Information Gathering and Physical Exam
Your 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
In 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.
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.