COVID-19 UPDATE

Starting today, 3/19/20, we will no longer be letting clients wait in the building. We are trying to continue to provide everyone with the same great care while keeping our clients, veterinarians, and staff as safe as possible. Please call the office to schedule your appointment, 919-851-8979.  When you arrive for your appointment or to drop off your pet, please call the front desk at 919-851-8979. One of the techs or receptionists will come out to your car to collect your pet. The doctor will call you if they have any concerns or questions, the front desk staff will call you back once your pet is ready and get all of your medications and supplies ready.

All cats and small dogs MUST be in a crate, medium and large dogs on a leash with a choker, pinch, or properly sized collar that will not slide over your dogs head. We can use a slip lead if you are not sure they cannot pull out of the collar.

The same goes for anyone picking up medications or foods. Once you arrive, call the front desk, they will get your payment over the phone and bring you your products. 

If you would like to have products or medications delivered to your home, please call our office and ask to have your prescriptions ordered through our on line pharmacy, or click on the following link to request your prescriptions on line. https://mycrossroadsvetnc.vetsfirstchoice.com/

Thank you for your continued support. Everyone stay safe.

Holiday 2020 hours

Thanksgiving Hours

Wednesday 11/25/2020 7:30am to 6pm

Thursday 11/26/2020 Closed

Friday 11/27/2020 7:30 am to 6pm

Saturday 11/28/2020 8:30am to 12:30pm

Sunday 11/29/2020 4pm to 6pm Boarding pick up only

Christmas Hours

Thursday 12/24/2020 7:30am to 12:30 pm

Friday 12/25/2020 Closed

Saturday 12/26/2020 Closed

Sunday 12/27/2020 4pm to 6pm Boarding pick up only

New Years Hours

1/1/2021 Closed

 

New Text Number for Prescriptions

In an effort to increase customer service and expedite prescription refills we now have a text option. When you need to request a prescription refill please text your pet's name, your name, and the medication(s) you need refilled to 919-606-7706. You will receive a confirmation of request within 4 hours, during normal business hours, or the next day. If you will run out of pills the day of your request, please denote that in your text.  

Why is it so hard to get an appointment with your vet right now?

A client’s cat became sick one recent Sunday. She called five local veterinary emergency clinics but none were able to see her.

COVID has taxed the veterinary industry in a way we haven’t seen before. In a short amount of time, the pandemic created the perfect storm of too many animals needing help and not enough people to help them.

New pets

When the shelter-in-place order first went into effect, we started to see more puppies. At first it was so fun! I went from seeing one puppy a week to two to three a day. After several weeks, we were getting overrun with new puppies and new pets in general.

Where did all of these animals come from?

For some people, getting a new puppy was already in the works and they just bumped up the timing of that adoption. It made sense! The shelter-in-place order forced most people to be at home and freed up a lot of time for training and all of the extra work that comes with puppyhood.

For others, isolation created a lonely void. When you can’t see other people, animals are desperately needed companions. Soon finding a pet at a shelter or rescue became difficult; they had all been adopted!

Busy season

You wouldn’t think that there would be a busy season for veterinarians. But in the summer months, we are about 10% to 20% busier than in the winter. It’s not just snowbirds returning north that increase our animal traffic. Pets are outdoors more so we see more cat bite abscesses, injuries from running around the dog parks and skin infections from swimming in the lakes.

In addition, we have an unusual vestige of rural farming days in which people want to book their “spring shots.” On the farm, that’s when the farm animals, including dogs and cats, would get their vaccines. That tradition is slowly disappearing, but for many of our older clientele, this is what they were taught and what they are used to.

Staffing shortage

While other industries are laying people off, the veterinary industry is experiencing a staffing shortage. Many people in our industry, either by choice or circumstance, are not going to work. Some are self-identifying as high risk and are choosing to isolate. For others, new child or elder care responsibilities are keeping them at home because former caretakers are unavailable.

When a specialized industry gets stressed, pivoting is difficult. It takes eight years to make a veterinarian. Certified veterinary technicians go to school for two years. Even for non-degreed positions at the veterinary clinic, it takes six to 18 months to feel skilled at the job.

