Updates
(click the date to jump to the entry)
Online Pharmacy Order Delays

Due to longer fulfillment times and the burden on shipping and carrier services, please anticipate that ALL on-line pharmacy orders from any vendor will be delayed.

Your patience is needed, and appreciated.

On Call hours: Saturday 9-5 and Sunday 9-6
Our veterinarians will be available on the weekend to speak with clients who believe their pet is having an emergency. If the doctor decides the patient needs to be seen you will be directed to one of the local emergency hospitals. We are not allowing our staff to see ANY patients outside of our normal business hours.
4/1/2020: Letter from Dr. Jeff and Annie Rockwell emailed to all clients. This letter discusses in detail the new "Curbside Protocol."

June 2021


Well, we’re finally here.  What a grueling 16 months it has been.  In spite of all we’ve lost and sacrificed, if we dig deep, a lot of good things have happened during the pandemic.  For us, the first several months of CoVid yielded a lot of family time which we treasured.  We developed mad gardening and cooking skills, and lots of time outdoors reminded us of our love of nature.  At work, we learned to take an even more dynamic approach to practice each day, because each day presented new and never-before types of challenges. 


May 29th, we graduate from our CoVid classroom, with the full re-opening of the Commonwealth.  The mask mandate is over, and we will not longer require our clients, or staff, to wear masks at the practice.  Although we are eager to invite you back into our building, for reasons other than the pandemic, we have decided to continue our curbside model of care until July 12, 2021.  During the past year, we began to think about some interior changes to the practice to increase your comfort and our efficiency.  One such change is the renovation of a space that will serve as a quiet, private consultation area with its own dedicated exit from the building.  

Another change will be to our treatment room:  going forward we will have space specifically for cat treatments only. 
As these renovations are underway, for ease of scheduling contractors, electricians, plumbers and the like, we will continue to limit foot-traffic in the building until these projects are complete.  We look forward to seeing you back inside our practice this summer!
Thank you all for your continued patience and support. 


Sincerely Yours,
Dr. Jeff and Annie Rockwell  


****Memorial Day Hours****
Saturday we will be open from 9-1 for appointments and have a doctor on call from 1-6 PM 
Sunday and Monday we will not have a doctor on call. We ask that if your pet has an emergency during this time that you reach out to one of the local 24 hour emergency hospitals

 

Spring 2021

Spring is finally here. The crocuses have pushed through the cold, hard ground and they have never been a more welcome sight than they are this year. Some would say we had a “mild” winter, but many of us would argue that it was the harshest one we’ve ever faced.

Of this we are certain: it is a winter and a year that we are glad to put behind us. Here at AVH, we have never worked harder or under such stressful circumstances.  We came to work in the early months of the pandemic uneasy and apprehensive as front-line workers. We began practicing a “curb-side” model of care to reduce our human interaction and eliminate unnecessary foot-traffic in our building. So much became immediately unfamiliar, many of you have become friends over the years, but we know our new clients (and they know us) by voices over the phone and eyes above a mask. 

In the spring of 2020, there was worry that animals might actually be vectors of CoVid which was terrifying.   The AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) was constantly updating information for us from the CDC and other public health agencies and the data changed on a day-to-day and sometimes hour to hour basis.  We split our staff into two “teams” for almost two months, anticipating if one team had a CoVid exposure, the other team could step up and continue serving your families.  We affectionately referred to ourselves as teams A and B – (the “A-holes” and the “Be - Wholes.”)  Pet adoptions soared during the pandemic and we practiced with half the staff, but twice the work. Many practices refused to see new clients and some practices closed entirely. 


Summer was soon upon us and we wondered how we would manage our curbside model in the heat. We searched for a tent to provide some respite from the sun, but like toilet paper and hand sanitizer tents were hard to come by! With so much time outdoors, one afternoon we discovered monarch butterfly eggs, which we hatched and released (you can find their eggs on the underside of milkweed leaves.) That same week, an animal control officer brought in a coyote pup with a leg-hold trap snapped tightly on its head. It was one of the most disturbing and gruesome cases we have ever seen. The day to day uncertainty of the virus and our work weighed heavily on each of us.

