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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What does board-certified mean?

A: A board-certified veterinary specialist has completed extensive training after college that includes four years of veterinary school, a one-year internship, and a two- to three-year residency in a specialty. The veterinarian then must publish original research and take a national certifying exam. After completing these requirements, the veterinarian is granted Diplomate status, signifying his or her expertise and credentials in a chosen specialty.

A primary care or family veterinarian has completed college and four years of veterinary school, and focuses on general preventive care and pet wellness. They refer to and partner with specialists when pets have complex injuries or illnesses.

Q: Can I bring my pet to NGVS for regular care?

A: As a specialty practice, NGVS doesn’t provide primary care such as vaccinations, neutering or preventive medicine/wellness checkups. Rather, we partner with your family veterinarian to provide comprehensive health care for your pet. If you don’t have a primary care veterinarian, here’s a list of local practitioners from which you can choose.

Q: If I think my pet needs to see a specialist, can I just call NGVS to schedule an appointment?

A: We are a specialty referral hospital, which means that the pets we treat must be referred by your family veterinarian for specialty care (no referral is ever necessary for emergency care, however, and we’re open 24/7).

Q: How does NGVS work with my primary care veterinarian?

A: We work in partnership with your primary care veterinarian. We’ll often discuss your pet’s situation with your family veterinarian in advance of any consultation or treatment we provide. We always send a written report to your family veterinarian after any consultation or treatment (you also get a copy of this report), and are available to answer any questions he or she might have. And your pet always returns to your family veterinarian for ongoing care.

Q: Why would my pet need a specialist?

A: Just as in human medicine, pets are referred to a specialist when they need advanced services not available at their primary care veterinarian’s office, or if a second opinion on treating complicated injuries or diseases is appropriate.

Q: How do I get a referral?

A: Simply ask your primary care veterinarian for a referral. After your veterinarian calls, faxes or emails the referral, we’ll call you to make an appointment.

Q: My pet is having surgery – what can I expect?

A: Since procedures vary, your pet’s surgeon will go over the details of your pet’s surgery in advance so you’ll know exactly what to expect and have the opportunity to ask questions. Your pet cannot have any food after 9pm the evening before. Water is ok. We’ll try to give you a realistic estimate of when your pet will have his/her procedure. However, emergencies or additional procedures on other pets may mean that your pet’s procedure will be delayed well into the day. We’ll call you with a status report as soon as your pet is out of the operating room and in recovery. You’re welcome to visit your pet at any time when he or she is hospitalized after surgery.

Q: What can I expect at my pet’s first rehabilitation appointment?

A: Your pet’s first rehabilitation appointment will be a comprehensive evaluation, and it takes about an hour. The therapist will take a detailed history of your pet’s problems and limitations, perform a physical exam, formulate an individualized rehabilitation plan, and discuss that plan of care with you. Some type of hands-on treatment may also be provided at this first appointment.

Q: How much do services cost at NGVS?

A: For an emergency visit, there is a $79 emergency consultation fee. Specialty appointments are $90 to $120, depending on the specialty (this is for the initial consultation; diagnostics, treatments and medications are additional and payment is due at the time of service). If your pet is admitted to the hospital, we’ll provide you with an itemized estimate of the anticipated charges and a deposit of the low end of that estimate is required for hospitalization. Payment of the balance is due at the time of discharge.

Q: What are my payment options?

A: We accept cash, checks, debit cards, all major credit cards and CareCredit (a healthcare credit card with payments to fit your budget).