Over the past few weeks there have been some concerns regarding after hours emergency service and medical care for your pet in Sarnia-Lambton. Many clinics have realized that without the proper staffing in an emergency situation the care provided to your pet cannot be to the standard they wish and actually is not beneficial to the patient.
For this very reason, almost a year ago in December 2018 , we made the decision to discontinue our after hours service for critical cases and refer them to the 24 hour emergency clinic in London where they can be monitored and cared for 24 hours a day. Upon doing this we implemented an advice line where our clients can call and get advice regarding their situation and can be triaged for seriousness. This service has saved many pets from having to go to the emergency hospital for treatment when it could have be seen the next day. In our experience, a high number of “emergency” calls are not emergencies at all and can be resolved on the phone or can be seen the next business day. Triage service runs from clinic closing till 10:00pm M-F and 8:30am till 10:00pm on the weekend and holidays. After 10:00pm the Veterinary Emergency Clinic in London is a valuable resource and clients can call there to have their pet triaged as well, which can save a trip to the emerge room. For more information on the London Regional Veterinary Emergency and Referral Clinic follow this address – londonregionalvet.com/
Over the past 11 months the call service has been well received. Instead of feeling, overwhelmed and deserted- left to care for your pet on your own, many clients have felt that talking to a trained person on the phone, helped alleviate any stress with the unknown. However, as with any major changes, some have met this with a negative attitude. They think we “don’t care” or “are only in it for the money” and don’t care about our patients. To the contrary, we care enough that we can admit we cannot provide the best care for your pet that is critical when sufficient staff are not available. In most cases, if your pet is very ill they would be transferred to the 24 hour emergency clinic for overnight care anyway. As well, if we were “in it for the money” only, we would want to see as many of these cases as we could because usually there is a premium charged for after hours emergency service. By going directly to the emergency clinic this saves you having to pay 2 emergency fees.
As Dr. Robinson is again the only veterinarian in the practice it makes being on-call for emergencies that much more difficult. Being up all night dealing with a case and then having to start his day at 8:30 am eventually leads to substandard care during regular hours due to exhaustion. This can lead to mental burnout as well as put unnecessary stress on his family and everyday life.
We appreciate all of our clients and patients and are only looking out for the best interests of you and your pet. We also appreciate your understanding in this matter.