In the beginning of September, an employee called to tell us that her parents (with whom she lives) tested positive for CoVid. Our knee jerk reaction was to close our doors and disinfect the practice, but there was no place to send our patients. The emergency hospitals were completely overwhelmed, and we were told the wait to be seen at any of them could be upwards of 4 – 8 hours. We had our entire staff tested for CoVid and those initial tests came at a steep price. We waited anxiously for results. We found ourselves in a world of worry we’d never experienced before.  


Thankfully, everyone else on staff had negative test results.  Our looming concern became how we would deal with the colder, darker weather while continuing curbside service. We added phone lines and installed a “take-out” window for transactions. We numbered our parking spots. We enclosed the overhang in the front of the building for some shelter from the elements. We bought umbrellas and hats with headlamps for our staff, we supplied “glow-bands” for our employees' footwear so they could be seen in the dark. We put up Christmas lights and spotlights and put heaters outside of the building.  

We were all cautioned about a CoVid “spike” after Thanksgiving and it did not disappoint! Our second employee positive case was in the beginning of December, followed by a third, a fourth and so on until almost half of our employees tested positive for CoVid - 19.  Out of necessity, we closed for “routine” business for almost two weeks, but the sick and injured animals paid no attention to our predicament. And as it happens every year, we see more euthanasia cases in December than any other month. Our limited staff had to handle all of these cases and sometimes after the third euthanasia of the day, we would just break down and wonder if we shouldn’t have chosen another career. 


Especially during these difficult and uncertain times, as a work family, we tried to remind ourselves of our good fortune. We all had purpose and each other, while many people found themselves isolated and unemployed. In spite of CoVid sweeping through our staff, no one was hospitalized or became gravely ill.  During the CoVid shut-down, three of our employees became engaged to be married and we welcomed two wonderful new doctors to our staff. One of our client care team members gave birth to a beautiful little girl, another, a healthy baby boy.  Like many of you, CoVid taught us a lot about what is and what is not important. We learned a lot about gratitude in our Covid classroom. 

Gratitude is defined as “deep thankfulness.” This past year your support, your patience, your concern came in many forms: a heart-felt note, a pizza delivery to our practice, a word of encouragement, a case of wine, baked goods from your own kitchens. Some of you volunteered your time to help us out by delivering medications or food to people in quarantine, and others of you provided us gift cards for lunch, or cash donations to help other clients in need. For 27 years we have served our community, and this year, many of you served us as well. For this, we are deeply thankful.

With our sincere gratitude, 
Dr. Jeff and Annie Rockwell

 

May 2021

At the onset of the pandemic, The Center for Disease Control deemed veterinary health care an essential service.  I don’t think any of you would argue based on your pet’s shenanigans we play an essential role in the community! 


In spite of being deemed an essential service, veterinary professionals ranked among the last on the list for vaccine eligibility.  Phase one of the vaccine distribution plan began in December 2020 but vaccinations were not generally available to our staff until Phase three which began on April 19, 2021. 


Although many of you have been vaccinated and have inquired about coming into our building, we wanted to first give our staff the opportunity to get a CoVid vaccine if they choose to do so.  We are encouraging those who want to be vaccinated to schedule vaccine appointments as soon as possible.  For some, these appointments are further delayed by having had the virus within the past three months.  


For the time being, we will continue to provide curbside service for you and your pet.  It is our hope to open our practice to you this summer, and we are working diligently towards this end.


Thank you for your understanding and we will continue to keep you appraised of our re-opening plans!
As always, please reach out to us with questions, suggestions, or concerns.
All the best, 
Dr. Jeff and Annie Rockwell

 

February 2021

It’s probably old news to anyone looking for a new puppy or kitten this past year that there has been a HUGE increase in pet adoptions across the U.S. since the beginning of the pandemic.  Animal shelters have been all but emptied, and dog and cat breeders are in short supply. For many of us, during this extended time of quarantine and isolation, animals have provided us friendship and support which has been essential to our mental and emotional health.  


Because we have all been home this past year more than ever, we are spending extra time with our pets and noticing issues that have otherwise gone unnoticed! Every day, we are getting calls about animals drinking “more” or scratching “more” or vocalizing “more” and this attention to “symptoms” is driving pets and their guardians to our doorstep. As general practices have become so busy with problem cases, most of us have had to push out preventative care visits and this has caused a back log of annual exams, “routine” surgeries and other less urgent, but necessary, medical services. 

