannot vaccinate your pet by virtual means, so routine shots will need to wait until the current restrictions are lifted. There are however exceptions. For instance, if your pet (or anyone in the household) is considered high risk for a medical or environmental reason, it may still be possible for us to come out to administer vaccinations.  Similarly, please contact me immediately if there is any direct contact between your pet and wildlife.

Medication and Prescription Diet Refills

 

We will continue to refill medications in the various ways we traditionally have: drop off, pick up from the box at the house, by mail or prescribing.  Please ask about ways to pay online (we can invoice via Paypal) so that we don’t have to worry about cash/check exchange.

 
Euthanasia

 

No one wants it to come to this, but when it does, many people find it's comforting to be in their own homes rather than a clinical setting.  We are continuing to offer in-home euthanasia, with enhanced personal safety measures.  Please also know that pet cremation/funeral businesses have been granted “essential” status by the government and are continuing to operate as well. 

Vaccinations

In most cases, vaccines are wellness or routine care, and as such have been put on hold except in unusual circumstances, for example, if a pet (or owner) is high risk (see more details in the Telemedicine section above).  Please contact us for more information.

Grooming

 

Similarly, most toe nail trims and other grooming services fall under wellness care, which cannot be offered in person under the current Covid-19 restrictions.  As a result we are unable to offer these services at this time, except when medically indicated.  Please call us if you are in any way unsure about your pet’s situation.

 

© 2020 by House Call Veterinary Services of Pittsburgh.