Q: My six-year-old cocker spaniel has a recurrent ear infection. Because of COVID protocols, my veterinarian can’t see her for three weeks. What can I do to expedite the process and give her some relief?
A: Due to COVID-19 and the protocols put in place at all veterinary hospitals, wait times, including those for emergency room visits, have markedly increased. There are several options available to you. You can leave a message for your veterinarian explaining the situation. There are different options for those kind of messages, including leaving a message with the receptionist, voice mail, text messaging, and emails. At Wilshire Animal Hospital, we have all of these options, but text messaging associated with the Electronic Medical Record is the fastest and most efficient.
Because your dog has been treated previously, your doctor may be willing to dispense a renewal of a previously effective ear medication. In some cases, doctors are able to diagnose and treat using telemedicine because the State Board of Veterinary Medicine has given hospitals more latitude to diagnose and treat remotely since COVID-19. Other options include talking to one of the technicians at the hospital to see if they could relay an urgent message to the doctor.
You may also ask to be placed on a waiting list, as it is common for cancellations to occur throughout the day. If none of these options work, ask for a copy of your chart emailed to you and try to find a practice that will be able to see her sooner.
Paws and Claws Column:
By Dr. Frank Lavac
MS, DVM, VCA
He can be reached at his office at VCA Wilshire Animal Hospital, 310-828-4587.