Edit 3/25/20 – see hours changes below in the second paragraph. Thank you!

What is going on?

Due to the marked drop in business we have experienced due to our COVID-19 precautions (thank you all for understanding and rescheduling as requested), we will be reducing office hours where we can.  This will be sporadic so that we can accommodate things we already have scheduled as much as possible but we may be calling you to request a move to a different day so we can consolidate appointments.  It does not make financial sense for us to be fully staffed with no business.  Even when we are closed, however, we will be on call during our regular business hours to be able to help with emergencies. 

When will we be open and how can we help you?

For the week of March 23rd, we are planning to have office hours from 8am to 6pm on Monday and 8am to noon on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. We will be on-call on Saturday.  These hours will be updated on Google search and this blog.  Again, we will be responding to voicemails and, where possible, have the phones forwarded to a staff member during regular business hours.  Telemedicine consults will also be available.  If you have an urgent matter, please do leave us a voicemail or send us an email at office@critterhospital.com so we can address your concerns.

We will be maintaining our usual pharmacy inventory but please do try to give us 24 hours for refills. If you wish to fill a longer supply of your critter’s chronic medications, just ask, we’ll accommodate where we can. We can also ship your medications by Priority Mail which is next day for most of the state of Colorado.

How are we handling appointments?

If you are making a visit to our hospital, please do not come in the office but call us when you get here.  If you are picking things up, we will bring them out to your car.  If your pet has an appointment, be prepared to not be able to accompany them into the hospital.  We will pick up your pet from your car and take history and discuss exam findings over the phone.

Elective surgeries and procedures (e.g. spay/neuter, most dentistry, benign tumor removals, etc.) are postponed until after April 14th per the governor’s order.  This may be extended.

What will happen if there is a shelter in place order?

In all states where these orders have occurred, veterinarians have been considered essential services and been allowed to keep practicing. We will find a way to help your critter if this kind of quarantine comes down the pipeline. 

How is Critter Care taking care of its staff?

Of course, we are all struggling and having to tighten our belts during this tough time.  Critter Care is only a couple months past our 2-year anniversary. I am the sole owner of this business and we have 7 other employees.  I have given all employees 2 weeks of PTO in addition to their usual sick and vacation time so that we can all come through this together.  We appreciate your financial support during this pandemic and encourage you to avail yourself of our telemedicine service as well as our online pharmacy and food ordering services found on this website.  We do derive income from these services and encourage you to support us over PetSmart (owns Chewy.com) and the other behemoths.

Read on for more of Dr. Liza’s thoughts…

I was glad to hear Governor Polis, in his press conference today, acknowledge that there are undoubtedly thousands of people that are positive for COVID-19 in Colorado.  As I have been following the news, I’ve been astounded at the low number of tests that have been completed but, throughout this pandemic, Colorado’s positive rate seems to be about 10% of those tested.  So many people who are sick cannot get tested and the test has a substantial false negative rate – of course we have thousands of positives.  Furthermore, the esteemed scientific journal Nature recently published a news article regarding people with mild or no symptoms having a substantial ability to spread the virus.

This past Thursday, Governor Polis issued an executive order prohibiting elective surgeries and procedures starting March 23rd. I already had this limitation in place, however, this order put it into law until April 14th with the possibility of extension. The purpose of this order is to conserve critical resources: personal protective equipment (PPE), oxygen, etc. for critically ill people and our colleagues in human medicine who are putting their lives on the line to help them.  As part of this order, we will also be providing a list of our not-critical PPE to the state so they can send it to the human hospitals if needed. Veterinary hospitals that own long-term ventilators have already started sending them to human hospitals.

I feel it is all of our duty to society to stay the heck home and interact with as few people as possible to slow the spread of this disease.  For me, it is also a moral imperative to make sure our pets stay healthy and to fix up the ones who don’t.  We are doing everything we can to try and make both of these things happen at the same time.  Please… do your part to help!

Dr. Liza