HOPE VS COMMON FAQs
For any emergency situation, Hope VS is uniquely qualified to provide your pets with immediate services and care. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and we’re ready to help.
We also provide specialty services including acupuncture, anesthesia and pain management, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, diagnostic imaging (radiology) including interventional radiology, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, and surgery.
Except in cases of emergency, your first call when you suspect your pet is ill should be to your primary veterinarian. Your veterinarian can recommend the best course of action based on your pet's problem and your personal circumstances. If your veterinarian decides a specialist is the best qualified doctor to treat your pet, our client service representatives are available to help you schedule an appointment with the appropriate doctor. You may also choose to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists when your pet's condition does not improve despite the best intentions of your primary veterinarian.
When you call to make an appointment with a Hope VS specialist, one of our client service representatives will guide you through the process and review what you need to bring to the appointment, including your pet’s medical history, blood work results, and x-rays from your primary veterinarian. You will also be advised on any restrictions in food or water for your pet prior to your visit.
Most simply, a veterinary specialist is a veterinarian who has chosen to continue his or her education and “specialize” in a specific aspect of animal care. Veterinary specialists usually do not provide basic care, such as vaccinations, spays/neuters, and annual examinations.
Currently, the American Veterinary Medical Association recognizes 21 veterinary specialty organizations comprising 40 distinct specialties. Veterinarians who have received diplomate status in one or more of these 21 recognized veterinary specialty organizations have completed rigorous postgraduate training, education, and examination requirements. The length of time to attain a specialty certification varies with each individual, but certification typically requires at least 2 additional years of training following graduation from veterinary school.
Hope VS specialties include acupuncture, anesthesia and pain management, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, diagnostic imaging (radiology) including interventional radiology, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, and surgery.
You know your pet better than anyone. If you believe your cat or dog is sick or hurt, or you are unsure whether your pet's condition is an emergency, call Hope VS to speak to a member of our knowledgeable staff. Emergency situations include the following:
- Animal fights
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty urinating
- Hit-by-car incidents
- Ingestion of poisons, objects, or non-prescribed medications
- Severe diarrhea
Meaningful medical advice requires physical examination of your pet and rarely can be given over the phone. If you have a concern about your pet's health, please schedule an appointment with one of our specialists or bring your pet to our emergency service for evaluation.
If you believe that your pet may have ingested a poisonous substance or plant, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1.888.426.4435 for specific instructions. If Poison Control Center staff instruct you to bring your pet to the hospital, they will assign your pet a case number that our doctors can use to obtain additional information about your pet's situation. Make sure you bring this case number with you to the hospital.
The emergency and critical care department is staffed with highly trained doctors and nurses 24 hours a day. Maintaining the staffing, equipment, and facilities necessary to provide emergency and critical care services 24 hours a day costs significantly more than running a routine veterinary practice. We understand that emergency care is almost always an unforeseen expense and do everything we can to work within your budget to provide the best care for your pet. You should feel free to discuss your financial concerns with the veterinarian responsible for the care of your pet or with an employee of our business office.
The emergency and critical care service is available 24 hours a day. No referral is necessary. If possible, please call the hospital at 610.296.2099 and let us know that you are bringing your pet for an emergency evaluation so that we can be best prepared for your arrival.
Although a referral is not strictly necessary for any of our specialty services, we recommend that you obtain one from your primary veterinarian. A referral allows our specialists to partner with your pet's primary doctor to more fully understand your pet's condition, which improves the ability of our specialists to provide the specific care your pet requires.
If you believe your pet requires the services of a specialist, please contact your primary veterinarian first. Most likely, your primary veterinarian will refer you to Hope VS. While it is not strictly necessary to obtain a referral prior to seeing one of our specialists, doing so helps improve our ability to provide the best care to your pet.
To schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, please call Hope VS at 610.296.2099 between 8 am and 10 pm, 7 days a week.
We partner with your primary veterinarian to provide comprehensive health care for your pet. After each visit to the emergency service or one of Hope VS’s specialty services, we send a full report to your primary veterinarian. Depending on your pet’s requirements, you may be asked to follow up with your primary veterinarian or with Hope VS.
We strongly believe in the importance of the relationship that exists between our patients and their primary veterinarians. Our goal is not to replace your primary veterinarian but rather to provide emergency and specialty services that he or she does not offer. We work closely with primary veterinarians to ensure that the care we provide is an extension rather than a substitution of care.
Jennifer Durn, MSW, LSW, is Hope VS's Support Services Coordinator. She is available in the hospital and by phone to answer your questions and listen to your concerns during difficult times. Jennifer can also answer questions about different treatment options and end-of-life care for terminal patients.