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Tucson veterinary hospital changes protocol as coronavirus fears grow

Posted: 9:34 AM, Mar 26, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-26 18:39:49-04
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TUCSON, Ariz. - Businesses all across Tucson are having to cope with changes because of coronavirus concerns, and that applies to a local veterinary hospital as well.

Before last week, pets and pet owners would park their cars, and head inside of the Speedway Veterinary Hospital for whatever service they required.

“People would come in routinely to pick up prescriptions, pick up supplies, you know, whatever," said Dr. Kayla Boyer, the owner and veterinarian at the Speedway Veterinary Hospital.

Now, protocol has completely changed.

“When the client arrives, they call us and they say hey, it’s Mr. Brown, I’m in the parking lot. We’ll come out, get the pet, bring the pet into the hospital, do my examination, determine course of action. I go back out to the car and from a distance explain to the owner what I found on the physical exam and what I think we need to do," said Dr. Boyer, “My nurse and I go out to the car, explain to the owner what we’ve done, what the results of the tests were or whatever and we have a mobile credit card terminal so we’re able to check them out right there."

The new "curbside service" the veterinary hospital is doing is something Dr. Boyer said she had to do to protect her staff, herself and her clients.

“If we’re going to stay open and continue to serve our people, then we need to minimize our exposure and their exposure," she said, "Now we’re doing as much history taking over the phone.”

Dr. Boyer also said that although many others have begun wearing full personal protective equipment, she and her staff don't have that luxury, yet.

“Simply because they’ve been on back order for some time and we just don’t have access to a great deal of that stuff and what we do have we’re reserving for emergency surgeries and very critical cases," she said.

Dr. Boyer added that when it comes to her clients, most of them have been on board with her new practices.

“People understand how critical this situation is and the feedback from the clients has been very very positive, I’ve had very little pushback," she said.

Dr. Boyer said she is keeping her regular hours of service around for the time being in order to accommodate all of her clients. SPeedway Veterinary Hospital is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.