When veterinary staff are not able to come to work, it is not easy to replace them. Many veterinary clinics found themselves in a situation where a significant percentage of their work force was no longer available. Right now, there are fewer people to provide services for more animals. COVID pushed the industry past its tipping point, and that level of stress cannot be maintained.

ER overload

At our clinic, we responded to the influx of animals by putting a pause on seeing new clients. Unfortunately, we weren’t the only clinic backed into that solution. That means that there are fewer places for an animal in need to go.

If a general practitioner can’t see a patient, then sometimes the only option is the emergency clinic. This means that the local ERs get overloaded. We will get reports at the beginning of the day about which clinics are closed and not accepting patients. One client told me he considered going to Duluth with his sick pet because it was a six-hour wait to get into the metro ERs.

Adaptation

So what is a veterinary clinic to do while trying to operate in the pressure cooker?

Long term, we’ll figure it out. New businesses will form, staffing structures will change, more people will go to vet school.

In the short term, we’ll do the best we can with what we have. For general practitioners, that means pushing off wellness exams to allow more space for urgent patients. Our doctors in quarantine are helping by doing telemedicine calls for patients that can safely be helped that way.

You just keep trying hard and try to adapt. That’s the pandemic way.

Receptionist burnout

It is important to turn a spotlight on the experience of the veterinary receptionist during this crisis.

When the veterinary clinic is at capacity, that doesn’t mean that pets don’t still need care. Imagine being the person who has to break the news to a stricken pet parent that their veterinary clinic can’t help them today.

Clients in distress often don’t take this news well. Their frustration is taken out on the receptionist, sometimes in very degrading ways. This takes a huge emotional toll and contributes to the burnout of an already stressed veterinary team.

The client is right for advocating for their pet. The veterinary team is right for saying “no” if they feel like taking on another patient will negatively impact quality of care. It’s a lose-lose situation, and the veterinary receptionist is at the fulcrum of that vice grip.

We’ll keep working toward solutions, but it is important that the receptionist experience during this time be shared. A broad ask is for pet owners to have empathy for the person who answers the phone at your clinic.

Dr. Teresa Hershey is a veterinarian at Westgate Pet Clinic in Linden Hills. Email pet questions to drhershey@westgatepetclinicmn.com.

About Us

Crossroads Veterinary Hospital offers our clients and their beloved pets the most desirable characteristics found in the veterinary industry - Compassion and Quality Medicine. Our hospital opened it's doors in 1989 as a small, one-doctor practice and has developed into a successful, multi-doctor facility; thanks to our many dedicated and loyal clients! Most importantly, Crossroads has maintained the warmth, sincerity, and "small-town" atmosphere while growing into a professional and advanced medical facility.

Hospital Hours

» Monday 

7:30 AM - 8:00 PM

» Tuesday 

7:30 AM - 6:00 PM  

» Wednesday 

7:30 AM - 8:00 PM  

» Thursday 

7:30 AM - 6:00 PM  

» Friday 

7:30 AM - 6:00 PM  

» Saturday

8:30 AM - 12:30 PM  

» Sunday (Boarding Pickup Only)

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM


We are excited to provide our clients a safe and trusted on line pharmacy. We have spent several years looking for a veterinary pharmacy that will provide all of our customers all of the benefits of product guaranties and rebates. These products are ordered by our veterinarians and shipped directly to our clients from the manufacturers. We would prefer to see you in the office for product purchases, to answer any questions and check in on your fur kids while you are here. However, if it is not possible we want the highest quality medications and foods to be provided to you via our pharmacy, so we can all trust in the caliber of the product.

Latest News


We Will Be Offering Grooming Again

Starting June 3rd we will offer grooming two to three days per week. All Wednesdays and Thursdays in June, and Fridays June 19th and June 26th.  Our previous groomer, Mariah Madrid, who left us with the understanding she would be welcome back at anytime, has decided to take us up on the offer. Please call the main phone number 919-851-8979 to schedule grooming appointments. Pet scan be dropped off as early as 7:30 am for grooming. Mariah will arrive at 9 am, if you need to speak with her in person. Please wait in your car and call the front desk once you have arrived to let us know you are here. We are very excited to offer grooming once again.