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Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital

Pet Owner FAQs

Emergency FAQ

Can you give me medical advice for my pet over the phone?

We cannot give specific medical advice for your pet without an exam by our doctors.

If you are unsure if you should have your pet seen by a doctor, please get in touch with us to discuss it with you.

My pet just ate something potentially poisonous, what do I do?

If you are concerned that your pet may have ingested a possible toxin, we recommend calling the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 for specific information about the potential toxin. There is a nominal fee for their services, payable by credit card.

If Poison Control instructs you to bring your pet to the hospital for treatment, they will provide you with a case number that will allow our veterinarians to contact them for further information about treatment. Please bring this case number with you to the hospital.

What if my pet has an emergency situation?

Emergency services are available at all of our locationss, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We are open during all major holidays.

If your pet is experiencing an emergency during regular office hours, please call your primary veterinarian. If they feel that a referral to one of our emergency departments or specialists is warranted, they will call the closest facility directly and set up that transfer as an immediate referral.

If you do not have a primary veterinarian, please call the closest Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital to you. Regardless of the time or day, it’s always best to call ahead if you can so that we’re prepared for your arrival.

Your pet does not need an appointment or a referral to be seen at any Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital emergency department. Your pet will be seen in order of treatment based on the degree of urgency to wounds or illnesses. This may mean we must attend to animals not in their order of arrival, but in their order of need.

We are committed to helping your sick pet and any delay in seeing you may be related to the doctor’s belief that another animal must be seen first. We ask for your patience in this process if it occurs during your visit.

I just brought my pet in to Emergency. What is happening with my pet in the treatment area?

The emergency doctor and clinical staff will be assessing the nature of the emergency and examining your pet’s condition, taking vital signs, and starting their medical chart and care. We have the necessary equipment in our treatment rooms to begin therapy quickly if needed.

My pet was admitted in to Emergency. When will I know something? Or, what is taking so long?

We strive to communicate and update you as soon as we can so that you have some information on your pet’s condition. There may be other patients being seen and the doctors will triage to care for the most sick or injured first.

After the doctor examines your pet, they will speak with you regarding their findings and their recommended course of action.

Why is my pet being “Transferred”?

The emergency doctors and different specialists provide care in distinct areas of veterinary medicine, all to give your pet the highest quality medical care.

While the medical care is ‘transferred’ between doctors, your pet stays in the same place and gets input from several different doctors.

How long will my pet stay in the hospital?

The doctor will discuss the estimated time your pet will need to remain in the hospital. Some patients are able to have a workup and procedures performed the same day as the consultation.

Overnight hospitalization is common for patients that undergo surgery. During their hospital stay, they will receive 24-hour care from our qualified nursing staff. Our nurses will make sure that your pet receives appropriate treatments and the best possible nursing care.

If your pet requires hospitalization, we will update you at least once a day regarding your pet’s progress. Your doctor will also call you to discuss any changes in treatment plans during your pet’s hospitalization.

May I come and visit my pet staying in the hospital?

Of course you are welcome to visit! We ask that you call first to arrange a time when the hospital staff can accommodate your visit. If your pet is medically stable, you may be able to visit in an exam room or our Quiet Room to provide you with privacy with your pet, in a comfortably furnished setting.

If your pet is in oxygen or is not stable enough to leave the Critical Care Unit (CCU), we may need to limit the visit to a brief one by their side (max 15 minutes), in order for us to provide the medical care that your pet needs during his or her hospitalization.

Please be aware that while we will do everything possible to adhere to scheduled visits, unforeseen urgent patient care issues occurring in the hospital may cause delays or shortened visits.

When may I bring my pet home?

When your pet is ready to go home or be transferred to their primary veterinarian, we will schedule an appointment time with you so we can review homecare instructions and medications. Your pet’s complete medical record will then be faxed or emailed to your family veterinarian.

If your pet is receiving chemotherapy or an anesthetic procedure, you should expect your pet to stay for the majority of the day.

Specialty FAQ

What is a veterinary specialist?

What is a veterinary specialist? In veterinary medicine, as in human medicine, some doctors choose to specialize in an area of interest. A veterinary specialist is a veterinarian who has undergone years of advanced education and training in a certain field or discipline and earned board certification.

