COVID-19

During this unprecedented time, the Village Veterinary Clinic of Hamburg will remain open for our community.  In New York State veterinarians have been deemed essential.  We are seeing emergency, sick, and other essential health visits per the guidelines put in place by the New York State governor’s office.  We will also continue to have surgery and physical therapy which is essential for our pet’s health.  

Our policies have changed due to the coronavirus outbreak. Until further notice, we are only allowing staff in the building.  For the time being our visits are now being done “curbside”.  

When you arrive for your appointment, you should remain in your car.  You will call on your cell phone (716-646-4023) to check-in for your appointment.  

When a room is available the staff will call you and you will be instructed to come to the door.  The doors are locked so you cannot get in until you are instructed to do so.  

We have had a VERY large increase in call volume.  Any transactions, appointment check-ins, calls to make appointments, medical or emergency calls have tied up our phone lines.  

We are doing our best to alleviate this by using outside phone lines to call clients- please try to answer any “blocked” calls if you are here for an appointment or if you are awaiting a call back about a patient or emergency- it might be us!  

We ask that you keep trying to call back- we are here!  Thank you for your patience.  

Yes, starting on Monday, June 29th we are allowing ONE CLIENT PER APPOINTMENT into the building.  

Unfortunately, children will not be allowed and any spouse, significant other, friend, neighbor, etc. will need to remain in the car during the exam if they come to the hospital.

For select appointments, such as technician visits, surgical discharges, or physical therapy drop off appointments (such as underwater treadmill), we will still be doing curbside visits to help maintain social distancing.

Yes, of course!  If you wish to keep your visit be curbside, please inform the receptionist when calling.

If it is your preference to keep your visit curbside or you feel safer to be curbside just let us know!  

If you choose to keep your visit curbside or your appointment is a mandatory curbside visit (such as technician visits) you will call from your car to check-in.  When you call to notify the front desk you have arrived, you will let them know what number spot you are parked in.  Please remain in your car for the entire appointment.  You should not leave your car so that you can safely social distance from other clients.  

For fun, we have also put an animal on each sign with a fun fact about that animal!  We hope you enjoy it! 

Yes, please wear a mask.  For the safety and consideration of others, a mask must be worn at all times.  It is mandated by Governor Andrew Cuomo that if you are in a public space and cannot safely social distance you must wear a mask.  Here at the VVC, we are trying to safely social distance, but when in the building, during food or medication pickups, or when we need to come to get your pet during an appointment and emergency it is not always possible to safely keep 6 feet apart.  To ensure our safety and yours, everyone should wear a mask.  

#1 Bring your cell phone!

  • You will be using your cell phone to check-in for your appointment.  
  • If your visit is curbside you will be using your cell phone to communicate with the medical staff and to make a payment over the phone as well.  
  • Please know what your cell phone number is- we write it on your file at check-in.
  • Please have your cell phone fully charged.  
  • Please try to avoid making calls while waiting, it can make it difficult for us to reach you.
  • To help free up our phone lines, we are also contacting you from other outside lines- please answer “blocked” calls during your appointments.  It might be us! 

#2 All dogs must be on a leash and all cats in a carrier

  • We do not want anyone chasing after that squirrel! 

#3 All clients must be wearing a mask

  • In New York State, if you are to go in public if is mandatory that you wear a mask.  We will have ours on, please wear yours. 
  • If you do not have a mask on we will deny your entry into the building.  You will be denied service or you will need to do curbside.  

#4 Credit card, debit card, or care credit card

  • For health and safety reasons, we ask that you pay with a debit, credit, or care credit card. One of our staff members will take your payment over the phone.  No cash payments.  We are no longer accepting checks.  

For health and safety reasons, we ask that you pay with a debit, credit, or care credit card.

For food, medication, or curbside visits one of our staff members will take your payment over the phone.  No cash payments.  We are no longer accepting checks.  

If your pet needs food or medication, please call ahead to order.  One of our veterinarians will approve your refill (if there is an issue, such as an overdue exam, we will contact you). When you come to pick up your medication or food you will pay over the phone.  We will bring everything out to your car and place all items in the trunk of your car.  We ask that you please wear a mask and do not exit your car.  

If you prefer not to leave the comfort of your home, we do have an online pharmacy we are associated with.  To order your pet’s food and medications, simply click on the link here: Vets First Choice Online Pharmacy

If you are sick, please stay home!

According to the CDC, the symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, loss of taste, and smell.  Symptoms show up 2-14 days of exposure.  If you are displaying any of these symptoms, you should not bring leave your house- contact your doctor.

If you are sick- please stay home and notify us if your pet is ill.  

