You and your pet will be seen first by a senior veterinary student. S/he will take a history and then perform a physical examination. The student must identify your pet’s problem(s), develop a list of differential diagnoses, complete the medical record, and then present the case to a senior clinician. The doctor and student will then discuss your pet’s problem(s) and decide what next steps should be undertaken. This process takes time because this is where teaching/learning takes place between the doctor and the student. Please be patient.
Often X-rays will be required to assist in establishing a diagnosis. Your pet will need to be tranquilized for the X-rays (this reduces stress for the patient and helps ensure quality X-rays are obtained). It usually takes about 20 minutes for the tranquilization to take effect, so it may take as long as 40 minutes to get X-rays. Please be patient.
Once a diagnosis has been established, the doctor will discuss the diagnosis and treatment options with you. If the patient requires surgery, and you wish to have the surgery done, your pet may be admitted to the hospital on the same day as your examination (exception: total hip replacement surgeries and other surgeries requiring advanced planning or customized implants). You will be given an estimate for the cost of the treatment. The hospital requires a deposit (i.e., one half of the estimate) when you leave your pet for surgery. Blood tests required by anesthesia are done the same afternoon, and surgery is scheduled for the following day. The student will phone you after surgery to let you know how the surgery went and how your pet is doing. Most patients are sent home the day after surgery. A complete set of instructions for at-home care will be given to you when you pick up your pet.