To earn the designation of “board-certified specialist” veterinarians must attend undergraduate school, attend veterinary school, complete an internship (1-2 years), and complete a residency (2-4 years) in their chosen field.

These residency programs require veterinarians to meet specific training and caseload requirements, perform research in their specialty field, and have that research published. They must also pass a set of rigorous examinations administered by the board of the specialty college.

It is only after the completion of all prior steps does a veterinarian earn the title of “Veterinary Diplomate” and become a board-certified veterinary specialist.

Why am I being referred to a board-certified specialist for my pet’s care?

At Metro, we speak of a “triad” of caregivers: you, your pet’s primary veterinarian, and our veterinary specialist. You and your primary veterinarian are the first line of care in your pet’s health and well-being.

In some complex cases, your primary veterinarian may refer your pet to a specialist who has the advanced training, expertise, and equipment needed to continue to provide the best possible care for your pet.

When a referral is indicated, your primary veterinarian will discuss this process with you and then provide us with all pertinent information regarding your pet’s history and current medical problem.

Often they will call one of our specialists to discuss the case being referred. They may also fax or email medical records to us, send your pet’s imaging studies, or even ask you to bring x-rays or radiographs to your pet’s consultation.

To maintain the triad of care, our specialists will keep you and your primary veterinarian informed of your pet’s progress after your initial consultation and any subsequent appointments. This continuity between specialist and primary veterinarian ensures the best possible outcome for your pet.

What should I expect from my consultation with a board-certified specialist?

Our specialist will review medical records from your primary veterinarian, as well as any x-rays/radiographs or lab results sent prior to your appointment. When you bring your pet in for the consultation, you will be asked to provide a thorough history of your pet’s medical problem.

Your consulting specialist will also perform a physical examination on your pet. After reviewing all of this information, your specialist will discuss a treatment plan with you, which could involve further diagnostic tests, a surgical recommendation, and/or detailed home-care instructions.

After you approve a treatment plan, your doctor will create a detailed financial estimate for your pet’s care. Your specialist can sometimes perform diagnostic tests or procedures the day of your consultation, so in general we request that you have your pet fast for the appointment.

Diabetic patients, however, should never be fasted unless specifically requested to do so by the doctor or nursing staff. Please call us before your consultation if you have any questions about withholding food from your pet.

Why does my pet need to be fasted before the appointment?

Certain procedures that your Metro medical team may recommend warrant fasting to minimize complications such as vomiting, regurgitation, or pneumonia.

Fasting Recommendations

  • Withholding Food

  • Patients over 16 weeks of age and all adults: Food should be withheld at least 6 hours (8 hours for brachycephalic breeds such as Bulldogs, Pugs, Persians, French Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, etc.).

  • For morning appointments before 12 pm: No food after midnight.

  • For afternoon appointments after 12 pm: No food after 6 am.

  • Pediatric patients (6-16 weeks of age): Feed a small meal 2-4 hours before anesthesia and surgery. Food should not be withheld for longer than 4 hours in your puppy or kitten as they do not have adequate energy reserves.

  • Special considerations (Diabetics, patients with insulinoma, endoscopy/colonoscopy patients, special laboratory testing, or other special circumstances): Please call your Metro medical team for instructions if you have not heard from them directly regarding fasting. There may be special instructions regarding longer or shorter fasting and changes in access to water.

  • Withholding Water

For any patient: Water can be given up to the time of your pet’s appointment unless instructed otherwise by the Metro team.

Please contact your Metro medical team if you have any questions or concerns regarding these instructions.

When do specialty medicine diagnostics or medical procedures take place?

Most specialty doctors have either consultation and recheck appointments scheduled in the mornings and medical and surgical procedures scheduled in the afternoons, or vice versa.

While we strive to accommodate our clients’ and patients’ needs the same day as their consultation appointment, there may be times when an unforeseen urgent patient care issue occurs in the hospital resulting in rescheduling of stable patient procedures.

We will update you if your pet’s procedure is delayed and work with you to provide continued care during the delay.