WHAT TO EXPECT IN OUR EMERGENCY ROOM
One of our first steps is to have our skilled nurses quickly assess your pet’s condition on initial presentation, also known as triage. If we have an immediate concern regarding your pet’s condition we will ask for permission to start initial treatment while the doctor also performs their complete physical exam. This initial treatment may include an intravenous catheter to start fluids and an emergency blood panel. Of course, we always prefer to leave your pet with you until our doctors are ready to assist you in your concerns. Once the doctor speaks with you about their initial assessment, you will both have a better idea of how to proceed with the best care of your pet.
We often ask to initially draw blood from your pet to gain a better understanding of what might be going on with them or to monitor any changes from prior test results. From a complete blood count, full chemistry screen, or emergency panel, our on-site laboratory provides us with accurate results in mere minutes. Other blood tests for which we are equipped to run include blood gas analysis and coagulation times along with diagnostic tests for infectious diseases such as heartworm and Lyme disease. We can also perform an in-house urinalysis if necessary.
Diagnostic Imaging (X-Rays and Ultrasound)
Should radiographs be required, our digital radiography equipment shows us the image immediately, reducing the wait-time for doctor interpretation—and reducing the time you wait for results. Our emergency doctors have the ability to use our portable ultrasound machine, but if a more thorough scan is required, our diagnostic imaging team is ready and willing to help.
For pets who have respiratory difficulties, we have two dedicated oxygen cages, and we have the ability to provide oxygen therapy to countless more pets by converting our standard cages as well.
We are fully able to provide advanced therapy of all types, from intravenous fluids to nutritional support to blood products. Prior to any blood transfusion, we will efficiently and accurately test your animal’s blood type and, as necessary, crossmatch available blood supplies. Further, our blood donor program allows us to call in a donor pet on a moment’s notice should your pet’s specific blood type not be immediately available in the hospital.
We have an isolation ward, specifically reserved for those patients who may be contagious to others. Segregated away from the general hospital population, but still right in the middle of it all, our isolation ward has all the amenities of our larger treatment area on a smaller scale, including a dedicated outdoor area. Cross-contamination precaution procedures are well-documented and strictly followed by all members of the medical team, allowing us to provide all our patients with the skilled, competent, and compassionate care you expect—and the patients deserve.
Our skilled nursing team, made up of experienced and/or certified veterinary technicians, continually monitor your pet throughout the day and night. This monitoring includes recording each pet’s vital signs (including temperature, heart rate, pulse quality, respiration, mucous membrane color, capillary refill time, blood pressure, and lung sounds), oxygen saturation, appetite, elimination, attitude, and the like. Should nurses have any concerns or notice any changes after such monitoring, they alert a doctor to the trend and then take appropriate steps as directed.
Our nurses participate in thorough “rounds” at the beginning and end of each shift, ensuring all nurses are familiar with all currently hospitalized patients. Rounds typically include when and why the patient presented, abnormal blood test results, any other abnormal test results, diagnostic procedures done or scheduled to be done, whether the patient is allowed to eat and, if so, what the patient likes, whether the patient walks outside, including elimination preferences, planned visits by family members, future treatment plan, and when the patient is expected to be discharged.
The entire staff at Hope get an A++
( I am a teacher )! Hats off to everything you all do at HOPE!
Donna and Chris Welch