What to Expect When You Visit

What to expect at your first visit

Your visit

EMERGENCY: Unplanned emergencies with pets can be terrifying. You know your pet, and when things aren't quite right, it's worth a phone call to a veterinarian. Please call us before your visit.

SPECIALTY: Planned, specialty consultations are scheduled from 8 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday, with some weekend and evening hours. Talk with your primary veterinarian about a referral to our specialists.  You must call ahead for an appointment. 

Before your visit

  1. Call VSCD. Call us in advance if you have an emergency or to book a consultation (required for specialty).
  2. Inform your veterinarian. Inform your veterinarian of your visit to VSCD – s/he will fax your pet's history to VSCD.
  3. Confirm your appointment. For pre-scheduled appointments, we will call you the day before to confirm.

During your visit

  1. Arrive 10 minutes early, if possible.
  2. Have your pet on a secure leash or in a carrier. Our waiting room is spacious but busy.
  3. The nurse. While completing paperwork, a nurse will triage (assess) your pet. If your pet is not stable, we will take your pet to our treatment area for immediate examination by our doctors.
  4. The doctor. An emergency doctor or specialist will meet with you to discuss your pet's condition.

Discharge from your visit

  1. Treatment plan. We will discuss a treatment plan that is comfortable for you. Payment for your visit is due at the time of service. If further treatment is needed, our medical team will also discuss with you an estimate for follow-up care.
  2. Medications. Medications will be dispensed to you, or a prescription may be provided for a local pharmacy.
What to expect at your first visit

If your pet is hospitalized with us

  1. Bedding. A choice of 50 comfortable cages with carefully cleaned bedding offers your pet optimal comfort.
  2. Shaving. Most times fur will be shaved around a procedure or wound site to ensure the area is free from debris.
  3. Staffing. Doctors and nurses are always on site—around the clock.
  4. Visits.
    1. When your pet requires a 1–2 day stay after anesthesia or surgery, please allow them to heal with us without visiting.
    2. When your pet is hospitalized for more than 1–2 days, we will work with you regarding mutually convenient visitation times.
    3. When your pet is hospitalized in the ISOLATION WARD, no visitation is possible to ensure safety.
  5. Updates. We will apprise you and your veterinarian of your pet's care and progress every step of the way. Please designate one point of contact per family.
  6. Specialty care, if warranted. An emergency patient sometimes may benefit from advanced care with a VSCD specialist.

Picking up your pet after hospitalization

  1. Arrival. An appropriate pick-up time will be agreed upon. (Your pet will go home with you after an ultrasound test.)
  2. Discharge. A nurse will first discuss your pet's hospitalization with you as well as home care and future follow-up care. You will receive all medications and an itemized final invoice. The balance of your bill should be paid.
  3. Greeting. We try to keep greetings as quiet as possible to continue the good healing of your pet.
  4. Follow up. Home-care following surgery or hospitalization can be scary—for both you and your pet. Please call us anytime for continued counsel!

About Your Pet's Procedure - surgery, ultrasound, CT scan, dental care

Most surgeries and procedures require preparation for your pet. Drop-offs the morning of the procedure are 7:00 – 8:30 a.m., with discharge the following day. No overnight stay with ultrasound.

Before Your Pet's Surgery/Procedure

  1. Food and water fasting. Usually no food after 8 p.m. and no water after midnight the night before. Body systems must be calm for several hours before a procedure requiring anesthesia or sedation, or during an ultrasound.
  2. Drop-off. Bring enough current medications for a 2-day stay.
  3. Estimate. You will be provided with a low estimate (best case scenario) and a high estimate (for possible additional items) for care. You will be asked to pay 75% of the low estimate.

The Veterinary Specialty Center of Delaware wants your visit with us to be as relaxed and efficient as possible. Please contact our staff if you have any concerns.