What is a veterinary specialist?
What is a veterinary specialist? In veterinary medicine, as in human medicine, some doctors choose to specialize in an area of interest. A veterinary specialist is a veterinarian who has undergone years of advanced education and training in a certain field or discipline and earned board certification.
To earn the designation of “board-certified specialist” veterinarians must attend undergraduate school, attend veterinary school, complete an internship (1-2 years), and complete a residency (2-4 years) in their chosen field. These residency programs require veterinarians to meet specific training and caseload requirements, perform research in their specialty field, and have that research published. They must also pass a set of rigorous examinations administered by the board of the specialty college. It is only after the completion of all prior steps does a veterinarian earn the title of “Veterinary Diplomate” and become a board-certified veterinary specialist.
Why am I being referred to a board-certified specialist for my pet’s care?
At SAGE, we speak of a “triad” of caregivers: you, your pet’s primary veterinarian, and our veterinary specialist. You and your primary veterinarian are the first line of care in your pet’s health and well-being. In some complex cases, your primary veterinarian may refer your pet to a specialist who has the advanced training, expertise, and equipment needed to continue to provide the best possible care for your pet. When a referral is indicated, your primary veterinarian will discuss this process with you and then provide us with all pertinent information regarding your pet’s history and current medical problem. Often they will call one of our specialists to discuss the case being referred. They may also fax or email medical records to us, send your pet’s imaging studies, or even ask you to bring x-rays or radiographs to your pet’s consultation. To maintain the triad of care, our specialists will keep you and your primary veterinarian informed of your pet’s progress after your initial consultation and any subsequent appointments. This continuity between specialist and primary veterinarian ensures the best possible outcome for your pet.
What should I expect from my consultation with a board-certified specialist?
Why does my pet need to be fasted before the appointment?
When do specialty medicine diagnostics or medical procedures take place?
What are my options for medical care?
The doctors meet as a group for patient rounds in the morning and evening to discuss cases and collaborate together to meet the needs of the patients in the hospital. If your pet was hospitalized through the emergency department, the emergency doctor will include an estimate for the first 12 hours of your pet’s care and may recommend transferring your pet’s care to one of the specialists. We will communicate options and our recommendations to you and your pet’s primary veterinarian.
Emergency doctors, specialists, and your primary veterinarian all have you and your pet’s best interest at heart and will work together to provide the best care possible.
If the recommended medical plan is not the right choice for you or your pet, please discuss this with your SAGE doctor and your primary care veterinarian, and we can work together to discuss the best course of action. You may choose to follow-up with your primary veterinarian for continued care.
Can you give me medical advice for my pet over the phone?
We cannot give specific medical advice for your pet without an exam by our doctors. If you are not sure if you should have your pet seen by a doctor, please contact us for us to discuss with you.
My pet just ate something potentially poisonous, what do I do?
If you are concerned that your pet may have ingested a possible toxin, we recommend calling the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 for specific information about the potential toxin. There is a nominal fee for their services, payable by credit card. If Poison Control instructs you to bring your pet to the hospital for treatment, they will provide you with a case number that will allow our veterinarians to contact them for further information about treatment. Please bring this case number with you to the hospital.
What if my pet has an emergency situation?
If your pet is experiencing an emergency during regular office hours, please call your primary veterinarian. If they feel that a referral to one of our emergency departments or specialists is warranted, they will call the closest facility directly and set up that transfer as an immediate referral. If you do not have a primary veterinarian, please call the closest SAGE facility to you. Regardless of the time or day, it’s always best to call ahead if you can so that we’re prepared for your arrival.
Your pet does not need an appointment or a referral to be seen at any SAGE Center emergency department. Your pet will be seen in order of treatment based on the degree of urgency to wounds or illnesses. This may mean we must attend to animals not in their order of arrival, but in their order of need. We are committed to helping your sick pet and any delay in seeing you may be related to the doctor’s belief that another animal must be seen first. We ask for your patience in this process if it occurs during your visit.
I just brought my pet in to Emergency. What is happening with my pet in the treatment area?
My pet was admitted in to Emergency. When will I know something? Or, what is taking so long?
Why is my pet being “Transferred”?
How long will my pet stay in the hospital?
May I come and visit my pet staying in the hospital?
When may I bring my pet home?
If your pet is receiving chemotherapy or an anesthetic procedure, you should expect your pet to stay for the majority of the day.