As much as we’d like to, let’s not forget the stress we’ve all been under! Who thinks that their pets pick up on these vibes? We KNOW that they do, and this can result in stress induced problems for our furry friends too, like behavioral soiling, GI problems, weight loss and anxiety.

And for all that has changed at home, it is hardly “business-as-usual” at veterinary practices. 

As an industry, we have had to take a lot of extra steps these days to keep you, your pet, and our employees safe, and it simply takes longer to provide you and your pet care. Most of us have adopted a “curb-side” model of care and whether it is scheduling appointments, “checking -in” for service from the parking lot, receiving payments or pharmacy refill requests, we are on the phone a LOT more, which is generally less efficient than interacting “face-to-face” (and we miss seeing you, by the way.)

Another major issue during the pandemic has been keeping our practices adequately staffed. The veterinary community is all experiencing the same CoVid struggles that you are: lack of child-care, conflicts with school schedules, long lines at testing sites, and CoVid related illnesses ourselves. For many of these reasons, since the beginning of the pandemic, most practices have found themselves short-staffed almost every day. 

Like so many other essential workers during the pandemic, our veterinary teams have experienced a spike in stress, mental and emotional exhaustion and burn-out. But because your pet’s health and wellness matters to us all, there are ways you can help us help your pets!

 

  • Bring good energy to your family’s veterinary practice! 

  • Know that most of us are scheduling “routine” care several weeks out, so plan accordingly!

  • Be patient if you have to wait, we are doing our level best under very difficult circumstances (especially during these cold, dark months of winter.)

  • Please follow our recommendations the first time.

  • Check your email and look on our web-sites and social media pages for announcements, updates and schedule changes. 

 

We are grateful to you for your on-going support and for doing your part to keep our staff and our community safe.  

 

Only 42 more days ‘til Spring, we wait with patience and purpose and hope.

Wishing you all the best, 
Dr. Jeff and Annie Rockwell

 

December 2020

Here at Atlantic Vet, we have referred to the pandemic as our "CoVid - 19 Classroom." It feels less scary that way, and for sure, this has been a learning experience for us all.


In spite of more than ten months of pro-active and consistent efforts to keep CoVid -19 at bay, we learned a lot recently when many of our staff tested positive for the virus. To be honest, we are proud that up until this time we had all remained healthy and had kept our practice open to serve your families.  A big shout to Dr. Jeff Gold and staff at Gold Primary Care, Tracy at the Marblehead Board of Health, our management team and all of those who have helped us navigate the outbreak we experienced.


At this point in time, those on our staff who have been asymptomatic and consistently tested "negative" (with consideration to quarantine guidelines) are now working at the practice.  Some of those who tested "positive" have finished their isolation periods and are reporting to work.  We have a few stragglers who are still isolating at home, but gratefully everyone should be safe to return to work just in time for Christmas!


Truthfully, when our first employee tested positive for the virus, we were panicked. Our concerns for viral spread and the degree to which our employees might get sick kept us up at night.  But as days and weeks have passed, our worst case scenarios did not come true. Most everyone who tested positive for CoVid experienced mild to moderate cold symptoms like headache, fever, fatigue and chills for a couple of days. Thankfully, the worst of it for the most of our staff has been the big disruption of "daily life."


One of the greatest lessons that CoVid - 19 has taught us is learning to live with uncertainty.  Here's an example:  generally, you can call our practice and book an appointment a year in advance if you like. These past couple of weeks, we were running our schedule on a day-to-day, and sometimes hour-to-hour basis.  We didn't know what to tell our staff (or any of you!) what our "plan" looked like because the plan unfolded each day. What became most important was navigating the uncertainty, knowing what we could and could not control, aligning our staff with the shared purpose of getting through this outbreak together and opening our practice fully, as soon as possible. 


As of this evening, we plan to be on our regular schedule beginning tomorrow, December 21st.  This day is important to us for a couple of reasons.  First and foremost, it is our son Cole's birthday.  Forever a day to be celebrated in the Rockwell family! It is of course, the winter solstice as well. December 21st is the shortest day and the longest night of the year in the Earth's Northern Hemisphere. On Tuesday, we'll start gaining a few seconds of sunlight again.  The silver lining here is that BRIGHTER. DAYS. ARE.  JUST. AHEAD.