If you have been exposed to someone that is COVID-19 positive and your pet is ill, please notify us prior to bringing your pet in. 

If someone in your household is COVID-19 positive, please please notify us prior to bringing your pet in.

If you have traveled outside of Buffalo recently, please notify us prior to bringing your pet in.  

  • Practice “social distancing”
    • Stand 6 feet apart at all times
  • Wash your hands
    • Hand washing should be done 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday”)
    • Wash your hands OFTEN!
  • Use hand sanitizer
  • No handshaking
    • Use “elbow bump”, wave, or shake the dog’s paw!
  • Cough into your elbow or tissue (we understand not every cough means coronavirus)
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
  • Wear your mask when in public settings
  • Unfortunately, we do not have restrooms available at the hospital due to not being able to sanitize appropriately for public use.

For more information:

CDC- coronavirus

NYS- PAUSE

White House- coronavirus

Can I give my pet COVID-19?

Although there have been a few cases of dogs and cats testing positive in the US for COVID-19, the AVMA, CDC, and other veterinary organizations still have a firm stance that it is a very low possibility this will occur.  

Chickens and Pigs- no

Ferrets and cats- are susceptible, but very rare.  Mild respiratory signs are all that have been seen in the few cases.

Dogs- very rare.  They are seen as a “dead-end host”.  Meaning they are not able to pass it along to others. 

Pets do not play a role in the spread of COVID-19.  USDA, CDC, AVMA, and others are not recommending pets be tested for COVID-19 at this time.

Can my pet give COVID-19 to me?

There is still no reason to believe that you can get COVID-19 from your pet.  This is still just a human to a human virus.  

What if I am sick and own a pet?

The CDC and AVMA both recommend that you separate yourself from your pet if you are experiencing symptoms or have been confirmed positive with COVID-19.  Although the risk of your pet contracting it from you is very rare, it is best not to chance it.  You should limit snuggling, petting, kissing, hugging, touching their food dishes, or being around them in general.  If you do need to interact with them you should wear a mask or wear gloves.  Wash your hand frequently.  Wash their dishes frequently.  

Should my pet wear a face mask in public?

No. Face masks may not protect your pet from the disease and may cause them to have difficulty breathing. 

Should I make preparations for my pet if I become sick?  

  • Ensure your pet has proper identification.  Their tags should be clearly visible and able to read.  Your address, name, and phone number should be up to date as well.
  • Your pet’s microchip information should be current and up to date.
  • You should designate a trusted caregiver (family member, friend, neighbor) in the event that you become ill.  If necessary they may need housekeys, know your emergency plans, and know your pet’s medical history.  
  • Have a record of your pet’s medical history available, any health issues they need to be aware of, as well as the contact information of your pet’s veterinarian.  
  • Be sure to have at least a two-week supply of food, any medications or supplements your pet may be on, and necessary supplies (for example litter or crate).  
  • Have a leash and harness available for your caretaker. 
  • Refill monthly medications for fleas, internal parasites, heartworm preventive, etc. if you are down to a two-week supply. 
  • Be sure your pet is up to date on all vaccinations.
  • Have a record of all medications your pet is on (dosages, how often they are taken, and times).  

Can I take my dog for a walk?

Yes, you can still take your dog for a walk. This is a great exercise.  You should ensure you are following proper social distancing.  Avoid crowded areas.  Uses a leash.  If you are sick, you should stay at home.  If you are going to walk, you should also wear a mask (since you are in public, this is a mandated order in NYS). 

Can coronavirus live on my pet’s fur?

Although the virus can live on various surfaces for several hours it has not been known to survive or live on pet hair for long.  If you are sick with COVID-19 the best option for your pet is to avoid contact.  

What can I do if my pet feels anxious?  How can I help them cope with being home or going back to work?

Our pets pick up on our stressful and worrying cues.  It is best to try and keep a routine.  If we are mentally and physically healthy, our pets will benefit.  If you note that your pet is displaying stressful, fearful, or even aggressive behavior you should contact your veterinarian.  

These behaviors can include eating things they shouldn’t, chewing (themselves or objects), scratching, barking, licking, urinating, or defecating in the house or outside their litter box, etc.  If you notice any changes in their normal behaviors such as eating, you should contact your veterinarian.  

It is helpful to keep a routine at home, similar to what you did when you were at work.  You may also consider taking a 15-minute drive a few times a week so that your pet gets used to you not being home.  

It is also a great time to teach them a new trick or start/continue with obedience training.  With many of us home, we can put more time into these types of activities.  If you have a pet at home with a phobia, you can even start to work conquering that.  You may need some guidance however from your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist.  

USDA-coronavirus