How long will I have to wait to be seen?

Just like a human emergency room, the emergency case load on any given day or night is unpredictable. Within minutes of your arriving at our ER, a nurse will triage your pet. After this initial evaluation, the order in which patients are seen is determined based on the seriousness of each individual pet’s problem. Patients with life-threatening problems are seen immediately while more stable pets are seen in order of arrival. However, please note that we make every effort to see all patients in a timely fashion, and we will certainly provide you time frames when at all possible.

What happens after my pet is triaged through the emergency service?

When you visit the emergency room at Hope VS you will first be greeted by one of our friendly receptionists who will then call a veterinary nurse to triage your pet in the waiting room. During the triage process the nurse will conduct a quick assessment of your pet’s condition by feeling the pulse, looking at mucous membrane color and evaluating breathing and mental status amongst other things. We typically do all of this while we are also getting a brief history from you. Following this initial assessment, if we have any concern regarding your pet we will ask for your permission to take your pet to our treatment room where an emergency doctor will begin their physical exam. Depending on the situation we may also ask you for permission to obtain baseline blood work, place a catheter to start fluids, and/or obtain an x-ray. We ask this of you on triage only if we feel it is warranted and to help us better assess the status of your pet so the doctor can provide you with a better picture of what might be going on. Alternatively, if your pet is deemed stable we prefer to leave them with you until the doctor is ready to speak with you. If at any time you are not comfortable with this process, please let us know and we will help to rectify it.

Can I go to the treatment room with my pet after triage?

Our treatment room is the true heart of our hospital. As you can imagine we have a lot going on at any given time. We ask that you do not accompany your pet to the treatment room on initial triage so we can better focus on the needs of your pet. Once you speak with the doctor you are more than welcome to visit the treatment room. Of course, we always strive to keep your pet with you during your visit to Hope VS because we know how scary or difficult it is to come to an emergency room. If we can put your mind at ease in any way during your visit, please let us know!

What kind of accommodations do you have for my pet?

Please be assured that we strive to make every pet as comfortable as possible. With a variety of cage sizes and locations throughout our treatment area, we are careful to take individual needs into account when choosing a temporary “home” for your loved one. All our cages are visible from all areas of the room, so your pet is never out of our sight. We have a large collection of sheets, comforters, fleece, and pet beds to warm up the cages, and we also yoga mats and large cushions when we think those items would be helpful. If you would be comfortable seeing where you pet will be staying while with us, just let us know; we’ll be happy to show you.

Is there someone I can speak with if I am upset during my pet’s emergency visit?

Jennifer Durn, MSW, LSW, Support Services Coordinator, is accessible during scheduled hours and by telephone should you wish to communicate your thoughts and feelings in an in-depth conversation. Jennifer is a trained professional in the realm of veterinary social work and is available to answer questions and offer support during what can be a distressing time. Support Services are available free of charge to all Hope clients.

How much will it cost?

For an emergency visit, there is a $155-$175 emergency exam fee depending on the time of day you arrive. All diagnostics, treatments, and medications are additional. If your pet requires hospitalization, you will receive an estimate of anticipated charges prior to admission. Hospital policy requires a deposit of 100% of the low end of that estimate.

Should your pet require care and treatment which exceeds the initial estimate, a revised updated estimate will be provided to you. Payment in full is due at the time of discharge. Please feel free to discuss any financial concerns with the veterinarian responsible for the care of your pet or with an employee of our business office.

What payment methods are accepted?

Hope VS accepts Mastercard, Visa, Discover, American Express and cash.

Unfortunately, Hope VS does not accept payment plans. However, we offer Care Credit, a healthcare credit plan. You can apply in person at Hope VS or online at Although Hope VS can help you process an application, the decision to approve or extend credit or not resides exclusively with Care Credit. If you are interested in learning more about these plans or in applying, please see a client specialist for more details and an application.

What updates will I receive regarding my hospitalized pet?

Once daily, you will receive an update from the primary doctor on your pet’s case. The timing of that update will be determined by the shift that the doctor is working. However, you will receive a call any time there is a change in your pet’s condition that requires further communication.

Additionally, you may call to talk to a nurse about your pet at any time, although only a veterinarian can discuss your pet’s treatment plan with you.

Can I leave a little something from home with my pet?

Many owners like to leave a blanket or favorite toy with a pet during his or her stay at Hope VS. However, please be advised that should the blanket or toy need to go through our laundry facilities at any time, we cannot guarantee that the item will be returned to your pet. If you would like to leave something, consider cutting a corner of a favorite blanket or leaving a familiar, but perhaps not their favorite, toy.

Can I visit my hospitalized pet?

You can visit your hospitalized pet at any time between noon and 10pm. Whether this visit will be in an exam room or cageside will be determined based on your pet’s condition at the time of each visit.

Please take your pet’s individual personality into account when deciding whether to visit him or her in the hospital. If your pet is especially anxious, even at home, he or she may get especially excited when you arrive—thereby making him or her difficult to calm after you leave. You are more than welcome to visit your pet during our visiting hours; just be sure doing so is in the best interest of your pet.

Extended visiting hours may be available for patients in the intensive care unit.

Dr. Shanley is not only an excellent dermatologist but a genuinely warm person who spends time with his patients and listens to the owners. He doesn’t rush through your visit which is wonderful. I plan on taking Betsey there for any further treatment even though the hospital is an hour each way. It is well worth the drive.


Joan Nachmani

Wynnewood, PA