Do I need to bring any information to the appointment?
Your regular vet will usually send a copy of your pet’s clinical history, laboratory results and imaging studies via email before the consultation. They may give you hard copies of X-rays or ultrasound studies to bring to the consultation. Short videos on your phone can be useful if your pet’s illness is episodic. Please let the specialist nurse know the name of your regular vet when making your appointment so we can contact them if needed. Please also bring any current medications your pet is receiving.
Do I need to fast my pet before the appointment?
This does depend on the individual case, so please ask at the time of making the appointment. As a general rule, those animals that need an abdominal ultrasound or surgical procedures will need to have their food taken away after their evening meal the night before. They can have access to water overnight. If your pet is diabetic, very young or having episodes of low blood glucose, fasting is NOT advisable.
What will the appointment involve?
A thorough history will be taken and then your pet will be examined. Special tests or examinations may be performed during the consultation. We will then discuss an appropriate diagnostic and treatment plan and give you an estimate of costs. If the decision is made to go ahead with further procedures, we will ask you to sign an estimate/permission form and we will admit your pet into hospital.
What happens after my pet is admitted to hospital?
This depends on the procedure that will be undertaken. Specific details, including sedation/anaesthesia, will be discussed during the consultation. If they are admitted for ultrasound, they will have their fur clipped in the region we are going to scan, because fur impedes the ultrasound beam and causes poor image quality. Most procedures are performed in the afternoon and we will contact you via phone during or after the procedure to discuss results. At the same time, we will also arrange a discharge appointment or an ongoing care plan for those animals that need to stay in hospital.
What happens if my pet is already in the ICU and their care is transferred to another specialist department?
The morning of the transfer, the ICU vet will contact you and check that you are happy with this plan. They will then talk to the specialist involved and either organise an appointment time as above (if you can attend in person) or a phone consultation. If you opt for a phone consultation, the specialist will examine your pet, create a plan and contact you, often once they have completed their morning appointments. The specialist will then become your main contact and caregiver.