With hearts full of gratitude, we wish you all the happiest of holidays,  health  and peace in the New Year.
Dr. Jeff and Annie Rockwell

 

December 2020

Important Notice


This weekend, we had two employees test positive for COVID-19. Based on the information at hand, it is highly unlikely that the virus originated here. Both employees had very limited scheduled time here at work immediately prior to their diagnosis. Rest assured, we continue to practice CDC and health care guidelines, including the use of facial coverings, social distancing and increased sanitation ventilation in our building. 


Earlier this morning, some additional employees reported some minor cold-like symptoms and they were each advised to stay home and be tested for the virus. Our asymptomatic employees ( and those employees who have tested negative) are staffing the practice today. By the end of the day, we hope to have every employee tested. 


As essential front-line workers, it has been tricky ( at best) to navigate this situation. Animals continue to get sick and emergencies continue to present. Unfortunately, there are not adequate resources available to simply close our practice and refer our clients and their pets elsewhere. That said, we will be postponing and rescheduling routine appointments in order to serve the animals that most need our care.


Please be patient as we are currently extremely short-staffed and will remain short-staffed until we all receive negative results. 
Please continue to check our Facebook page and our website for important updates. 


Thank you for your understanding. 
Dr.Jeff and Annie Rockwell

 

September 2020

An update from Atlantic Vet – 


As most of you are aware, we had a CoVid -19 “scare” when one of our staff members tested positive for the virus.  
The virus did not originate at our office, nor did it spread to anyone else in our practice.  As a precautionary measure, we elected to close the practice September 2nd and 3rd.  During that time we had the entire staff tested for CoVid 19 and had the building disinfected. 


Your safety and the safety of our staff are of paramount importance to us.  We continue to work closely with our medical advisor as well as follow all current CDC guidelines towards that end. 


At this time, we are presently working our regularly scheduled hours and are available for wellness, medical and surgical appointments.  That said, we are booking routine appointments approximately 4 – 6 weeks in advance. 


Thanks to so many of you for reaching out with messages of concern and support during this stressful time for all.  Your kindness means more to us than words can say.


*Since first recommended by the CDC and infectious disease specialists, we have REQUIRED our staff to wear masks while at work.  Please extend us the same courtesy and respect when you visit our practice*

 

July 14, 2020

Just an update on what’s happening here under the roof of Atlantic Vet-

It’s hard to believe that it’s been over three months since the world as we knew it came to a stand-still. However, no one let on to the animal kingdom that an international pandemic was in play.  More than ever, the animals in our community and the people who love them continue to need our care.

 

Some of the cases we have seen of late include a baby owl that had fallen out of its nest, a foster-care pup from Louisiana with a bullet lodged in its leg, a chick who suffered a dislocated hip and a naughty cat who ingested a sewing needle (they do indeed have nine lives!). We have also seen a number of cases like bite wounds, torn ligaments, broken bones, ear infections, itchy skin, and sadly, calls to help families when it is time to say goodbye to a loyal and trusted friend.

As an essential service, it has been difficult to provide service to the community while exercising the necessary precautions to keep our staff and clients safe.  For those of you who have not visited us recently, we continue to provide curbside service for our patients.  Although not ideal, most practices are following this model to reduce foot traffic and human interaction.  As the state has rolled out reopening guidelines for businesses, we have likewise relaxed some restrictions and hope to welcome clients back into the building this fall.  We are exploring what that might “look like” and will be working closely with the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA), as well as local health officials and infectious disease specialists.

 

Although grateful to continue our work, we have honestly never worked harder or under this degree of stress.   We are all weary of the pandemic and the havoc it has caused in our personal and professional lives.  Some of us have parents we have not been able to physically see for many months, some of us have family members who have succumbed to CoVid – 19, several members of our staff have lost child-care. Our mental health has been strained.  The young parents on staff have had to be veterinary professionals by day and teachers by night.  Family members have lost their jobs causing financial pressure for our households. 

 

We know and appreciate the fact that many of you are experiencing some of these same circumstances.  No part of this pandemic has been easy for anyone.  But as our work is critical to your family’s well being, we do not have the option of closing our doors or working from home. For those of you who have been patient with us in this ever-changing  CoVid environment, thank you.  And for those of you who have been frustrated or dissatisfied with our practice – please trust we are doing our level best to serve you, your beloved pets, local wildlife, and the community at large.

