We realize this may be a stressful time for you and your pet and we will do everything we can to put your concerns at ease. If you do not find the answers you seek here, please contact us.
Q. Will my pet be seen immediately?
A. In general, patients are seen in the order they arrive. More life-threating cases however, must take priority over others. If you feel your pet's condition is life-threating please notify us immediately and the doctor will perform an examination without delay. As the exam is conducted in the treatment area, you will not be present with your pet. The doctor will, however, still meet with you personally to discuss findings and arrange a treatment plan. If your pet is in a critical condition, you may be asked to sign a release allowing immediate treatment. Although we are often able to meet with clients immediately. the unpredictable nature and severity of emergency cases may at times create delays, just as in human emergency rooms. Unlike a regular veterinary hospital, we cannot "schedule" our appointments. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to make you more comfortable. We appreciate your patience.
Q. How is Emergency care different from regular Veterinary
A. Emergency care is available at times when regular veterinary hospitals are not open. As it is impossible for a daytime Veterinarian and his or her staff to provide service around the clock, centralized emergency centers allow for intensive after-hour care by an emergency Veterinarian. Veterinarians referring cases to an emergency center want their clients' pets to receive the best possible after-hours care. The Delmarva Animal Emergency Center, however, cannot replace the historical knowledge and valued relationship you have with your regular family Veterinarian. After initial treatment, all follow-up care will be done at your family Veterinarian.
Q. How much will emergency treatment cost?
A. A doctor must perform a thorough physical exam before he or she can determine what diagnostics and treatment, if any, are recommended. Following the exam, you will receive an estimate for the treatment plan that the doctor recommends for your pet. Upon approval, you will be required to leave a deposit in the form of cash, check or credit card for the half of the high end of the estimate. Please feel free to ask questions if you do not understand any aspect of the estimate or treatment plan. We want your pet to receive the best possible medical care.
Q. Is emergency care more expensive?
A. Just like a human emergency room or trauma center, a modern veterinary emergency center requires more extensive equipment than found in a typical daytime practice. As an emergency center requires immediate blood test results, our hospital has also invested in an extensive on-site laboratory. In addition, operating an emergency center requires a uniquely trained staff working long and difficult hours. As a result, the overhead in operating an emergency center is greater than a normal veterinary hospital. This is reflected in the fees which may be somewhat higher than your regular veterinarian, but comparable with all other emergency centers. Our hospital prides itself on providing an excellent value in convenient, high quality emergency care for your pet.
Q. Are there guaranteed results?
A. The problems and diseases that affect animals are at times difficult and complex especially since we cannot "talk" to our patients. We also do not have the luxury of insurance coverage found in human medicine, allowing very extensive and costly testing. Unlike a car mechanic or telephone-repair person, neither a human doctor nor a veterinarian can provide a guarantee that a specific test will diagnose a problem or that a recommended treatment plan will be successful. Our veterinarians will recommend tests and treatments that will have the best chance of helping your pet.
Q. Do you do billing?
A. Because emergency centers lack ongoing relationships with clients, and experience has shown that a significant number of clients an emergency centers failed to pay balances as promised, it is not financially possible for our hospital to allow billing. This is the current policy at our emergency center as well as being the prevalent policy throughout the United States. As there are no government subsidies or insurance programs covering veterinary care, hospitals would end up operating at a loss and closing without satisfactory financial arrangements. It would be unfair to demand service at any business without guaranteeing payment. Our staff is, however, very willing to work with you to provide care within your budget. We accept CareCredit, which is a medical credit card for emergencies, you can apply for a line of credit at carecredit.com.
Q. If i leave my pet, when do i pick him/ her up?
A. If the doctor recommends that the pet be hospitalized due to his or her medical condition, you will need to make plans to pick up your pet for his/her return home or transfer to your regular veterinarian. The doctor or staff will inform you as to the expected time of release. As the emergency doctor may be unexpectedly busy, we ask for you to call when you want periodic progress updates. We will, however, contact you at any hour if there are any concerns about your pet’s condition that the veterinarian needs to discuss with you. Please provide us with an accurate phone number, and keep the phone by your bed at night.