Emergency Service Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for entrusting your pet’s care to the team at VESCNM.  Emergencies with your pet can be very scary. We have written this FAQ section to try to help you understand what is happening with your pet during their emergency visit to VESCNM.


What is triage?

When you arrive at VESCNM your patient will be triaged. This means a technician will come to the front to assess your pet for stability. If there are any abnormalities in vital signs, or specific trigger words that brought you indicating a life threatening emergency, the technician will ask to bring your pet to the treatment area (“the back”) to start life-saving treatment. If your pet is deemed as stable you will be asked to complete your paperwork and you and your pet will be brought to a room for a complete evaluation as soon as someone is available. The purpose of triage is to try to identify those patients that can’t wait even a second for a doctor to evaluate them, and the hope is that patients that need emergency life-saving interventions will get them immediately. All emergencies are important to us, but having this system in place makes sure that those patients at highest risk are seen first.


What is happening with my pet in the treatment area?

The emergency doctor and clinical staff will be assessing your pet’s condition and intervening with life-saving treatments like pain medications or oxygen if they are needed.  We have the necessary equipment in our treatment rooms to begin therapy quickly if needed.


When will I know something?  Or, what is taking so long?

We know it’s scary to come to the emergency room, and even scarier when your pet is whisked away from you to an area where you don’t know what is happening. We will try to keep you informed of wait times and what is going on regularly.  There may be other patients being seen and the doctors will triage to care for the most sick or injured first.


How can I pay for services?

Please see our section on financial arrangements for more information.


Why would there be a “Transfer” or “Consult” when my pet stays in the same place?

The emergency doctors and different specialists provide care in distinct areas of veterinary medicine, all to give your pet the highest quality medical care.  While the medical care is ‘transferred’ between doctors, or a specialist “consults” on a case with their specialty, your pet stays in the same place and gets input from several different doctors.


My pet is staying in the hospital.  Can I come and visit?

Of course you are welcome to visit!  Please call ahead of time to let us know when you might be coming in so that we can plan, or coordinate with your doctor when might be a good time to meet with them. We ask that visits be kept to 15 minutes or less so that your pet can receive continuous care in the hospital.


Can I call for an update?

We welcome your phone calls to check on your pet, though please be patient with us after hours (between 5pm until 9am). During those times there may be less staff then during the day when several specialists are in the hospital, so it may be harder for staff to come to the phone with updates.  We do ask that all our doctors during the day call in the morning and again in the late afternoon before leaving. The doctor who examined your pet will let you know when to call for test results.


When can I bring my pet home?

When your pet is ready to go home or be transferred to their primary veterinarian, we will schedule an appointment time with you so we can review homecare instructions and medications.  Your pet’s complete medical record will then be faxed or emailed to your family veterinarian.



We hope this helps answer any questions you might have about your pet’s care at VESCNM. If you think of anything else you would like us to add to our FAQ, please let us know!