Ensuring that sick and injured pets receive the medical care they need has always been our team’s top priority. As the COVID-19 (human novel coronavirus) situation is still changing frequently, we have created this webpage to keep you updated on the current status of operations at our clinic. We will update it continuously to reflect any changes as the pandemic evolves.
Please check this page before every visit to our clinic, as well as if you have an appointment booked within the next 30 days, or if your pet relies on any prescription medications, diets, supplements or medical supplies.
March 30 update: In response to your questions, we have compiled a Q & A on COVID-19 and your pets, based on the latest research from around the world.
March 25 update: Please limit your pet food orders (in clinic AND on our online WebStore) to a 2-3 week supply per pet. Vet clinics are now subject to weekly quotas from our distributor, due to the tremendous volume of orders, which has caused extensive shipping backlogs. See below for full details.
March 23 update: Veterinary clinics have been included on the list of essential workplaces that will be exempt from the upcoming non-essential business shutdown. We are thankful that we can continue providing urgent care to pets in need, following the procedures outlined below. Thank you to everyone who called your MPP to ask for veterinary services to be deemed essential!
March 22 update: Doors Closed Hearts Open – To ensure that we can remain OPEN to care for your pets during this crisis, we can now only allow pets to come inside the clinic (euthanasias excepted). Our doors will be locked but during our posted business hours we are still open. Please call us at 416-537-9677 when you arrive and we will meet you at the door to collect your pet or bring you medication or food. Appointments will be conducted by phone.
On the day of your pet’s appointment or surgery, please complete our online pre-appointment concerns & symptoms form or surgery admission form BEFORE coming in. Please review our page below for full details on our current procedures.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us by email ([email protected]) or by phone (416-537-9677) if you have any questions! We are committed to being here for your pets during this time, and are confident that we will get through this by working together as a community.
Stay safe and healthy,
Dr. Mark Kinghorn and your entire Bloorcourt Vet Clinic team
Appointments and Hours
In order to protect our team and our clients, support our government’s call for social distancing, and ensure that pets with urgent health concerns can be seen, we are asking all clients whose pets are stable and healthy and have wellness care appointments (such as annual exams and vaccines, nail trims, etc.) or routine elective surgeries (such as spays, neuters and preventative dental cleanings) booked within the next month to reschedule their appointments to mid-April or later.
We will only be able to see sick or injured pets, and pets requiring age or time sensitive treatments or vaccine boosters (including kittens and puppies) until further notice. If your pet needs tick & flea prevention medications now that it is warming up, we will work with you to ensure they are protected – just reach out to us.
If these changes affect your pet and you want to get them in to see us as soon as the situation stabilizes, please ask to be put on our waitlist.
Our opening hours are changing, as we have divided our staff into two completely separate teams that will work alternating 2-week periods, and so are operating at half-capacity. This contingency will allow us to remain open for your pets in the event that one of our team members is exposed to COVID-19, as we will have an unexposed back-up team available.
We have adjusted our schedule in close collaboration with our sister clinic Roncy Village so that appointments will alternate between our two clinics each day. Effective immediately and until further notice, our hours will be:
- Monday & Wednesday (8am – 4pm): urgent surgeries + medication & food purchases
- Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday (9am – 5pm): urgent/time-sensitive appointments + medication & food purchases
- Friday: CLOSED
Our sister clinic Roncy Village Veterinary Clinic (215 Roncesvalles Ave, 416-538-8387) will be open for sick pet appointments and emergencies on Monday, Wednesday & Friday (9am – 5pm). Their doctors will be able to access your pet’s medical records to provide seamless care if required.
Visiting Our Clinic
For the safety of our team and the community, we ask that you not come in to the clinic if:
- You are experiencing symptoms of any contagious illness, especially fever, cough or respiratory difficulties
- You are within the 14-day self-quarantine period following any travel outside of Canada, or
- You have been exposed to anyone that falls in either of these categories.
