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General Frequently Asked Questions

What's the difference between my family veterinarian and a Veterinary Specialist?
Both your family veterinarian and a veterinary specialist have earned their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, or equivalent, which typically requires four years of undergraduate training and four years of veterinary school. Specialists have advanced training and have fulfilled the requirements of specialty colleges sanctioned by the American Veterinary Medical Association.  A specialist completes an additional three to five years of internship and residency training, as well as passing a rigorous exam in order to become Board Certified.

Why would my pet need a Specialist?
Your family veterinarian may refer you and your pet to our facility if your pet requires specific treatments or procedures that your family veterinarian does not offer. There are many surgeries where the expertise and experience of a Board-Certified Surgeon can make a difference in the outcome for your pet.    Abdominal exploratory surgery, tumor removal, spinal surgery, fracture stabilization and joint surgeries are just a few of these.   Pets who have complex medical issues or illnesses benefit from the knowledge and experience of our Board-Certified Internist

Can VSC be my pet's regular veterinary hospital?
Our practice provides only specialty care.  The Specialists at VSC coordinate our specialty care with your veterinarian's primary health care so that we can provide your pet with the most comprehensive medical care possible.

How do I get a referral?
You do not need a referral to visit our facility, however most clients have consulted with their family veterinarian who has determined that a referral is necessary.  If you are referred, your family veterinarian will complete a referral form, which will describe your pet's medical condition and provide other important information.  Your veterinarian will also have you contact our office for an appointment, or in some instances they may request that we call you.

What happens at the time of my pet’s initial visit?
We ask you to bring all relevant information from your family veterinarian concerning your pet's current medical condition including x-rays, blood test results, and any medications that your pet may be taking.  It is important that the primary caregiver of the pet is present to allow us to obtain an accurate and beneficial history of your pet’s medical condition.  We will also have you fill out a brief medical history on your pet.   Please bring your pet with you to the appointment.
Your consultation will consist of a review of your pet's medical history, a thorough examination of your pet, and a discussion of your concerns regarding your pet's medical condition.   In some cases, additional tests may be necessary before we can provide a full assessment.  Before proceeding with any recommended diagnostics or treatments we will provide you with a proposed treatment plan, options, and cost.

Will my family veterinarian be kept informed?
VSC works in a partnership with you and your family veterinarian to provide the most complete veterinary care possible. Your veterinarian will receive the notes and results from your consultation and any procedures by fax, e-mail, or mail. You or your family veterinarian are welcome to call us with any questions or concerns at any time.

When can I visit my pet?
Visiting your pet in the hospital can be arranged in most cases, although we do not encourage visitation on the day of surgery.  We ask that you limit your visitation to 15 minutes to keep from disrupting your pet's treatment and recovery. Please understand that there may be a wait due to unexpected procedures or changes in patients' conditions and allow yourself extra time when coming to visit your pet.

Can I leave personal belongings with my pet?
We do not recommend that you leave blankets or towels; such items may become soiled and may be misplaced during the daily laundering process. We have an ample supply of blankets, towels and beds for your pet's comfort. Toys and stuffed animals are permitted if adequately labeled. Food and water dishes are not necessary. If your pet requires a special diet or if you prefer to bring your pet's own food, please make sure to label all bags, cans, and containers.