Our pets are subject to many illnesses and injuries. Many of these conditions need prompt medical or surgical attention. Other conditions need ongoing care. We are available to address your pet's needs when they arise. The Animal Clinic at Thorndale can provide continuing daily care in our hospital, and we also collaborate with area specialty and emergency hospitals that offer 24 hour care. Our hospital is equipped and our staff is trained to best assist your pet when health problems develop or when an injury occurs. If you think your pet has an emergency, call our office at 610-873-4091. Give us as much information as you can about your pet's condition. Give us your name and telephone number, and pet's name if he/she is already a patient of ours. This way we can best prepare for your pet's arrival and immediate care.
How Do I Know If I Have An Emergency With My Pet?
Often the best way (but not the only way) to decide if your pet has an emergency is to "put yourself inside the furry suit". If you were doing what your pet is doing, would you go to the emergency hospital or call your doctor to schedule an appointment the next day? Difficulty breathing, inability to stand or walk, seizures, eye injuries, ingestion of toxins, ongoing vomiting or retching, especially with abdominal distention, and difficulty urinating all need immediate attention. All traumatic injuries including bites from other animals, vehicular trauma, and any penetrating wound need immediate attention. Even if the pet "looks okay" on the surface, hidden internal organ damage may prove deadly in these patients. Follow this link to a list of common pet emergencies.
Our rule is, if the pet owner thinks it is urgent, it is urgent. We want to help you best understand your pet's condition. We want to help you provide the best care possible for your pet. If you have any concerns or questions about your pet, call us. That is what we are here for!
What Happens After I Call the Animal Clinic at Thorndale?
Based on our original telephone conversation, we may tell you to come over immediately. If needed, we will give you special instructions on how to safely move your pet. If your pet is not in immediate danger, a conversation with us may help alleviate some of your anxiety. We may ask you to arrive at our hospital at a specific time, when we can better address your pet's illness or injury.
Certainly, some illnesses and injuries always take precedence. We interrupt our appointment and surgical schedules to see true emergencies. Our clients are all pet lovers. They understand that the next time it might be their critical pet who needs to call the doctor out of someone else's scheduled appointment. Giving us a telephone call ahead of time can often allow our staff to call scheduled clients to let them know we are running behind because of an emergency.
In some circumstances, we may actually send you directly to an area specialty emergency hospital. This can save you potentially life saving time, instead of first making a stop at our hospital. In these cases, we can also call the specialist's emergency practice to let them know you are on the way. We can also tell them what they need to prepare for in order to optimize your pet's care. Our goal is to give your pet the best treatment possible, whether in our hospital or at an area emergency hospital. Together we will decide what is in your pet's best interests.
What Happens in Urgent and Critical Care?
Urgent and critical care in our hospital begins with the patient history and an examination by the doctor. Diagnostic testing is often necessary. In-house tests, such as blood work, and x-rays give us immediate results. and your pet's treatments can begin immediately. We may recommend cytology, specific eye, orthopedic or neurological tests, urine and stool sample analysis. Having immediate test results allows for better point of care. Therefore, many patients can be diagnosed and go home, after out-patient care. Specialized blood tests are run by an outside laboratory. We receive most of these test results the next day; therefore, we can quickly address your pet's health issues.
Some patients will require ongoing care. We offer hospitalization, intravenous fluid therapy, intravenous drug therapy, oxygen therapy, and bandages and splints. Pain relief medications, activated charcoal for ingested toxins, antibiotics, cardiac medications, digestive medications, etc. are available right here in our hospital. Some patients may require surgery. Some of these surgeries may be performed at our hospital. Complicated surgical cases may be referred to an area specialty hospital.
Overnight Care of Critical Cases
Many of our patients go home the same day with appropriate medical or surgical treatment. Because our hospital is not staffed over the nighttime hours, we will discuss with you the best options for continued care of your pet through the night. If your pet is stable, this may include having you take your pet home overnight and returning in the morning for continued care.
We may also recommend having your pet hospitalized overnight in one of the area 24/7 emergency hospitals. If your pet is not stable enough to go home and requires extensive overnight care, we will recommend transfer to an area specialty practice. Often, if agreeable to you, we will recommend that your pet then remain at the specialty practice for continued care. This relieves your pet from the trauma of being moved back and forth between hospitals and provides better continuity and expertise in your pet's care. Positive patient outcomes are our primary goal.
What is the Cost of Urgent and Critical Care?
We recognize urgent and critical care can quickly become very expensive. It is our goal to provide the absolute best care possible for your pet within whatever constraints you put in place. We will always keep open the lines of communication, discussing your pet's progress and offering options for their continued care.
Pet health insurance may help cover the cost of pet care. Be certain you understand the limitations of your policy. Many insurance policies do not cover "breed specific" conditions, pre-existing conditions, or have exclusions and limitations. Some owners set up an emergency fund savings account for their pets. If you have any concerns about the cost of your pet's care, please discuss these concerns openly with us. We will provide the best cost effective care possible.
What Happens To My Pet in the Hospital?
Our hospitalized patients stay in warm comfortable cages padded with blankets or towels. We can readily monitor them throughout the day. Our doctors adjust patient specific treatments as needed through the day. Our board certified veterinary technicians provide excellent patient care. They actively advocate for your patient's comfort and well being. We are well aware of how stressful a pet's visit to the veterinarian can be. We all work to make all patient visits to our office, whether for wellness examinations or for illness or injury, as stress free as possible.
Often times, we may ask you to visit your pet in our hospital. We welcome you to leave familiar objects (toys or blankets) with your pet. These can help them feel more comfortable.
What Happens When My Pet Goes Home?
When ill or injured patients are well enough to return home with you, we will make certain you understand what care you will need to give to help in their recovery. At the time of discharge, we may also give you specific feeding or exercise recommendations. We will telephone you for progress reports. We urge you to call us immediately if you have any questions or concerns. Some of our patients will require long-term home care and monitoring. We will continue to assist you on their life journey. Our goal is to make the path as enjoyable as possible for both pets and their owners.