Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
How do I know if my pet has an emergency?
Our technicians are trained to handle incoming phone calls and help clients determine if their pet is experiencing an emergency. If your pet is displaying breathing difficulty, weakness, collapse, pain, trouble urinating or defecating, vomiting or diarrhea, bleeding, seizing, or has been exposed to toxins or trauma, please consider having your pet evaluated by our emergency service, if your veterinarian is not available.
What will happen?
All pets presenting to the emergency hospital will be “triaged” by our technical staff. This means that patients are assigned a medical priority based on vital signs and a brief history. Similar to a human ER, this ensures that the most critically ill patients are given priority. A technician will greet you in the lobby and obtain your pet’s vital signs. If your pet’s vital signs are abnormal, or your pet is clearly unstable, the technician will escort your companion immediately to the back to be examined by a doctor. A student will then obtain vital historical information while your companion is stabilized. You may be asked to sign a permission form for “emergency treatment” at this time. As soon as medically possible, the attending clinician will consult with you and present a diagnostic and therapeutic plan.
If your companion is stable at the time of admission, you will be escorted to an examination room, where a veterinary student will obtain pertinent historical information and perform a physical examination. This information will then be presented to the attending clinician. Shortly afterward, the attending clinician will perform a through physical examination on your companion, consult with you, and present a diagnostic and therapeutic plan.
If your companion’s problems are complex in nature, specialists may be consulted and transfer to a specialty service may be recommended. In the event that your pet is hospitalized for a complex problem, his or her care will be transferred to one of these specialty services in the morning. Alternatively, care of your pet may be transferred back to your family veterinarian in the morning. In this instance, you must pick up your pet by 8am and proceed directly to your veterinarian.
What happens if my pet is hospitalized? Can I visit?
It may be recommended that your pet be hospitalized. In this instance, we have several levels of care that are tailored to the needs of your pet. Technicians staff all hospital wards 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. Our intensive care unit is also staffed with dedicated technicians and doctors 24 hours a day. Visiting is encouraged and hours are established for all areas of the hospital. At the time of admission, please ask the attending clinician or student to provide you with this information.
Why is the NC State emergency service unique?
Attending clinicians have access to consultation with specialty services 24 hours a day, 365 days per year, as well as access to state of the art diagnostic and therapeutic options. Small animal specialty services available for consultation and transfer include:
- General and Orthopedic Surgery
- Internal Medicine
Our intensive care unit is also staffed with dedicated technicians and clinicians 24 hours a day, and is a component of the Emergency and Critical Care Department, which received a perfect score in a recent four-year re-accreditation conducted by the American Animal Hospital Association.
Will you work with my vet?
If you provide the front desk with the name of your veterinarian, a full report will be faxed the following morning. Your veterinarian can also call at any time for consultation or with questions concerning your pet’s care. If your pet remains in the hospital and is transferred to a specialty service, the clinician in charge will contact your veterinarian by phone the following day.