Internal Medicine - Appointments & Referrals
Making an appointment
The patient's primary veterinarian will contact us by phone or fax with the referral information. After the referral is made, the owner will need to contact us by phone.
If you would like your pet seen by a specialist, you should suggest this option to your veterinarian and ask that they set up the referral. The Internal Medicine service cannot provide advice to clients over the phone for patients we have never seen. We may be able to facilitate an appointment or provide a small amount of general information. It is often difficult to judge the correct approach to a situation without the opportunity to gather a complete history and directly examine the patient. See New Patient Information.
Our receptionists answer our phones during regular business hours. The phone is equipped with voice mail for the purpose of answering calls when they are busy with the doctors and students or are on the phone with another client or veterinarian. Please leave a message and your call will be returned as soon as possible.
What will happen at an appointment?
Patients are admitted at the front desk of the Small Animal Hospital. After the patient has checked in, a Clinical Technician will take the owner(s) and patient to an exam room. A senior veterinary student will enter the exam room to obtain a complete medical history and perform a physical examination on the pet. Due to the fact that we are a Teaching Hospital, it is very important to provide the students with this experience so they can provide the best care possible to their future patients and, in doing so, maintain the high standards of the veterinary profession. The student will then leave the room to discuss the case with the attending veterinarian which may take up to 30 minutes. The student will then return to the exam room with the doctor to discuss their recommendations for the pet. This can be a lengthy process, so owners should be prepared to spend 2-3 hours with us for the initial appointment.
Previous Medical Records
Owners should bring copies of their pet's medical records from any veterinarian who has seen the pet for the referred problem. They should also bring any diagnostic test results, including blood tests, radiographs, ultrasounds, and biopsies.
How much will it cost?
The office fee for a regular appointment is $95. Emergency visits are $195. The cost of diagnostics and treatment will vary depending on the problem, the number of tests needed, the intensity of the care required, the complexity of the case, and the length of hospitalization. We try to provide an estimate when the appointment is scheduled and will revise that if needed as treatment progresses. Complicated, multi-faceted cases requiring intensive care are the most difficult to estimate accurately.
Should the pet be fed prior to an appointment?
We request that pets not have anything to eat after 9:00 pm the evening prior to their appointment. Water should be available at all times. If the pet is diabetic, food, medications and insulin should be given as usual including the morning of the appointment.
What medications should I give prior to an appointment?
Please give all medications as directed by your referring veterinarian. If there are any questions about continuing medications prior to this visit (particularly antibiotics, that may interfere with culture results), please have your veterinarian call for a consult. If your dog or cat has diabetes, please give food, insulin and medications as per usual, including the morning of the appointment.
Will the same doctor see the pet at every appointment?
The doctors on the service rotate every two to four weeks to fulfill their instructional, academic, and administrative responsibilities. For this reason, owners may have the opportunity to meet many of the Internal Medicine doctors. We will try to schedule the patients with the same doctor whenever possible. Our Clinical Technicians work with the service at all times.
Can vaccines be updated during a visit to the VHC?
As a specialty service, we are unable to provide routine health care. We encourage owners to maintain their relationship with their primary veterinarian, especially for issues not related to the referral.