Your companions are important to us, and we treat them like they are our own. As such, we know you have lots of questions regarding their care while at the hospital. Prior to your appointment, please review the following list of Frequently Asked Questions we get from clients. As ever, if you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to ask us.
The University of Missouri Small Animal Surgical Service is part of the University of Missouri’s Veterinary Health Center, one of only 28 in the United States. A teaching hospital serves to train professional veterinary students, interns and residents in clinical practice by immersing them into the hospital environment. As such, you will interact with veterinary clinical students, interns and residents much as you would at a human teaching hospital. However, students do not perform advanced surgical procedures, and all of their patient care activities are overseen by the attending faculty. Residents (surgeons-in-training) do perform surgeries as that is part of their surgical training, but only under the supervision and guidance of the attending faculty. We pride ourselves at the University of Missouri in having an extremely closely monitored residency program and an excellent group of surgeons in training. Every patient is the responsibility and under the care of the attending surgeon on duty at that time.
The cost of a new appointment with the Small Animal Surgical Service and having your pet examined followed by a consultation with a surgeon is $120. Should your pet need to undergo surgery, this fee would be applied to the overall estimate.
We work constantly to shorten the wait for our clients and apologize for the delay to get an appointment. If you ever perceive that your pet is experiencing a surgical emergency, please call us and we can see you immediately. Further, if we don’t believe your pet’s condition is a surgical emergency, but we wish to have them treated before the wait list allows, we have other methods of shortening your wait by placing you on a cancellation list. Just let us know if you would like to be added to the cancellation list at the time you make your appointment. As ever, we appreciate your patience.
You should bring any medications your pet is taking in their original bottles. Make sure to have documentation of your pet’s vaccination schedule as well. If your veterinarian has completed any recent diagnostics like blood work or X-rays, please bring those in with you. Often, we can use these diagnostics if they were done recently enough, allowing us to avoid having to repeat them, which saves you money. If your pet eats a prescription diet, please bring in enough to feed them if you anticipate that they will be hospitalized. Lastly, bring a list of questions you might have so we can be sure to address your concerns. Please do not bring toys, blankets or bones. We avoid putting anything in their cages with them that might be a choking hazard. All bedding is changed frequently, so it is likely that your personal blankets will be incorporated with our laundry and lost to you if you leave it. Thank you for understanding.
This is usually not necessary as typically we will do nothing more than mildly sedate your pet the day of the appointment to be able to safely and accurately perform certain diagnostics. If we believe this to not be the case for your pet specifically, we will contact you ahead of time.
There are several options for those individuals who have pets with correctable conditions and who possess financial constraints. Please call us ahead of time to alert us of this possibility so that we might explore those options and try to find an assistance plan for you.
This depends on the nature of your pet’s condition. The typical scenario involves those cases that are seen during regular appointment times (when we receive new patients) on Tuesday and Thursday, which will then go to surgery on Wednesday, Friday or Monday if needed. However, occasionally surgery will need to be delayed to allow for surgical planning or additional diagnostics if the condition is somewhat more involved. In addition, if the procedure is relatively simple and can be handled as an outpatient procedure, we may set up a time when you can drop your pet off with us in the morning to allow us to do the procedure and send them home later that same day.
Unless it is a simple ovariohysterectomy (spay) or castration, which the students may do under the supervision of an intern or resident, all major surgeries are completed by the attending board-certified surgery faculty or residents. If you have any questions about this, please don’t hesitate to ask during your appointment.
This depends on the condition your pet is presenting for and the type of surgery it may need. We are doing more outpatient procedures these days, as many of our techniques are now minimally invasive; however, we frequently need to hospitalize companion animals following major procedures to observe them and keep them comfortable. Hospital times for most major orthopedic and soft-tissue procedures range between two and four days. Your surgeon will review this with you during your appointment, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask them.
Absolutely. We cannot allow visitations the day of surgery, because we will want them to rest quietly after their procedure and seeing you may get them overly excited. But we typically can allow visitations starting the day after surgery and will provide a quiet room for you to spend some time together if their hospitalization will be protracted.