My pet is restless, unable to get comfortable, is whimpering and/or sleeping poorly…
You can often help this situation by letting your pet know you are nearby, placing familiar items (dog bed, favorite toy) in your pet’s new enclosure, and–if it was dispensed by the surgeon–the administration of a sedative. If these measures are unsuccessful, it is possible that your pet is experiencing a side effect of some of the pain medications they’re receiving or that their pain is not yet adequately controlled. If you believe this to be the case, please contact SAGE for further instructions.
My pet was using the operated leg well, but has suddenly stopped doing so…
If your pet stops using the operated leg well, and in the absence of evident pain or deformity of the limb, try strictly limiting their exercise for the next 24-48 hours. If the surgeon dispensed an oral analgesic such as Torbugesic in VAL syrup or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory tablet (Rimadyl, Etogesic), you may administer them as directed on the label. The surgical site may also be warm compressed by using a dampened towel that is warm–but not too hot–to the touch for 10-minute sessions, 2-3 times daily. If there isn’t a return to the previous level of limb use within a day or two, or if you believe that your pet may have done more significant damage to the surgical repair, then contact SAGE for further advice.
My pet’s eating and elimination habits are abnormal…
Is SAGE a corporation?
What does SAGE stand for?
What does your Logo stand for?
Is there parking at the practice?
Yes! Our hospital parking lot is right next to our facility. If you need assistance with bringing your pet in, please call upon your arrival, and we’ll have a staff member come out to meet you to assist.
Can SAGE be my regular veterinarian?
We do not offer routine preventive care such as wellness exams, vaccines, dental cleanings, and spays and neuters. Our doctors act as an extension of your primary veterinarian to ensure the best veterinary care for you and your family.
Do you offer euthanasia and cremation services?
Yes, in the unfortunate event that your pet does not survive his or her current illness or accident, we offer painless euthanasia services 24 hours per day. You may choose to be with your pet at the end if you wish. If your pet passes away at home, you may bring them to SAGE as we provide communal or private cremation options for your pet’s remains. Our staff will explain all of the options available to you at the hospital, so you can make the best choice for your family. SAGE provides a free Pet Loss Support Group to our clients as a safe place to help with grief.
Can I get a specific quote over the phone?
What are some costs of services?
For emergency visits: If coming through our emergency department, there is an emergency fee of $50 and an exam fee is $55.
Diagnostics, medical procedures and hospitalization costs are additional charges on top of the above fee(s). We will provide and discuss the initial estimate for the cost of your pet’s care. An initial payment of the low end of the estimate is due when your pet is admitted to our hospital. We strive to keep the costs within this estimate range.
If your pet’s condition changes, we will call you with an updated treatment plan and an updated estimate which will include any recommended tests and treatments. We will review the updated estimate in whatever format will allow you to ask any questions and gain understanding whether in person, email, or fax based on your needs. Upon your approval and consent to begin treatment, a pre-payment will be requested for any additional services.
How do I pay for services provided by SAGE?
Do you accept pet insurance?
What is an acupuncture meridian?
A meridian is a channel that circulates “qi,” (pronounced chee) or the body’s vital energy. From a Western perspective, these “qi” pathways are closely associated with blood vessels, the lymphatic system, muscles, and the nervous system. The superficial meridians, located just underneath the skin, are accessible to acupuncturists and connect with inner meridians that serve the internal organs. Acupuncture points are located at specific points along these meridians and are areas that when examined microscopically are found to contain high concentrations of nerve endings and small blood vessels. By treating points on the meridians, an acupuncturist can have a local effect (treating pain or increasing circulation for example), a distant effect (to areas located along the same meridian), or in some cases, affect internal organs.
How will my pet sit still for acupuncture needles?
Many people are surprised to see how well most pets tolerate acupuncture needles. Usually the first needle placed is a calming point (also called a “permission point”), which helps the pet relax. The needles are very small gauge, and most pets lie quietly with them in place. They can lay down if they wish to, and can also move around some if they want to – they don’t have to be absolutely still. For those few patients that don’t tolerate needle placement, other options are available like using a cold laser to stimulate the points without needles.
How is a cold laser used in an acupuncture session?
The cold laser is a tool frequently used in rehab (for both people and pets). It can be used to gently stimulate acupuncture points and meridians in patients who don’t tolerate needle placement well or who can’t sit still for a prolonged acupuncture session.