If you fall into one of these categories, please try to have a friend or family member bring your pet in instead. If this is not possible, reach out to us by phone so that we can make a plan together for your pet. For everyone’s protection, we are applying these rules to our staff members too.
To help implement social distancing:
- Call in advance for food and medication pick-ups, so we can have those waiting for you. Phone us when you arrive and we will meet you at the door with them.
- Please pay in advance over the phone if possible. If necessary we can bring a portable debit terminal to you at the door. Except in extreme circumstances, cash will not be accepted.
- Call us from your car or outside when you arrive for your pet’s appointment. We will come to the door to collect your pet from you, and the doctor or technician will phone you during your pet’s exam. Please complete our online pre-appointment form before exams, and our surgery admission form before surgical drop-offs, and ensure you have a fully charged cell phone with you so that we can speak with you while we are examining your pet. Alternatively you can return home and we can speak with you on your home phone.
- Please use the provided hand sanitizer as soon as you arrive. We are also sanitizing touch surfaces between clients.
Food Purchases and Orders
In order to prevent pet food & supplement shortages, especially for our patients on essential medical diets, we have had to limit in-clinic food and pet product sales to existing clients that already have accounts open with us. New clients, we care about your pets too! We would be happy to set up a WebStore account for you so that you can purchase any of our products online directly from our supplier, for delivery to our clinic or to your home.
We encourage ALL clients to order your pet’s food and supplies online on our WebStore, and take advantage of our home delivery option – especially if you are feeling ill or have traveled recently. Home delivery by Purolator is FREE for orders over $100 before tax, and only $10 for smaller orders. Just ask us to register you, or create an account for yourself right now at www.myvetstore.ca/bloorcourt.
At the request of our suppliers we are limiting food purchases & orders to a three week supply per pet, to ensure sufficient food is available for all pets, and to keep order volume manageable so that our distributor can address the tremendous backlog of orders that they are facing.
*** Due to the tremendous increase in demand, our supplier has advised us that deliveries of food, supplements and pet supplies will be significantly delayed, so that they can prioritize shipments of medication and essential medical supplies. Please allow extra time and place your orders at least 7 days before you are going to run out of food. If your pet is on a very strict diet, please reach out to us much earlier than this, so that we can advise you on any shortages or delays and help create a contingency plan if required.
To ensure that your pet does not run out of medication, please be sure to follow our prescription refill policy, which requests 7 days’ notice for refills of commercially produced medications. We are now requesting 2 weeks’ notice for refills of specialty veterinary compounded medications (i.e., chews, transdermal gels, liquids in amber bottles, and tablets that do not have a stamp on them). Please request refills earlier rather than later if you are unsure which category your pet’s medication falls in, or reach out to us to ask. While this situation has not created new supply shortages for veterinary medications, it has increased processing and shipping time for our suppliers and their transport providers. Our prescription review, approval and preparation times will also increase as we are now operating with significantly reduced staff levels.
Please ask us about options for home delivery of your pet’s medications.
COVID-19 and the Risk to Your Pet
At this time scientists believe that dogs and cats can NOT become sick with or transmit the human novel coronavirus – to either humans or other animals.
However, if a pet’s owner is infected and shedding the virus, they could contaminate their pet’s coat just like other surfaces in their homes such as doorknobs. If you know someone who is infected or showing symptoms, it would be best to avoid contact with their pets, and if you have no choice (i.e. you need to help walk or take care of their pet), take the same protective precautions as you would around their house, such as washing your hands frequently and not touching your face. If you are self-quarantined due to potential exposure, we recommend keeping your pets home with you too and enjoying your extra time together.
Our March 13 Statement on COVID-19
How Bloorcourt Veterinary Clinic is Responding to COVID-19 (Coronovirus) Concerns
As concerns arise surrounding the development of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), we would like to assure all of our clients that we are closely monitoring the situation and taking steps to minimize the risk of transmission of this, or any other seasonal illness, to our clients and team members.
