11399 Nuckols Road, Glen Allen, VA 23059
(804) 421-7422
Mon-Fri: 7:30 am - 6:30 pm | Every other Saturday 8am - 1pm | Sunday: Closed

A Message from the Doctors about Messages

A Message from the Doctors about Messages

We started this blog as another means to communicate with you, our clients and friends. Today we wanted to write a few lines about, well…  How we communicate.

We know that an open dialogue is important in our work to keep your pets healthy. It’s obvious to all of us that animals communicate effectively albeit non-verbally. Still, the occasion often arrives when we need to touch base with owners about what they are seeing, what is working and what isn’t. We pride ourselves on being available to you so that information can be distilled and ideas discussed. That said, there are two primary methods that allow us to efficiently, effectively communicate.

The exam – Many questions can’t be answered without an exam. A vomiting dog may be vomiting because it ate a plate of bacon or someone’s sock or because it is having a metabolic issue with its kidneys or liver. A cat urinating outside of the box could have a UTI, a thyroid issue or a bad attitude. Our reception staff knows what questions can be answered on the phone and which ones require an in-person meeting. If a problem is new or an emergency, we will want to see your animal. If you have seen another veterinarian with whom we have not been working and want our opinion on the case, we will want to see your pet. When in doubt, we want to see your pet. We like pets.

The phone – For non-emergency issues, questions about therapy or general questions about animal care, we are happy to give you a ring on our stylish desk phones. These phones don’t take pictures or follow celebrities, but they have sturdy, coiled cords that amuse my kids and a clear sound.  They also may sit idle during the day until all of our in-hospital patients have been cared for and discharged. Animals in the hospital take precedence.  If an issue is pressing, the receptionists and we will do our best to get back to you as soon as we can. However, if you have a sick animal, don’t wait for our call – come in.

This last paragraph gets tricky because I’m writing in a blog, and yet I’m going to list unreliable forms of communication starting with – the Blog! Currently I have to weed through approximately 900 blog responses that offer me discount Ray Bans, membership in a dance society and other things that sound foreign to me because they are written in a foreign language.  If you have general topics or ideas for the blog, certainly contact me. But for issues with your own pet, the blog, Facebook, texts, faxes, personal e-mails and the Shady Grove e-mail aren’t acceptable. Not all of us check these sources, and they don’t all always work. Even if we do get your message, we may not be near the resources we need to help you. Just give us a ring.

All of the above is not meant as an admonishment. We truly want to make sure you receive the information and help that you need as quickly and efficiently as possible. As discussed, our day starts and flows through the animals in the clinic. They are our priority. The day usually ends, however, at our desks, shoes on or off, trusty black matte phone at our ear.


The Doctors of Shady Grove Animal Clinic