Communicating with your Veterinarian

How will I communicate with my veterinarian during my pet's stay?

You will have an opportunity to discuss the plan for communication with your veterinarian at your initial visit. Typically, we call clients every day to discuss their pet's status and assist them in making any care decisions that are necessary. In many cases, particularly for pets that are quite ill, we will call more than once daily. For pets that are stable and not extremely ill update calls are often made by our fourth-year students; however, you should feel free to ask for a call from your veterinarian at any time. If the condition of your pet seriously deteriorates, we will call you immediately regardless of the time of day.

Can I call Foster Hospital for Small Animals for updates?

You can, and in some cases, our veterinarians prefer to have you call us, particularly if you have a hectic schedule and are often unavailable by phone. However, if you call us for an unscheduled update and your veterinarian is busy, our phone service may need to take a message and ask him or her to return your call later in the day. While the phone service may be able to provide basic information regarding the status of your pet they cannot provide detailed information or help you with medical decisions.

Will you communicate with all the members of my family?

While we are happy to talk to more than one family member, particularly when the family is making difficult care decisions, our preference is for you to identify a single family member to be the <q>point person</q>. This allows our veterinarians to communicate with clients thoroughly but efficiently, allowing them more time to care for each of their patients.

I have several phone numbers—how will you know which one to use?

When your pet is admitted to the hospital, you will be asked to leave each of your numbers, which we will enter in your pet's electronic medical record. You can tell us which number is best to use at each time of day. Having a good knowledge of the best way to reach you makes good communication easier for us and we appreciate having that information.

Will you communicate with my primary care veterinarian?

Yes. Your veterinarian will receive a written summary of your pet's care within two days of your pet's discharge from the hospital. This summary will provide detail about results of tests, treatment provided and the future needs of your pet. If we feel that a conversation with your veterinarian will improve the continuity of your pet's care, your Foster Hospital for Small Animals veterinarian may also decide to call your veterinarian on or after the day of discharge.