How do I schedule an appointment?
Since the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital is a referral
institution, you and your primary care veterinarian need to
determine that a cardiology referral is necessary for your pet.
Once a collaborative decision has been made, your veterinarian can
call to make the referral. You can then call to schedule an
appointment at 979-845-2351. We typically schedule appointments on
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at 10am and 1pm.
The Cardiology Service acts as a consulting service (not a
primary care service) for the Large Animal Hospital. Horses
are to be admitted through the Large Animal Hospital (979-845-3541)
with the appropriate service (ie. Equine Medicine) after which a
cardiology consultation will be requested.
When should I arrive
to a scheduled appointment and what do I bring?
We look forward to your visit. For new clients, please
arrive 15-20 minutes before your appointment in order to fill out
paper work. Preparation on your part will help us take care of your
pet's needs during the appointment.
Please have your pet's medical record faxed to our Hospital
(979-458-4444) 1-2 business days before the scheduled appointment.
If digital x-rays have been performed please have your
veterinarian’s staff contact us about sending them. You may also
bring along a copy of your medical records and x-rays.
Please bring any and all medications your pet is currently
Can my pet eat the day of the
Food and water should be continued on your pet’s regular
schedule. Medications should also be given on your pet’s
What happens during
the appointment? Will a student take care of my pet?
The mission of the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital is to
provide top-level medical services, whilst training the next
generation of veterinarians. Students are responsible for most
patient care duties, and learn to perform diagnostic and
therapeutic techniques. At all times, students are double checked
and closely supervised by house officers and faculty members.
Consequently, your visit with us may take longer than visits to
your primary care veterinarian. A 4th year
veterinary student will greet you and your pet, and take you into
an exam room. It is the student's responsibility to obtain the
initial history of your pet and perform the first physical exam.
Once completed, the student will leave you and your pet in the exam
room and discuss his/her findings with the clinician in charge of
your case. They will develop a list of problems and potential
diagnoses, and make a diagnostic plan to present to you. They will
then return to the exam room and discuss with you their findings,
go over the diagnostic plan and answer your questions.
It is important for you to know that students, under the
supervision and guidance of the cardiologist and technician(s),
will be performing these diagnostic procedures on your pet.
Additional testing procedures may be recommended as necessary with
implementation based on your approval. Ultimately, recommendations
and patient-care is based on the experience of the clinician in
cardiology. Please be patient with our students as they are
learning the verbal and technical skills needed to be a
We recommend bringing a book or some form of entertainment. You
are also welcome to leave the building while we are running tests
and/or treating your pet.
How long does the
appointment usually last?
Since this is a teaching hospital, your visit will likely take
longer than visits to your primary care veterinarian. However, we
strive to be courteous of your time and it is our intent to get
your pet back to you in the timeliest manner possible. We recommend
you plan to allow us to care for your pet most of the appointment
day, especially for brand new patients. As soon as your pet is
cleared for discharge we will contact you immediately. Since the
Cardiology Service is predominantly an outpatient service, we hope
to discharge morning patients by mid to late afternoon. Please keep
in mind that all personnel of the Veterinary Medical Teaching
Hospital have dedicated their professional life into the care and
well-being of animals. Therefore, your pet will receive the utmost
attention and TLC while in our hands.
Will my pet's surgery
be performed on the day of the initial appointment?
No. Dogs undergoing evaluation for cardiac surgery must be
carefully screened. A thorough physical exam, lab work, cardiac
exam (echocardiogram +/- ECG) and radiographs (x-rays) must be
completed before surgery is considered. If problems are detected
during these tests, this might indicate that your pet is not a good
candidate for surgery. If abnormalities are not detected during the
initial exam and surgery is recommended, the procedure is usually
scheduled for the following day. In addition, the anesthesia
service will be notified so that they can prepare for your pet's
surgery the following day. There are exception to this such as a
patient with Third Degree AV Block requiring an emergency
What will my visit cost?
All costs will be explained to you before any tests or
treatments are performed and you will be provided with a written
estimate if you like. We will update you about additional expenses
if we expect to exceed the original estimate. We will make every
effort to keep costs low and use your resources in the best way
If your pet is admitted to the hospital, a deposit of 50% of the
estimate will be collected at the time of admission and payment
plans can be arranged at the time of deposit.
I would like to bring my cat into
the hospital, but it is easily stressed. What can I do to
We understand that visits to the hospital are often stressful
for our feline patients. We make every effort to make them as
comfortable as possible. Because cats do not typically ride
in cars as frequently as dogs, we understand that they can be
easily stressed once they arrive at Texas A&M. The
American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) offers helpful
guidelines for transporting your cat:
Once your cat arrives at the hospital, we follow AAFP’s Feline
Friendly practices including housing feline patients separately
from dogs and being sensitive to each cat’s needs during it’s
hospital visit. Additionally, we are always happy to work
with your veterinarian to facilitate your cat’s care.