What to Expect
Dear New Family Member,
We at Port Royal Veterinary Hospital would like to welcome you and your pet and invite you to become members of our family. Whether you have a new friend or old, or anything in between, we want you to be as comfortable as possible with the experience. Our goal is to provide veterinary medical care and service that surpasses your expectations.
If you have a new pet, congratulations! If it’s a baby, this might be their first visit to any vet. If your new pet is older, perhaps you got it from a rescue group, shelter, or an individual. It's very important to call and schedule an appointment within the first few days after bringing your new family member home both to make sure they are healthy and take the first step to keep them that way. Find out if they received vaccinations or other treatments before you bring them home, especially if you already have other pets. If your pet is not new to you, you probably already have records. Please bring these records with you, or if it is more convenient, we can contact your previous office to obtain them. When you make your appointment, be sure to let us know the specifics of the situation and any services you may know they need during the appointment.
Please come in 15 minutes early for your first appointment. This allows time for you to provide us with information about you and your pet, so we can be prepared at your appointment time. Again, please bring any downloaded forms, reports, certificates, doctors’ notes, medications, or other information to add to your pet’s medical record. At this time, we will also provide you with our financial and other policies. We accept major credit and debit cards, cash, checks, Care Credit and ScratchPay. We are sorry, but payment plans through the office are not available.
Be sure to keep your pet on a leash or in a carrier while you are in the waiting room. Other owners with their pets will be here and it is very easy for things to get out of control when pets gather together. Birds should always be in cages or carriers.
The Exam Room
At the start of your appointment, you and your pet will be escorted back to an exam room by a technician or assistant. If your pet is large, there will be a quick stop at the scale for a weigh-in. Once in the room, the tech will confirm the reason for your visit and obtain a medical history, a temperature, and vitals, and start getting to know your pet. Cats and other smaller pets will be weighed on a smaller scale in the exam room to increase accuracy and keep them safe. If this is a Wellness visit, blood or fecal samples may be obtained now so tests can be started. Before any vaccines or treatments are given your doctor will give your pet a comprehensive physical exam. The doctor will check their ears, skin, eyes, heart, lungs, bones, joints, lymph nodes, abdomen, teeth and gums for anything abnormal. All of these findings will be recorded so they can be discussed with you to formulate plans for future treatment or preventive care.
If your pet has come to see us and isn’t feeling well, more extensive diagnostic tests might need to be performed. Once the doctor examines your pet and gets a full medical history she will discuss what problems may be present and recommend the most appropriate course of testing and treatment. The doctor and technician will create a treatment plan which lists what the doctor recommends, and expected costs involved. The technician will go over this with you and will ask that you sign it to acknowledge that you have read it. We encourage you to ask questions about anything and everything discussed. Actual charges will depend on which specific items are completed. If your pet requires hospitalization for testing or treatment, a Permission for Treatment will be completed which outlines more detailed information. A prepayment of the Treatment Plan Estimate will be collected and placed on your account as a credit. As test results become available we will share that information with you and finalize proposed treatment. Any changes or additions to the plan will be discussed with you in advance. If the full amount of the prepayment is not used, it will be refunded to you at the time of discharge.
We have state of the art Abaxis lab equipment to run common blood work on your pet at the time of your visit. Complete Blood Count, Comprehensive Chemistry Profile, Thyroid, Coagulation, and several others can be performed in minutes with only a small amount of blood. Digital radiography, microscopy, urine and fecal analysis, Animal Intensive Care Unit, and IV fluid pumps are all available to help establish a diagnosis and keep your pet as comfortable as possible while they are with us.
Our in-house pharmacy is stocked with most of the commonly needed medications such as antibiotics, analgesics, heartworm, flea and tick preventatives, and others. This allows us to dispense the appropriate medication for your pet at the time of your visit and answer any questions you may have. If your pet needs a less common medication or a different form, our online pharmacy can provide home delivery.
Patients scheduled for surgery or dentistry are admitted the afternoon before the procedure. At this appointment, the technician will review the planned procedure with you and answer any questions you may have. Early admission gives us time to observe them, make sure they are comfortable, get their pre-operative blood work and exam done and reviewed, and any other diagnostics ready for their morning procedure. We will give them a soft bed, fresh water, and dinner. All dogs are walked before bedtime. Food is removed at a specified time so when surgery time comes they have an empty stomach just like you or me when we have a procedure. Anesthesia can cause nausea and we want them to be safe.
In the morning, after a walk outside, vitals are repeated to help ensure safety. After a sedative premedication is given, an IV catheter is placed to provide access to fluids and medications during surgery. An endotracheal tube is used to protect the airway and provide oxygen and anesthetic gas. We use isoflurane gas which is one of the safest available. During any procedure we utilize an electronic monitor to observe the EKG, pulse rate, oxygen level, temperature, etc. Your pet is also physically monitored by a technician throughout its procedure and into recovery.
When your pet is awake we will give you a call to let you know how the procedure went, and schedule a discharge appointment for later in the day. Before discharging your pet, one of our technicians will go over any instructions or medications with you and answer any questions you may have.
Welcome to our Family!