OLD LYME, Conn. (WTNH)– Whether it’s people or pets, doctors are having to find new ways to treat their patients while keeping everyone safe.

Many veterinarians are now are offering curbside service which lessens contact between the pet owner and staff.

“So this is our pick up area,” explained Dr. Jennifer Dinwoodie, who showed News 8 what was set up outside Good Friends Veterinary Clinic in East Lyme. “So this area here is for medications.”

Veterinarians are finding new ways to care for their patients while keeping their clients safe.

“We’re trying as much as possible to help the client and the pet over the phone,” said Dr. Dinwoodie.

Telemedicine and curbside pick-up have become the new norm at the East Lyme clinic.

“We use our own leashes so we don’t have to handle their leashes,” said Dr. Dinwoodie. 

All cats are kept in their carriers, which is now also common practice at Old Lyme Veterinary Hospital.

“We actually go to the passenger side door or the rear door,” said Heidi Todd, Veterinary Practice Manager at Old Lyme Veterinary Hospital.

Once inside, staff stay six feet apart and use a wireless monitor to assist with surgeries.

“Currently we have a technician six feet away outside the room. Looking over our shoulder and at the screen and they come in intermittently instead of having two of us real close,” said Dr. Neil Marrinan, who owns Old Lyme Veterinary Hospital with his wife, Dr. Alice Kroger-Marrinan.

Right now the hospital is only seeing sick visits although there is one routine appointment owners can make and that is for a rabies shot. Those are required by law.

They and the Good Friends clinic have also separated staff into two teams 

“So that way we are limiting our exposure to each other,” said Dr. Dinwoodie.

If there is a health issue with one team, the other can still serve their clients especially in sad times when a pet needs to be euthanized. Some owners choose to watch it remotely on Facetime or video.

“For others we’ll place an IV catheter and be at the distance you are from me and their pet will be in their arms in their car,” said Dr. Marrinan. “And then on a beautiful day like today some people have wanted to be outside as well.”

They can also offer insight after a tiger at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for the coronavirus.

“In a way it’s not surprising that cats can contract the human variety,” said Dr. Marrinan. “But they’re not vectors. They’re not the sort that can spread it.”

So if owners are feeling sick they may need to social distance from their feline.