FAQ - Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital in College Station, Texas FAQ - Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital

FAQ

For small animal appointments call (979) 845-2351 Monday - Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Emergencies accepted 24 hours a day

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 receiving.

Can my pet eat the day of the appointment?

Food and water should be continued on your pet’s regular schedule.  Medications should also be given on your pet’s regular schedule.

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 veterinarian.

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 pacemaker.


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 possible.

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 minimize this?

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:

http://www.catvets.com/public/PDFs/ClientBrochures/Cat-to-VetHandout.pdf

 

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.