Working in a veterinary hospital environment, with both people and animals entering our workspace regularly, disease transmission and limiting the risk for the spread of contagious illness is something that we have always taken very seriously. In fact, the hospital disinfectant that we have used diligently for many years kills Coronavirus among numerous other bacteria and viruses that are relevant to our specific veterinary environment. We would, therefore, like to take this opportunity to inform our clients of the various steps that we have taken and will continue to take, as well as new and specific measures that we are adopting in order to minimize the risk to you and your pet when visiting our clinic, in order to keep you both healthy and safe.
WHAT WE HAVE ALWAYS DONE
Disinfecting Exam Rooms: After every use of an exam room, the exam table is wiped down on all surfaces with a disinfectant that kills both bacteria and viruses relevant to our veterinary environment. Floors are swept and when soiled, mopped, also with a disinfectant. This same disinfectant which will continue to be in use also has labeled effectiveness against Coronavirus.
Disinfecting the Floor: At the end of each day, our floors are thoroughly mopped with disinfectant.
Disinfecting Equipment: Any equipment that gets used during the course of an appointment is thoroughly wiped down with disinfectant prior to its next use. Any equipment used during the course of a surgical procedure is thoroughly cleaned with a disinfectant prior to being either autoclaved (high temperature/high-pressure sterilization) or gas sterilized (using ethylene oxide) prior to its next usage.
Practice Good Hygiene: All team members wash their hands thoroughly after handling any patient, whether that patient is sick or not. We also make hand sanitizer available for clients at our reception desk to use at their own discretion.
Practice Appropriate Self-Isolation: As with many other businesses, when team members are sick with symptoms of any illness, they are encouraged to remain home in order to not infect either clients or others in their work environment.
Isolate Patients With Known Contagious Illness: Whenever we have a patient arrive with a known or suspected contagious illness, we ensure that they are brought directly into an exam room (if one is available), rather than being asked to sit in the reception area until their appointment time.
Quarantining Exam Rooms: When a patient presents with an illness or suspected illness that is contagious to other animals (which COVID-19, Human Coronavirus is not) the entire exam room and all surfaces in it are wiped down with a disinfectant and the room is taken out of use for 24 hours.
Online Purchase of Food and Products: We have a very robust webstore, through which any food or product that we sell in-clinic, as well as thousands of others can be purchased and delivered directly to your door if you are feeling unwell and unable to come into the clinic. Please ask us if you would like us to set up an account to take advantage of this service.
Review and Adapt: As new and better disinfectant products become available, or as new infectious agents emerge and become relevant, we are constantly reviewing and adapting our disinfection protocol to stay current and keep our hospital environment as safe as it can be.
NEW STEPS WE ARE TAKING
Hand Hygiene: We are kindly requesting that every client who visits us either washes their hands or uses the hand sanitizer provided at our reception desk, upon arriving at the clinic.
Increased Cleaning and Disinfecting: All surfaces or objects that are handled frequently (doorknobs, countertops, etc) will now be wiped down with a disinfectant multiple times daily and tracked internally for consistency.
Alternate Care Options: We are currently investigating with the College of Veterinarians of Ontario what flexibility we have in relation to providing care for patients who may not be able to attend the clinic directly because their owners are ill. There are some options that enable us to provide certain care in this setting already, and we will continue to work to make any and all options available to our clients in order to continue to provide care for you and your four-legged friends, within our regulatory framework.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Stay Home If You’re Sick: If you’re feeling unwell or experiencing symptoms of any contagious illness, including Coronavirus, please inform us as soon as possible so that we can reschedule your appointment. Alternatively, you may find a friend or family member that is able to bring your pet in for their scheduled appointment.
Help Us Build New Community Norms Around Hygiene: Our best defense against all infectious diseases is to modify our hygiene practices, both individually and as a collective.
Ask Us Your Questions: Our team is committed to supporting the health and well being of your pet within an environment that is safe for both them and for you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to any of our team members if you have questions about our hospital policies and protocols as they relate to these issues.
Your friends at Bloorcourt Veterinary Clinic