In the past, taking our pets to see their veterinarian involved going to a simple clinic where vaccinations were given and routine illnesses and injuries were treated. Today, when you walk into a real veterinary hospital you will find a completely modern facility very much resembling a hospital for people.
Veterinary hospitals aren’t the same as clinics. You may still wish to take your pet to a clinic for prevention matters such as vaccinations, but when your pet is seriously injured or desperately ill, a fully-staffed and equipped veterinary hospital is the answer. Here, you will find the most state-of-the-art equipment, including x-ray and MRI machines, surgical areas, infectious disease areas, grooming areas, post-surgical recovery areas, and even intensive care units.
The staff at veterinary hospitals are specially trained to provide emergency support for your pet, including CPR, bleeding control, pain relief, and injury stabilization. These things are just not available in 9-to-5 clinics.
How Will I Know When to Take My Pet to a Veterinary Hospital?
Many animal clinics have 24-hour hospitals that they refer their critical patients to for emergency and extended care. Such hospitals are much like the emergency rooms found in “people” hospitals. If your pet needs immediate stabilization beyond what a clinic can offer, you will be given directions to the nearest veterinary hospital. Clinic staff will call ahead for you to let the triage team at the emergency hospital to let them know that you are on your way, and the reason why you and your pet were advised to seek more extensive and emergent care.
Two veterinary hospitals have set the “gold standard” for emergency care. These are the Tufts Veterinary College and Alameda East Veterinary Hospital in Denver, CO, made famous on the Animal Planet TV show Emergency Vets. Tufts is arguably the finest veterinary school in the country; its graduates practice all kinds of veterinary medicine, from large animal practices to becoming staff at a veterinary hospital like Alameda East. Those DVMs who practice emergency care are well versed in initial stabilization of your pet so that diagnostic tests can be immediately performed. Despite your natural sense of panic, your pet and your veterinarian must be calm and take things slowly without endangering the life of your pet.
Veterinary hospitals contain everything your pet needs to asses the nature and extent of its needs, using the most modern techniques and equipment. Certified veterinary technicians and surgical technicians assist the DVMs in preparing your pet for diagnostic testing and, if necessary, emergency surgery. Night or day, weekends and holidays, veterinary hospitals will provide the best possible care for your severely injured or ill beloved pet.