New Bolton Center Kennett Square, PA
Emergencies & Appointments:
Ryan Hospital Philadelphia, PA

What to Expect for Your Visit

  • Preparing for Your Exam – Medical Records
    • Preparing for Your Exam – Medical RecordsThe best way for us to understand what's happening with your pet is for us to have as much information as possible. Be sure that we receive records from your primary care veterinarian prior to your appointment. Generally, we request records from the past year, especially any bloodwork, imaging, or pathology results from any veterinarian that has taken care of your pet.
    • Contact Medical Records and the Referral Office

      If you are looking for your pet's medical records, contact Medical Records:

      If you or your veterinarian are looking to send your records to Penn Vet please contact Megan Nelson, our Referral Coordinator:

    • Remember to ask your veterinarian to send images (x-rays, ultrasound, CT, or MRI images). If these cannot be sent by email, please pick up a disk or the film radiographs to bring to your appointment.
    • Bring a copy of your pet’s vaccination history. Vaccine reminders are often printed on the most recent invoice from your primary care veterinarian.
  • About Medications and Food
    • About Medications and FoodMake a list of your pet’s medications and bring this with you to your appointment. Include the name of the medication, the size (mg) of the tablet, and the amount your pet takes per day. For liquids, note the concentration (mg/ml) and the volume (mls) your pet takes per day. 
    • Note the name of your pet’s food and how much he/she eats per day.
    • Bring a list of any supplements that you are feeding your pet.
    • Be prepared to tell us if your pet has any allergies to food or medications, or if they have had a past reaction to a certain medication or vaccine. We’ll also need to know if your pet has a history of any problems with sedation or anesthesia.
    • Please FAST your pet prior to their initial consult appointment, in case any additional imaging or sedation is needed. Fasting means no food after 10 pm the night before their visit. Water is fine to continue.
      • You do not need to fast your pet if you have an appointment with:
        • Behavior Medicine
        • Ophthalmology
        • Primary Care
    • Please check with us ahead of time regarding special instructions if your pet requires any medications with food in the morning, or if your pet is diabetic.
  • Driving and Parking

    Ryan Veterinary Hospital is located at 3900 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19104

    Parking is Free. 

    • When you arrive at the hospital, please check in with our parking attendant who will assist you.
  • A Team-Based Approach

    A Team Based ApproachAs a teaching hospital, Penn Vet takes great pride in training the next generation of veterinarians and veterinary specialists. Your care team includes veterinary nurses, students, house officers, senior clinicians, and support staff. All of our house officers – residents and interns – have earned their veterinary degrees and are practicing veterinarians. They are always supervised by attending specialists who are board-certified in their field of specialty.  

    Even if you are primarily communicating with a house officer, rest assured that your pet’s care team includes board-certified specialists, and that your pet's case has been reviewed in rounds with the larger team. 

    It is important to remember that specialization is optional in veterinary medicine. Not all veterinarians seek this additional training, which often encompasses three-five years beyond the four-year veterinary degree program. Specializing in all aspects of veterinary medicine is becoming increasingly competitive. 

    Meet our House Officers...

  • What Will Happen at Your Appointment
    Information Gathering and Physical Exam

    Information Gathering and Physical ExamYour veterinary student will begin your consultation by taking a detailed history. We always review records from your pet’s primary veterinarian prior to your appointment, but we will likely ask additional questions to better understand what happened leading up to the diagnosis, as well as information about your pet’s past medical history.   Following the history, your pet's veterinary student will perform a detailed physical examination.

    Once your pet's veterinary student has taken their history and physical exam, they will leave the room to discuss your pet's case with the veterinary team. This includes the house officers (residents and/or interns) and the senior attending veterinarian.  

    Discussing Your Pet's Case

    We ask our students to review their findings, and then develop a specific problem list, list of differential diagnoses, and diagnostic/treatment plan for your pet. This discussion may take 15-30 minutes, and often involves quizzing our students and reviewing your pet's disease process. The veterinary team will then return to the exam room with the student. We may repeat some of the same history questions or ask them in a different way, and we will also repeat the physical exam. 

    Please prepare your day for a lengthy visit. Thorough workups take time and complicated cases can be here for the duration of the day.

    Additional Diagnostic Testing

    Additional Diagnostic TestingIn some cases, we may also recommend additional diagnostic testing such as blood work, ultrasound, or advanced imaging in order to obtain more information about a particular disease process. Every effort is made to obtain diagnostic testing within 48 hours but scheduling and emergencies may make same day diagnostics difficult at times, so please be patient and trust that we doing everything we can to find answers as quickly as possible.

