What is a veterinary specialist? How are we different from a general veterinary practice? Why has your veterinarian referred you to us? We answer your most frequently asked questions here. Click on the questions to see the answers.
What is a veterinary specialist?
Veterinary specialists have fulfilled requirements established by the American Veterinary Medical Association. After graduation from veterinary school, a veterinarian must complete an internship or equivalent private practice experience and a two to three year advanced training program in a specialized field of clinical science, called a residency. The final steps to certification are publication of original article(s) in peer reviewed scientific journals and successful completion of a rigorous examination given by other specialists.
Is OVRA a referral service?
No, OVRA is not a referral service. We are a specialty care animal hospital providing advanced diagnostics, medicine and surgery.
Why has my veterinarian referred me to OVRA?
Your veterinarian has referred you to OVRA because your pet has been diagnosed with serious medical disorder. Your veterinarian has recommended a consultation with a specialist to provide you with the benefit of the best possible care and treatment options for you and your pet.
How does OVRA differ from a general veterinary practice?
We do not provide any routine care for your pet, we only perform advanced medicine and surgery for dogs and cats with serious medical disorders. Our highly experienced and caring veterinary specialists apply the finest diagnostic and treatment techniques to offer advanced medical and surgical care for your pet.
How do I get referred to OVRA?
You may receive or request a referral from your family veterinarian. If your pet requires an emergency consultation, your family veterinarian must contact our office directly. We do not accept walk-in patients.
How do I make an appointment?
Before making an appointment, we suggest that your family veterinarian contact the veterinary specialist to discuss the reason for the referral and the results of any completed diagnostic procedures or tests. Your family veterinarian may request that you contact our office to speak with a client service representative.
My veterinarian provided a diagnosis, so why do I need to bring my pet in for a consultation and physical exam at OVRA before treatment can begin?
A consultation requires a complete physical exam and thorough review of your pet’s medical records so we can provide a comprehensive evaluation of your pet’s condition. This enables us to be as helpful as possible to assist and guide you through your pet’s health care options.
How do I schedule a surgical or medical procedure for my pet?
If you elect to proceed with a surgical or medical procedure following the initial consultation, a member of the specialty care team will assist you with that process. It may be possible for an elective procedure to be scheduled for the following day, but some procedures may be scheduled at a later date. Your veterinary specialist will advise you if your pet requires an emergency procedure to be performed on the same day as your consultation appointment.
Do I have to leave my pet on the day of consultation for a surgery or procedure that will be done the following day?
No, many owners choose to admit their pet to OVRA the morning of surgery or the procedure. Of course, if your pet’s medical condition needs overnight treatment or it is more convenient for you to leave your pet the day of the initial consultation, we are happy to provide that service.
How do I schedule a surgery or procedure for a date other than the day after the initial consultation?
If you do not schedule your pet’s surgery or procedure on the day of the initial consultation, you should call OVRA and ask for a team member who works with the doctor who examined your pet, to assist you with the appointment process.
If I take my pet home, can my pet have food or water the night before surgery or procedure?
In most cases, your pet may have food until 8 p.m. the evening before hospitalization; water can be given until the time of hospital admission. A member of the specialty team overseeing your pet’s healthcare will notify you if different recommendations apply to your pet.
When do I need to bring my pet to OVRA?
Unless instructed differently, bring your pet to OVRA’s front desk between 7:45 a.m. and 8 a.m. the morning of the scheduled surgery or procedure. Please have your pet on a leash or in a carrier for everyone’s comfort and safety. We will make every effort to complete the admission process quickly.
What happens when I admit my pet to the hospital?
At the time of admission, the client service representative will help you complete the hospitalization documents, including consent forms for anesthesia and surgery, contact information and the financial agreement. At that point, the client service representative will collect a deposit payment for the lower amount of the estimate you received. You will also be asked to provide us with telephone numbers where you can be reached during your pet’s stay. A member of your pet’s medical support team will meet with you at the time you admit your pet to the hospital.
How will I learn the outcome of what has been done at OVRA?
The doctor will call with the results of your pet’s procedure or surgery as soon as possible. We make every effort to contact each client after all the patients have been attended.
Will my pet have to stay in the hospital overnight after the surgery or procedure?
Most surgical patients will spend the night after surgery in the hospital so their recovery can be monitored and they can be given injectable medication to treat any postoperative discomfort. Patients that have a medical or diagnostic procedure may or may not need to spend the night in the hospital. A specialty team member will keep you advised.
Is there someone in the hospital at night?
There is a veterinary technician in the hospital at night to attend the hospitalized patients. The technician is able to contact the specialty doctor overnight as needed. The OVRA telephone system does not accept incoming calls overnight (6 p.m. to 8 a.m.).
When can I pick up my pet?
An OVRA staff member attending to your pet will schedule an appointment when your pet is ready to go home. You will meet with a member of the medical or surgical team to discuss home care instructions for your pet.
Do I need to schedule any follow-up examinations and will there be additional charges at that time?
The attending doctor will inform you if follow-up visits are necessary. Fees for recheck examinations and diagnostic tests are additional, and not included in the initial visit. You may request an estimate for these services during your consultation.
What is the financial protocol for paying for my pet’s care?
A deposit payment, based on the initial estimate, is collected by the client service representative prior to your pet’s hospital admission. The remaining balance is due in full at the time your pet is released from OVRA.