FAQ’S

What is the best time of day to arrive at VESC for emergency care?
The emergency room at VESC operates like a human emergency room. As such, there may be a wait to be seen by one of our emergency veterinarians. Pets are seen in the order that they arrive to the emergency room. However, please understand that if a critical patient arrives after you, they may be seen first based on severity of illness. Our front door is locked after hours; please ring the doorbell between 10 p.m. and 7:30 a.m. It may take us a moment to answer the front door at night as we may be working with our inpatients or speaking with a client.

Do I need an appointment?
Not for an urgent or emergent condition. Walk-ins are welcomed but a phone call allows us to give you any first aid advice and prepare for your arrival. VESC emergency veterinarians see patients by medical priority and then by order of arrival 24 hours daily; however specialists are seen by referral appointments during more regular business hours.

What is a referral and how do I get one?
To see one of our specialists you need to be referred from your primary care veterinarian and have an appointment. If you would like to see one of our specialists, simply ask your primary care veterinarian for a referral. After your veterinarian calls, faxes or emails the referral, we will call you to make an appointment. Specialists can be consulted on pets presented to the emergency practice but is internally done so at the discretion of the emergency veterinarian.

What is a Specialist?
A Specialist is a veterinarian that has completed advanced training to include a 3 year residency and board exams in a specific area of clinical practice. Only veterinarians that are Board Certified are recognized as specialists in their fields.
Click here for more information.

Can I get help over the phone?
Feel free to call VESC anytime, day or night. We are happy to help you in any way that we can; however, medical advice can rarely be given over the phone. Often a recommendation is given to bring your pet to VESC immediately if it is an obvious emergency. If the symptoms are more subtle, you may consider bringing your pet to VESC to be evaluated. We would never want to misguide you, so until your pet is examined by a veterinarian, it is best to play it safe.

If your pet ingested a KNOWN amount of medication, we may be able to advise you of any appropriate action or refer you to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Centerwww.aspca.org, a non-profit poison center specific for pets. The phone number 1-888-426-4435 and a $65 consultation fee may apply to your credit card.

Can I bring my pet to VESC for routine care (heartworm testing, vaccines, dental prophylaxis)?
We provide specialty care to augment the care provided by your primary veterinarian. We recommend that you see your primary veterinarian for your routine pet health needs including heartworm testing, annual wellness blood work, dental prophylaxis and vaccines.

Can I bring my pet to VESC for spay or neuter surgery?
As with wellness care, we do not perform routine spay or neuter surgery. In some cases, however, we can perform spay or neuter if your pet is undergoing another surgical procedure at our facility.

Will my veterinarian receive copies of my medical record, blood work and x-rays?
A detailed record of your visit, testing performed, and medications dispensed is faxed to your primary veterinarian at the conclusion of your visit. Please ensure that we have the correct contact information for your primary veterinarian.

Can I visit while my pet is hospitalized?
We encourage you to visit your pet while hospitalized at VESC during scheduled visiting hours. As there are other pets and their owners visiting at the same time, please understand that your veterinarian may not be immediately available to meet with you. Your pet may require medications and treatments during your visit; please allow the veterinary technicians to treat your pet as needed.
• If your pet is too ill to be moved from the ICU, your visit will be limited to 15 minutes. If there are procedures being performed in the ICU, your visit may be delayed until the procedure is completed.
• If you pet is stable and able to be moved from the ICU, your visit may occur in one of our private examination rooms. Please do not hesitate to let us know if we can answer any questions during your visit.

At VESC we offer 24-hour care. Who will be with my pet overnight while hospitalized?
VESC is staffed by an emergency veterinarian, licensed veterinary technicians and assistants throughout the night.

How can I pay for services?
We accept cash, MasterCard®, Visa®, Discover®, debit cards, Amex®, and CareCredit® (a health credit card one can apply for at VESC). To keep costs down, there is no billing and checks are not accepted.

What do I do if I find an injured animal that does not belong to me?
Contact one of the following Animal Control agencies immediately.
• Richmond: 804-646-5573 or 804-646-5123
• Hanover: 804-365-6485
• Henrico: 804-652-3360 or 804-501-5000
• Hopewell: 804-541-2275
• Colonial Heights: 804-520-9300
• Chesterfield: 804-748-1683 or 804-748-1251

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