What to Expect at HLA

While owners may not be able to prepare for emergencies or the need for an animal hospital, knowing what to expect from a visit can make a world of difference. The Hospital for Large Animal at Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts offers the following guidance:

Clients should park in the lot in front of the Hospital for Large Animals. There is plenty of trailer space available, and individual cars can park in the designated visitor parking areas.

Once parked, clients should access the lobby through the main entryway of the building and complete the registration process before unloading patients. This will allow hospital staff to help unload patients and get them into the building. Restrooms are also available inside, as well as water, coffee, and tea.

During a visit, one of the Hospital for Large Animals' specialized service team members will greet the client and record a brief history of their animal. The clinician, resident, technician or assistant and senior student (when applicable) will then begin the examination and diagnostics.

After the exam, a care plan will be made for further diagnostics or treatment. The clinician will make a plan along with an estimate for further treatment as well as discuss both the plan and the estimated costs associated with it. Team members will guide the client through their appointment and are more than happy to answer any questions regarding diagnoses and treatment as they arise.

Should it be necessary, all surgery is performed by the faculty surgeon, with assistance of a surgical house officer who is also a graduate veterinarian. Hospitalized patients are cared for under the direct supervision of the attending faculty veterinarian. Caregivers include a knowledgeable team of technicians, senior veterinary students, house officers, and attending faculty. If the patient is required to stay overnight for additional procedures, the service team goes over everything the client needs to know about the animal's stay, including feed, hospital care, the procedure itself, and when the client can expect to pick him or her up.

The hospital carries a variety of Nutrena grain products as well as oats, beet pulp, hay stretcher, and alfalfa pellets. If you would like to supply his or her own grain, supplements, or treats, this is no problem but we request that you package the grain/supplements into labeled, individual portions. In addition, we provide high quality grass/timothy mixed hay that the majority of our patients eat quite well. As storing sufficient quantities of owner-provided hay is difficult, we encourage you to consider our stock.

At the end of the appointment, the Hospital for Large Animals gives the client and their primary veterinarian written and/or electronic discharge instructions that detail both the examination itself, as well as future care plans. A copy of imaging studies performed during the visit are provided as well. Any follow up appointments can be booked either at the time of discharge or at a time more convenient to the client.

Payment in full is due at the time of discharge for day appointments. For horses that are hospitalized, the client will be provided an estimate in writing and is required to leave a deposit of 75 percent of the estimate. CareCredit financing is available and hospital staff can direct interested parties in obtaining it.

In general, treatment plans include estimated costs and are made based on the anticipated course of events and do not include costs associated with additional tests, unanticipated complications, unanticipated findings, and so on. Costs not included in the estimated treatment plan are still the client's responsibility. The Hospital for Large Animals welcomes questions daily about the status of a hospitalized patient.

As animal lovers, Hospital for Large Animals faculty clinicians, house officers, staff and students appreciate the opportunity to provide exemplary service to its clients and patients—and understand preparedness is the key to success.