What's the difference between a regular veterinarian and a veterinary specialist?
A regular veterinarian and a veterinary specialist both have earned their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, requiring typically eight years of college and professional training.
Your regular veterinarian, also called a "primary care" or "family" vet, is in general practice and has the primary responsibility to manage you pet's health, including preventive care.
A veterinary specialist has typically completed four additional years of specialty training (for a total of 12 years college and professional training.) The specialty training in an internship and residency program in a particular practice area, such as Surgery, Internal Medicine, Dermatology, Neurology, Ophthalmology, etc. To become board-certified, these candidates must also pass rigorous training and testing requirements. Graduates are called Diplomates.
Why would my pet need to see a specialist?
Your primary care veterinarian will refer you and your pet to our hospital if your pet requires specific testing, treatments or procedures that he/she is not experienced in, does not offer or that can improve the quality of life for your pet. CTVSH offers a range of in-depth surgical procedures, testing equipment and diagnostic capabilities. In addition to the highly experienced medical staff, CTVSH also has state-of-the-art, highly specialized equipment including ultrasonography, endoscopy, CT scan imaging, MRI, arthroscopy and video otoscopy.
Do I need a referral from my veterinarian?
Yes, a referral by your veterinarian shows true concern for your pet. CTVSH works in cooperation with your referring veterinarian to form a comprehensive health care team. Diagnostics and treatment will focus only upon those problems which prompted the referral. All other primary health care will continue to be provided by your regular veterinarian. A complete report will be given to your veterinarian regarding the details of your visit to CTVSH.
How do I make an appointment?
The appointment for an initial evaluation may be scheduled by you or your regular veterinarian, but it must be by a referral. Prior to the first visit, it is very important that you obtain copies of all the pertinent records including laboratory results, treatments, x-rays, and information regarding pre-existing conditions. If your veterinarian's office is going to fax the information, please call them the morning of the appointment to make sure it has been sent. By providing this information, our doctors can confirm the diagnosis and propose the most effective treatment while trying to minimize the amount of diagnostic duplication.
What are the fees for an initial consultation?
During the initial appointment, you will be given a comprehensive estimate of anticipated charges. The estimate does not include follow-up charges. Estimates can vary by 20%, but we work very hard to provide you with an accurate projection of charges. In the event of unanticipated changes in cost over the 20% range, you will be informed immediately. In order to maintain the best equipment and services, a deposit is required at the time of admission to our facility. The balance will be due at the time the patient is discharged.
What if I can't afford the treatment?
If there is a financial concern, please notify us in advance as we do not wish to create any hardship for you. Affordable financing is available for qualified individuals through Care Credit. Our receptionist can discuss the issue with you prior to or at the time of the initial appointment.
Can CTVSH be my regular veterinary clinic?
No, our practice only provides specialty and emergency services. To most effectively manage your pet's health, CTVSH works directly with your regular veterinarian on a referral basis. Referrals make it easier for your family veterinarian to coordinate the most comprehensive level of care for your pet.