Will my pet be seen immediately?
In general, patients are seen in the order they arrive. More life-threatening cases, however, must take priority over others.
If you feel your pet’s condition is life-threatening, please notify us immediately, and the doctor will perform an examination without delay. As this exam is conducted in the treatment area, you will not be present with your pet. The doctor will, however, still meet with you personally to discuss findings and arrange a treatment plan. If your pet is in critical condition, you may be asked to sign a release allowing immediate treatment. Although we are often able to meet with clients immediately, the unpredictable nature and severity of emergency cases may at times create delays, just as in human emergency rooms. Unlike a regular veterinary hospital, we cannot “schedule” our appointments. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to make you more comfortable. We appreciate your patience.
How is Emergency care different from regular Veterinary care?
Emergency care is available at times when regular veterinary hospitals are not open. As it is impossible for a daytime veterinarian and his or her staff to provide service around the clock, a centralized emergency center allows for intensive after-hours care by a specially trained staff with extensive equipment. Veterinarians referring cases to an emergency center want their clients’ pets to receive the best possible after-hours care. The emergency center, however, cannot replace the historical knowledge and valued relationship you have with your regular family veterinarian. After initial treatment, all follow-up care will be done by your family veterinarian.
How much will emergency treatment cost?
A doctor must perform a thorough physical exam before he or she can determine what treatment, if any, is recommended. Following the exam, you will receive an estimate for the treatment plan that the doctor recommends for your pet. Upon approval, you will be required to leave a deposit in the form of cash for the low end of the estimate. Please feel free to ask questions if you do not understand any aspect of the estimate or treatment plan. We want your pet to receive the best possible medical care.
Is emergency care more expensive?
Just like a human emergency room or trauma center, a modern veterinary emergency center requires more extensive equipment than found in a typical daytime practice. Our hospital is able to provide ultrasound, endoscopy, blood gas monitoring, ultrasonic blood pressures, oxygen therapy, advanced surgery, and much more. As an emergency center requires immediate blood test results, our hospital has also invested in an extensive on-site laboratory. In addition, operating an emergency center requires a uniquely trained staff working long and difficult hours. As a result, the overhead in operating an emergency center is greater than a normal veterinary hospital. This is reflected in fees which may be somewhat higher than your regular veterinarian, but are comparable with all other emergency centers. Our hospital prides itself on providing an excellent value in convenient, high-quality emergency care for your pet.
If I leave my pet, when do I pick him/her up?
If the doctor recommends that the pet be hospitalized due to his or her medical condition, you will need to make plans to pick up your pet for its return home or transfer to your regular veterinarian. The doctor should inform you as to an expected time of release. As the emergency doctor may be unexpectedly busy, we rely on you to call for periodic progress updates. We will, however, contact you at any hour if your pet’s condition should decline unexpectedly. Please provide us with an accurate phone number, and keep a phone by the bed at night.