by Dr. John Hodges

As I sit here after 10pm in the evening (we closed at 8:00 and still have pets being treated) thinking about how we can be more efficient, one word comes to mind…
frazzledThat is how our animal hospital staff often feels, lately.

As we enter into Phase 2 opening of COVID-19 restrictions, most days are semi-normal (the NEW normal), and we can stay on schedule with appointments.  However, some days it doesn’t work that well.

Dunedin Emergency Pet Care

Dunedin Emergency Pet Care

We schedule appointments based on DAMC historical information, but schedules can quickly become overwhelmed with the introduction of just one EMERGENCY.  Pet emergencies by their very nature are unpredictable, and may require the help of all available personnel.  A pet may need immediate intervention to save it’s life or to stop the progression of a serious medical condition (think anaphylactic shock).  Pet emergencies are an unpredictable part of a normal day at our hospital.

While this may play havoc with our nice, orderly, planned daily appointment schedule, taking care of pets, as they need us, is what we’re here for.


Then there are those pets that that do not cooperate and follow the ‘sick-pet rules(inside joke).

Some pet illnesses are true mysteries, and Veterinarians with 8 years of education and many years of experience, must still refer to medical texts, colleague consultation and/or additional diagnostic testing.   Occasionally, it may take 2 or 3 rounds of diagnostic testing to identify the true cause of a pet’s illness. These pets are not 15 to 30-minute office visits – they can take much longer to uncover the cause of the illness. This can sometimes lead to all or most appointments that follow, to be delayed.

Thanks to the web and Amazon, we have all become accustomed to near ‘instant gratification’ in all aspects of our lives.  And try as we might, to satisfy our client’s ‘instant pet diagnosing & treatment expectations’, we sometimes fall short, because of unpredictable ‘Pet EMERGENCIES’ , and pets that don’t follow the ‘sick-pet-rules’.


If you read our reviews, you’ll find hundreds of happy pet owners, who represent thousands more.  They are usually the ones for whom everything went-as-expected.  You can rest assured though, that our veterinary staff is diligently working toward a resolution to the medical issue(s) of your pet, or those pets before you.

Your pet’s care and health are our top priority, so we do not cut diagnostic or treatment corners, just to stay on schedule with our appointments.  We value QUALITY pet care over fast pet care.


Most pets brought in will have common illnesses which are addressed in most veterinary course curriculum and/or medical text books. A few quick tests are all that is needed to confirm a diagnosis, then the pets are good-to-go.  However, not all medicine is that easy. Some pets come in with illnesses that have unusual or confusing presentations, and may require more extensive research and/or diagnostic testing, to arrive at the correct diagnosis. These medical cases require more time, and sometimes, a LOT more time.

We closed at 8pm, and I started this post around 10pm.  Our last technician just clocked out at midnight.  Yep, long day.  And they will all back at work in the morning, between 8:30 & 9am, for another day of caring for your pets.

We may be…


, but there is nothing else we’d rather be doing.