Private practice veterinarians in the Central Missouri area may have patients needing overnight care and monitoring but lack overnight staffing to provide this care. This program allows veterinarians to transfer cases from their hospital to the Veterinary Health Center Small Animal Emergency and Critical Care (SAECC) unit for care and monitoring, and have the cases returned the next morning for ongoing care.
Examples of cases that are appropriate for overnight transfer and return to primary care veterinarian the next day:
- Post-operative care and monitoring
- Canine pancreatitis or gastroenteritis
- Feline urinary obstruction with indwelling urethral catheter
- Patients suffering from acute or chronic kidney disease that require overnight fluid treatment
- Any pet whose owner is uncomfortable with their pet being alone in a hospital setting
Examples of cases that can be transferred to the SAECC for care, but are not eligible for the overnight transfer program:
- Patients that are not breathing voluntarily
- Severely hypotensive, hypothermic, critically ill pets
- Post-operative patients that are still anesthetized from surgery
- Pets with contagious diseases (e.g., parvoviral enteritis, upper respiratory infectious diseases)
- Pets that cannot be picked up for transfer back to the owner or primary veterinarian before 9 a.m.
- Intake to the hospital by SAECC faculty member or resident
- 24-hour care in the intensive care unit provided by registered veterinary technicians
- Continuous rate fluid therapy monitored hourly
- Administration of oral or injectable medications as scheduled
- Intermittent or continuous analgesic therapy with opioid or non-steroidal medications
- Pain scoring and assessment, with plan revision if pain is not adequately controlled
- Catheter and bandage monitoring and care, and hygiene maintenance
- Vital signs monitoring, and re-warming for postoperative patients
- Additional monitoring (blood pressure, pulse oximetry, blood gas, electrolyte monitoring) as indicated
Responsibilities of the Referring Veterinarian
- Call the Monday-Friday day or evening SAECC faculty member to plan for transfer.
- Complete VHC overnight transfer form with information about the pet’s condition, reason for transfer and current treatment plan.
- Give completed form to client to present upon arrival at VHC. Form entitles client to reduced VHC office visit charge.
- Referring veterinarian can provide non-controlled medications for administration, or we can prescribe medications here. Any controlled medications (e.g., opioid analgesic therapy) must be obtained from the VHC pharmacy due to legal requirements. Fluid rates include supplies.
- Accept pet for return care from the client the next morning unless permanent transfer is requested.
(NOTE: The pet can be retrieved the next morning by either the client or the veterinary staff.)
Responsibilities of the Client
- Present the pet to the VHC between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m.
- Sign paperwork, agree to estimate for care, and pay at least half of estimate as a deposit.
- Retrieve the pet from the VHC to return to the primary veterinarian between 7 and 8:30 a.m.
(NOTE: If the referring hospital agrees to pick up the pet the next morning for the client, the client must give permission in advance and make payment arrangements with the VHC.)
Responsibilities of the VHC SAECC Clinician
- Perform a complete physical examination at the time of arrival.
- Create a written treatment and monitoring order for the VHC nursing staff.
- Maintain medical decision-making for the pet while undergoing treatment at the VHC.
- Discuss care delivered with referring veterinarian.
- Provide to the referring veterinarian written or electronic copies of treatment and monitoring orders and care provided while at the VHC at the time of discharge, or via email by 9 a.m. the next morning.