    Treatment Recommendations

    Once we have all of the information above, we can make specific treatment recommendations for your pet and provide information on potential treatment side effects, prognosis, and cost. We try to discuss all treatment alternatives so that you can make an informed decision on what will work best for your pet and your family. There is no pressure to make a decision on the day of your appointment. Many families take information home and consider all of the options before electing to start treatment. We are always happy to answer questions that you may think of after your appointment. 

  • Admissions or Discharges

    Following your appointment, your pet will either be:

    • Admitted to the hospital for continued care or
    • Discharged to go home  

    If your pet will be going home with you, further care and monitoring instructions will be provided at discharge or will be emailed to you at home.

  • Visiting Your Pet

    Continued Visitation Restrictions: Client visitation of hospitalized inpatients may be limited as Ryan Hospital must continue to prioritize staff attention for the medical care of hospitalized patients. You may discuss visitation with your patient care team, and they will facilitate a visit if feasible.

  • The Recheck Appointment

    All recheck appointments should be scheduled by calling the Appointment desk at 215-746-8387.

  • Fees and Policies

    There will be an exam fee associated with your visit. Treatments, diagnostic tests, and medication are additional and payment is due at discharge. 

    If your pet is admitted to the hospital for hospitalization, an estimate will be provided and 50% of the estimated cost is required at admission as a deposit. The remaining balance will be collected when you pick up your pet.

    We accept Care Credit but do not offer other payment plans.

  • About Emergencies – We're Always Open

    The Penn Vet Emergency Service is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year, including holidays. If you are concerned about your pet after hours, please call the Emergency Service at 215-746-8911, or bring your pet directly in for evaluation. Before you come, please check our diversion status on the Ryan Hospital website or call us at 215-746-8911.

    It is helpful to keep copies of your pet's most recent discharges from Penn Vet readily available in case you need to visit a different hospital on an emergency basis.

Penn Vet Client Rights & Responsibilities

At Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital, we believe in working with you, your veterinarian and our team collaboratively to provide the best care for your pet. Communication, respect, and trust are critical in achieving this goal together.

  • Client Rights

    As a client of Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital, you have a right to:

    • Considerate, respectful, and compassionate care from our veterinarians, staff members, and students.
    • Excellence in care from your veterinary team. At our academic teaching hospital, students, interns and residents who participate in caring for patients have close oversight from supervising clinicians.
    • Accurate, clear, and timely information regarding your pet’s health.
      • Understand your pet’s diagnosis, prognosis, treatment alternatives, and the risks and benefits of each alternative.
      • Understand the costs associated with evaluation and treatment options, including payment options.
    • Participation in decisions about your pet’s care so that you may accept or decline care.
    • Information on clinical trials to determine if your pet meets criteria for inclusion.
    • Clarification and understanding if communication is not clear.
    • Confidential treatment plans, discussions, and medical records for your pet. We also assure you that photos of your pet will never be posted on public/social networking sites without your definitive permission.
    • Prompt and courteous replies to any concerns that you raise regarding the quality of care or service that you receive.
  • Client Responsibilities

    As a client at Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital, you have a responsibility to:

    • Treat every member of our team with respect and courtesy when communicating your needs and concerns.
    • Disclose relevant, accurate, and complete information about your pet’s health and history, including behavior issues that may impact safety.
    • Ask for clarification when you do not understand medical terms or instructions about your pet’s treatment plan.
    • Read and understand consent forms prior to signing.
    • Accept financial obligations associated with the care for your pet and abide by our payment policies.
    • Adhere to the safety rules and regulations while onsite at the hospital.
    • Observe the guidelines of our visitation policies.
    • Minimize injuries and spread of disease by limiting your pet’s interactions with other animals. All dogs must be on leashes, and all cats must be in carriers.
    • Advise your pet’s caregivers if you have concerns or are dissatisfied in any way.
  • Cancellation Policy

    Our goal is to provide the best care to our patients in a timely and compassionate manner, and appointments are in high demand. If you must cancel, please do so with at least 24 hrs. notice to allow another patient to have access to the appointment. Failure to notify us in advance can result in cancellation fees and restrictions on future appointment bookings.

Please Note: The Matthew J Ryan Veterinary Hospital will not tolerate abusive behavior from clients, including failure to comply with strict COVID-19 safety measures. Abusive behavior can result in denial of service and law enforcement intervention.

What to Expect Fact Sheet

If you'd like a printed copy of the 'What to Expect' fact sheet, you may download it as a PDF.