Frequently Asked Questions: Admissions
Q: Why must my pet be hospitalized?
While many minor problems can be diagnosed and treated on an out-patient basis, serious problems usually require hospitalization for laboratory tests, x-rays, close observation and treatment.
Q: Can't all of these test be done at one time on an outpatient basis?
Not always. Some laboratory tests and x-ray studies are performed only after less complicated tests are completed. Your pet is hospitalized for additional tests after your OSU veterinarian, in consultation with you, decides it is necessary. In addition, the animal can be evaluated frequently throughout the day and, if necessary, be placed in an intensive care unit for constant round-the-clock monitoring. Staff veterinarians may be asked to consult on the diagnosis and treatment of your pet, and these specialists may not be available at the time of your clinic visit.
Q: How long must my pet be in the hospital?
Length of stay will be discussed with you during your appointment and is dictated by the testing needed and procedures required to diagnose and treat your pet.
Q: Who will be caring for my pet in the hospital?
Your pet is examined daily by your OSU veterinarian. This veterinarian has the responsibility to perform or supervise all tests and treatments. Fourth year veterinary students and registered veterinary technicians will also be caring for your pet, because our hospital is a teaching hospital. Although you may be talking with students during your visit or on the telephone, each student is strictly supervised by the attending veterinarian.
Q: How can I find out about my hospitalized pet?
Your OSU veterinarian will give you a time to call each day to discuss your pet's progress. Each veterinarian has many responsibilities, and unanticipated emergencies or procedures often disrupt schedules. If the veterinarian or student cannot answer the phone when you call, please leave the telephone numbers where you can be reached before and after 5 p.m. We will always try to reach you if there is an important change in your pet's condition. Unless prior arrangements are made, please do not plan to come to the hospital to visit your pet or see your veterinarian. If your pet is admitted to the hospital for surgery, you will be contacted by a senior student on the day of surgery. We will call after surgery is completed and post-operative needs of your pet are attended. This means that we will call late afternoon or early evening (5 p.m.-9 p.m). Please call your veterinarian at the designated time on the day after surgery for an update on your pet's progress.
Q: How much will my pet's hospitalization cost?
Your OSU veterinarian will give you an estimate of the charges for diagnosing and treating your pet's condition. If you are coming in on an emergency basis, an additional emergency fee will be charged. Occasionally problems occur, a different treatment is needed or other conditions are discovered that increase the bill beyond the estimate. If your pet is hospitalized you will need to pay 50% of the high end of the provided estimate prior to admission. The remainder of the charges are due when your pet is released.
Please feel free to ask your OSU veterinarian about charges each time you call for a progress report so that you can make responsible decisions about continuing care. You may also call our Accounting Office directly at (614) 292-360. Usual charges that accumulate include daily hospitalization fees, laboratory tests, x-rays, medications, daily examination charges and special consultations or procedures.
Q: Will my referring veterinarian get a report?
When you fill out our registration form at the time of your appointment, be sure to list your pet's primary care (referring) veterinarian so that he or she will receive a referral report and/or phone call.
Q: What information should I expect to receive when my pet is released from the hospital?
The diagnosis, the prognosis, the possible complications, the treatment, follow-up date, and expected cost of home treatment will be explained to you. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to obtain a final diagnosis. Your pet may be sent home with treatment for the symptoms but not the underlying unknown problem.
Q: How important are re-evaluation visits?
Very important! The attending veterinarian may need to know your pet's progress to make appropriate changes in prognosis and treatment. You are responsible for making your appointments for these follow-up visits, not your OSU veterinarian.
Q: If I move, may I have my pet's records?
Copies of your pet's medical record are available for a fee through our Medical Records Department. Please contact them directly with questions at (614) 292-7958.