Going to the vet looks a little different these days.
We are all used to curbside service for food, groceries, maybe even dry cleaning or that lampshade at Target you just couldn’t live without. But we still can’t wrap our heads around the idea of pulling into a parking lot, making a call and then handing off our precious fur baby to someone while we wait in our cars. But these days that’s how it goes. “That is understandably a difficult thing for some people because they want to be a part of their pet’s health care. And vets love it when people want to be involved in their pet’s health care,” says Keith Rode, DVM, co-owner of Woodland Veterinary Hospital in Woodland.
For a dog or cat that is already anxious about seeing the vet, being separated from their trusted human may spike anxiety levels further. “If you anticipate that might be the case, we recommend calling your vet ahead of time because they may be able to give your pet medications (or) recommend something over the counter,” advises Rode.
All of this may make you wonder: Unless it’s a dire emergency, should you even go to the vet? Rode says it’s best to make an appointment for routine procedures early—maybe one to two months in advance. And some vaccines, such as parvo, are critical, especially for puppies. “We do recommend as much as possible that people stay up to date on vaccines and parasite control,” Rode says, noting that fleas are a year-round issue in our climate.
Rode offers these important tips to clients bringing their pets to the vet during COVID: Keep your phone on and be available should the veterinarian need to contact you. You can also ask if your vet can video chat during the exam. If you have been referred by another vet, be sure to print your pet’s paperwork or have it sent over in advance. “It can make it very difficult to know what’s been done before and what’s best to do from there,” says Rode about the lack of history.
Finally, show a little grace. “Recognize that we know that you are concerned about your animals and we are concerned, too, but please be patient with us,” says Rode.
Beyond the Basics
Animals, like people, sometimes need specialists or alternative practitioners. Whether you’re seeking an acupuncturist for a dog that’s jumped one too many fences, a cardiologist for a cat with a heart murmur or—and we hate to even put it out there—a 24-hour vet for a middle-of-the-night emergency, there are options in the Sacramento region.
The Alternative Route
Animal Wellness Center
2280 Fifth St., Suite 135, Davis;
Center for Integrative Animal Medicine
635 Anderson Road, Suite 20,
Davis; (530) 405-4000;
Foothill Farms Veterinary Hospital
4325 Auburn Blvd.;
Integrative Veterinary Center
5524 Elvas Ave., Suite A;
Meridian Veterinary Care
9712 Fair Oaks Blvd., Suite B, Fair Oaks;
Paw Chi Holistic Veterinary Care
151 N. Sunrise Ave., Suite 1405, Roseville;
Veterinary Healing Center of El Dorado Hills
2222 Francisco Drive, Suite 150, El Dorado Hills;
24-Hour Emergency Vets
Atlantic Street Pet Emergency Center
1100 Atlantic St., Roseville;
Insight Veterinary Wellness Center
4509 Golden Foothill Pkwy., El Dorado Hills;
MarQueen Vet Emergency & Specialty
9205 Sierra College Blvd., Suite 120, Roseville;
UC Davis William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital
1 Garrod Drive, Davis;
VCA Bradshaw Medical Center
9609 Bradshaw Road, Elk Grove;
VCA Loomis Basin Veterinary Clinic
3901 Sierra College Blvd., Loomis;
VCA Mueller Pet Medical Center & The Pet Inn
7625 Freeport Blvd., Sacramento;
VCA Sacramento Veterinary Referral Center
9801 Old Winery Place, Sacramento;
Vista Veterinary Specialists
7425 Greenhaven Drive, Sacramento;
Acupuncture and More
Led by Angie Stamm, DVM, CVA, a UC Davis vet school alum, Meridian Veterinary Care provides integrative and alternative treatments for dogs and cats including acupuncture, herbal medicine, supplements and nutritional counseling. Vet staff members also administer a variety of pain management techniques including ozone therapy, orthopedic manipulation and something called Assisi Pulsating Electromagnetic Field (Assisi PEMF). For example, for cancer, Meridian has treatments to slow tumor growth and reduce the side effects associated with traditional treatments. 9712 Fair Oaks Blvd., Suite B, Fair Oaks; (916) 342-1245; meridianvetcare.com
A Teaching Hospital for Your Pet
Dogs, cats, horses, livestock and exotics (now you know where to take your bearded dragon): UCD’s 24-hour teaching hospital treats them all. Celebrities including William Shatner, Renée Zellweger and the late Doris Day have brought their pets for treatment; others have traveled from as far as the Middle East and Asia. Whether your pet needs basic veterinary care, treatment for a rare disease or something in between, it’s available here. The list is long, but noteworthy procedures include total hip replacements, canine bone regrowth (following traumatic injury or disease), hemodialysis, cancer therapies and stem cell treatments. A recent highlight: treatment for feline chronic gingivostomatitis, a painful teeth-threatening condition that affects one in seven cats. 1 Garrod Drive, Davis; (530) 752-1393; vetmed.ucdavis.edu/hospital
Not Just for Emergencies
Not sure if it’s an emergency? Vista Veterinary Specialists’ website lists common concerns (vomiting/diarrhea, bites, toxicities, even labor and delivery) to help guide you about when to seek help. The bottom line, though: If you are unsure, go in sooner than later. Located in the Greenhaven/Pocket neighborhood of Sacramento, Vista also provides specialty services including cardiology, neurology and dermatology. Vista maintains an active Facebook page (facebook.com/VistaVets) and posts everything from animal updates to a list of “Pet Movies That Won’t Make You Cry.” (Sign us up!) 7425 Greenhaven Drive; (916) 231-4445; vistavets.com