 

As always, it is our privilege to be your “other family doctor”.

 

Be well –Be safe –Be kind.

 

Warm Regards,

Dr. Jeff and Annie Rockwell

 

April 7, 2020

In order to reduce our human interaction, we have decided to split our staff into separate “teams”. Our thinking is this: if a member of our staff becomes ill with CoVid - 19 symptoms, only half our staff has been exposed to that individual. Those who have been exposed will quarantine, and those on the other “team” can continue to provide service to the community.

For the month of April (and likely the month of May) doctors Rockwell, Reilly and Beckwith will be seeing appointments Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Thursdays through Saturdays, doctors Story, Cronin and Meaney will be seeing patients. Tuesdays and Thursdays, we will have surgery time available if needed.

Sundays, we will continue to triage medical emergencies from 9am – 6 pm, however we will NOT be available to see cases at the practice. Urgent emergencies will be referred to Mass Veterinary Referral Hospital or Angell Memorial Medical Center.

As difficult as these decisions have been, it is our goal to keep our employees healthy and our doors open to the animals in the community who need our care.

We appreciate your patience and continued loyalty and support as we navigate these difficult and unsettling times.

Call our office with questions or concerns and please, stay well.

Dr. Jeff and Annie Rockwell

 

April 1, 2020

To Our Wonderful Clients,
 

These are extraordinary times, indeed.
 

As “the other family doctor” we have been deemed essential personnel, and frankly, we don’t feel we’ve ever been more critical to the health and wellness of the families we serve.
 

Extensive research has proven that companion animals reduce our stress and anxiety, lower our blood pressure, decrease our incidence of heart attack and stroke and boost our immunity. Now, and in the difficult days ahead, it is imperative to keep our furry companions healthy and by our sides.
 

In this unprecedented CoVid -19 landscape, we have been busy keeping appraised of the most current recommendations in our professional community. Like all other businesses, we have been forced to make some changes in our day to day operations.

 

One significant change is the presence of our online pharmacy (Click here for the link)To decrease footprint in our office we encourage you to order your food and prescription items online if possible. If you are unable to place your requests online we are currently offering free delivery of food and prescriptions to Marblehead and Swampscott clients.

For the foreseeable future, we are not scheduling most routine appointments and surgeries. When it is necessary to bring your pet to the office, we are currently prohibiting clients (as well as delivery people and vendors) from entering our practice. Rather than bringing your pet into the building, we ask that you text us at our main number, 781-631-8881 when you arrive in the parking lot. Your dog should be on a leash and your cat or other small animals should be in a carrier. When we receive your text, we will send a staff member to receive your pet. It is important that you have your pet OUTSIDE your car when we greet you. If you are bringing a dog, we ask that once we put our “slip lead” on its neck, you unhook the leash and collar you brought from home. If you have a cat or other small animal, please bring the carrier towards the front entrance and place it down. A staff member will pick up the carrier and bring it into the building. IT IS IMPORTANT TO NEVER LEAVE YOUR PET UNATTENDED. We ask that you observe the CDC’s current “social distancing” protocol and remain 6 feet apart from our staff members. We will ask you about your pet’s symptoms and the reason for your pet’s visit at this time.
 

During your pet’s appointment, we ask that you REMAIN IN YOUR CAR AND REMAIN IN THE PARKING LOT UNLESS OTHERWISE ADVISED. While your pet is being examined, we may need to reach out to you over the phone, or a doctor or nurse may need to speak to you in person. We may also take credit card information over the phone while you wait to further reduce human interaction.
 

In the unfortunate circumstance that your pet must be euthanized at our practice, we will permit you to be with your pet, but we ask that those who are present are restricted to family members only. If the euthanasia can take place outside, we will provide you a face mask to wear during the procedure. If it is necessary for you to enter the building, you will also be provided a face mask and we ask that you wash your hands thoroughly and immediately in the exam room. As hard as it is and as unnatural as it feels, we will refrain from physical contact with you at this sad time. We will happily take a rain-check for a hug once we have returned to some sense of normalcy!
 

Finally, if for any reason you need to cancel an appointment, PLEASE call us in advance.
 

Thank you for your loyalty and trust and we appreciate your continued support. God Bless and stay safe.

– Dr. Jeff and Annie Rockwell