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Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQ

How do I get an appointment with the specialist?

For our non-emergency specialty services, you will need a referral from your primary care veterinarian. After speaking with your veterinarian, he or she will send a referral form to our hospital. One of our client services representatives will call you to schedule an appointment once we receive your vet's referral.

Why do I need a referral?

A referral is necessary because your veterinarian knows your pet’s history and current medical condition. Clarksville Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Hospital acts as an extension of your veterinarian’s office. We work with your veterinarian to provide specialty care. Clarksville Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Hospital does not offer vaccines, routine dental, or other services your primary care veterinarian offers.

What if I don't have a regular veterinarian?

If you have not established a relationship with a primary care veterinarian and your pet has a medical emergency, bring your pet directly to our hospital for treatment. If the emergency doctor who sees your pet feels they need to be seen by specialists, we will discuss options with you. Of course, it is best to make an appointment with a primary care vet for annual check-ups and keep your pet in good health. Your primary care veterinarian will be able to treat most of your pet's medical needs. If they feel your pet needs to see a specialist, they will refer you to our office.

How do I prepare for my first consultation visit?

We ask that you do not feed your pet after 8:00 the evening before your appointment unless directed otherwise. Water can be offered until the morning of your appointment. You will need to arrive 20 minutes before your scheduled appointment to be checked in and fill out a new client questionnaire.

What do I bring to the appointment?

Please bring any laboratory test results, x-rays, CT or MRI reports, all current medications in their original containers with the prescription labels, and your pet. Also, if your pet eats a specific type of food and is staying overnight, please bring an appropriate amount of its food.

Why do I have to fast my pet just for the consultation visit?

We ask that you not feed your pet in case they need to be sedated or have general anesthesia performed on the day of its appointment. Fasting is also required for certain blood tests, and radiographs often require sedation. Overnight fasting can reduce the risk of complications associated with sedation. Two exceptions to this recommendation are if your pet is very young (i.e., less than six months of age) or has a medical condition that necessitates frequent feeding (i.e., diabetes, insulin-secreting tumor). In those cases, feed your pet as you normally would unless specifically directed by one of our doctors.

Do you have any payment plans?

We offer Scratch Pay and Care Credit, which are third-party payment systems that provide several extended payment options. One of our client service representatives can answer your questions about these programs.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, Scratch Pay, Care Credit, and cash. We do not accept personal checks.

What are the costs associated with treatment?

Our doctors will give you an estimate of total costs at the time of your consultation, and this will include a high and low quote. You may contact our office to get a general estimate of costs on a case-by-case basis. However, please realize that the costs of care may change significantly once your pet is evaluated by one of our doctors.

Can I call your clinic to check on my pet?

Yes, you are always welcome to call and check on your pet. We will make every attempt to keep you up to date with your pet’s condition. If your pet is having surgery, we will give you an estimated “table time,” We will call you as soon as your pet is recovered from anesthesia. We ask that you do not call the overnight staff for an update on your pet. If your pet is in the hospital for multiple days, you will be updated at least once per day and, most likely twice, on their condition.

Surgery FAQ

If my pet needs surgery, what should I do the evening before the procedure?

Your pet will need to be fasted the night before any type of surgery. We ask that you take up your pet’s food by midnight the night before surgery. Your pet may have water until the morning of surgery. Remember, do not give your pet food or treats the morning of surgery. If your pet is on daily medication to address a chronic condition, ask us whether that morning’s dose should be skipped or not.

What should I bring when I am dropping off my pet for surgery?

You will need to bring your pet and be prepared to leave a deposit for one-half of the total cost of the surgical procedure. If your pet takes any medications, please bring those in the original containers with the prescription labels as well. If your pet is on a special diet, please notify us before the day of surgery. We do not recommend that you bring any personal items (i.e. toys, blankets, t-shirts, etc.) for your pet’s hospital stay. If you do bring a personal item, please write your name on it to help us keep track of it. We, however, cannot guarantee that personal items left will make it home.

If I am dropping off my pet for surgery, when should I arrive?

Most surgical drop-offs need to be here between 7:00 and 8:30 the morning of surgery. This allows the surgery and anesthesia staff to evaluate all our surgery patients and perform any pre-operative testing before the surgery day begins. If you are concerned that you may not be able to have your pet here by 8:30, please consider dropping off your pet the night before. We have 24-hour care.

What time will my pet’s surgery begin?

The daily surgery schedule is determined each morning and includes the elective surgery patients that were dropped off by 8:30 a.m., as well as surgical transfers from the Emergency services. The surgery patients are placed on the schedule in an order that will best allow us to complete all of the surgeries on the schedule. We do NOT designate specific surgery times for any of our patients in order to allow us to accommodate any unexpected delays or challenges we might encounter.

Will someone call me when my pet’s surgery is over?

Yes, we will call you once your pet has woken up from anesthesia to update you on how the surgical procedure and anesthesia went. The surgeons typically update pet owners at the end of the surgical day.

When will I be told about at-home care?

When you come to pick up your pet, one of our daytime staff members will go over at-home care instructions with you. You are welcome to ask any questions at that time. We will also provide detailed discharge instructions for your pet.

Should I make special preparations for the ride home?

It is best if your pet can be restrained/confined for the ride home. Ideally your pet should be transported in a crate. If this is not possible you should arrange to have an additional person assist you during the transport home.

Will my pet need any follow up appointments?

In most instances, your pet will have staples or sutures removed 10 – 14 days after surgery. Your pet can generally be taken either to your primary care veterinarian or to our hospital for this visit. For some types of surgeries, we require that the suture removal be performed in our office. We will perform additional follow up exams if your pet experiences any post-operative complications. Most pets with bone and joint surgeries will need to have radiographs (x-rays) taken ten weeks following surgery. Certain surgical procedures will require many recheck examinations (i.e. complicated fractures, joint fusions, etc.). If extensive follow-ups are predictable for your pet, you will be advised of this before surgery is performed.

Are follow up appointments included in the surgical quote?

Two recheck exams are included in your surgical costs. You will be charged if you pet needs a bandage change, any diagnostic testing (i.e. blood work, x-rays, etc.), medications or sedation during these recheck visits. You also may be charged an exam fee if more than two rechecks are required.

Are there complications that can occur with any surgery?

Yes, any surgical procedure has the potential to result in complications and carries a certain amount of risk. Fortunately, the generic complications associated with all surgical procedures are very rare.

The first potential risk with any surgical procedure is related to general anesthesia. Fortunately, the risk of significant complications with general anesthesia is very small. Less than one percent of animals undergoing anesthesia will have a serious complication.

Another potential complication associated with any surgical procedure is incisional dehiscence (separation) or infection. Incisional problems are rare as well. Between three and five percent of surgical incisions in animals will become infected. Most incisional infections occur because of licking or chewing at the incision. It is therefore extremely important to prevent licking or chewing following surgery when your animal returns home. We will send an Elizabethan (aka. lampshade) collar home with your pet for this purpose.

*If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact our offices at (931) 551-2121. We want our clients to feel comfortable and informed during their hospital visit. We will be glad to answer any of your questions in order to have you fully understand all aspects of your pet’s care.