Cornell University Hospital for Animals

 

For Clients


Frequently Asked Questions

Search FAQ:

Hospital

What is a veterinary teaching hospital?

The Cornell University Hospital for Animals is part of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell. We are here to provide comprehensive and compassionate care to animals, provide an excellent learning experience for our veterinary students and to advance the understanding of disease and its treatment.

Because we are a teaching hospital, you will find veterinary students and residents who participate in caring for your animal. Veterinary students have graduated from four-year colleges and are in the midst of an additional four years of medical education to become DVMs, or Doctors of Veterinary Medicine. Residents are experienced veterinarians who are taking two to four years of additional training in a specialty of veterinary care, much like residents in human medicine. The veterinarian in your specialty is always very much involved in your animal’s care and is in close communication with the students and residents seeing your animal.

Back to top

What are the advantages of bringing my pet to Cornell’s Hospital for Animals?

Because we are a teaching hospital, we are able to provide best quality care and cutting edge treatments. Our specialists are world-renowned in their areas. Because we're educating future veterinarians, we are skilled in the most advanced techniques and have the latest equipment available. Our hospital takes the team approach to caring for patients, which means our care is very thorough and expert veterinarians from a wide variety of disciplines will weigh in on your animal's case when necessary.

Back to top

Will you be conducting research on my animal?

We never include a patient in our research without the owner’s express, written consent. The types of research conducted here typically might involve obtaining a blood sample or biopsy material from a patient or use of a new treatment procedure. You will be informed of all care options and any risks involved, and you will make the final decision on whether or not to participate in the investigation or the new treatment.

Back to top

Appointments

How do I make an appointment? Is a referral required?

To make an appointment, call 607-253-3060. We work collaboratively with and accept referrals from local veterinarians, but a referral is not required to schedule an appointment. No matter who schedules your appointment, it is helpful to provide  medical records and any recent test results from your veterinarian's office to help us better understand your animal's medical condition.

Each service has its own appointment schedule. When you call, the receptionist will help you find the service that's best for you .

Back to top

How do I get there? Where do I park?

ParkingOur hospital is located on the campus of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.  From the corner of Tower and Campus roads, follow the sign that reads "Hospitals" and then the sign that reads "Companion Animal Hospital, Client Parking Only." The Companion Animal Hospital uses the center of the building's three entrances. 

You can find a map with personalized directions by clicking here. If you are using a GPS unit to find us you can type in the address 930 Campus Rd. Ithaca, NY 14853. NOTE: Some GPS devices may not provide accurate routing to 930 Campus Rd. Please note the hospital location on the map that is linked to above and confirm your route before traveling. If pulling a trailer, we recommend avoiding central campus by taking Route 366 (Dryden Road) to Caldwell Drive. Or use the coordinates 42.4466,-76.4647. Don't hesitate to call us at 607-253-3060 for detailed instructions.

When you arrive, you can park in the small client parking lot in front of the Companion Animal entrance. If the lot is full, additional parking is available in the lot across the street. Click here for a parking map. You will need to register your vehicle with the admissions office upon arrival.

Back to top

I am coming from quite a distance. Where can I stay overnight?

Click here for a list of local hotels we recommend including several options that allow pets.

For a complete listing of places to stay and other information about our area check out The Official Travel Companion for Ithaca and Tompkins County in the Finger Lakes Region.

Back to top

What should I bring to the appointment?

Please bring copies of your animal's medical records and any recent test results and vaccination records from your veterinarian's office to help us better understand your animal's medical condition. We require proof of the rabies vaccine. If your animal is currently taking any medications, please bring a list of those as well.

We require that all dogs be on a leash in our entrance and reception area. We require that cats and small exotic pets are placed in a carrier. This is for the safety of your pet and creates a calmer environment for all patients waiting to be seen.

Often, your pet will be at our hospital for the entire day, so please bring anything that will make your own visit more pleasant such as reading materials and snack foods. We do have a full service cafeteria on site that is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Back to top

Who will I see at my appointment? Will I see the same veterinarian on future visits?

We use a teamwork approach to treating our patients, which ensures that your animal receives outstanding, thorough care. A licensed veterinary technician (LVT) or a veterinary student will greet you. LVTs have completed a two-year animal health college curriculum and are licensed by the state of New York.  Our veterinary students have graduated from four-year colleges and are in the midst of an additional four years of medical education while in training to become DVMs, or Doctors of Veterinary Medicine.

The LVT or student will weigh your animal and obtain a brief history, then escort you to an examination room where the student may conduct the initial examination. After the initial examination, the student may excuse herself or himself to discuss the initial examination results with the attending veterinarian. The attending veterinarian is either a faculty member of our college or a veterinary resident or intern. Residents are experienced veterinarians who are taking two to four years of additional training in a specialty of veterinary care, much like residents in human medicine. Interns are veterinarians who are taking one additional year of training in small animal care. Residents and interns have undergone a competitive process to be chosen to work at Cornell’s Companion Animal Hospital. The faculty member who is ultimately responsible for your animal’s care is an expert in your animal’s problem and is closely involved in your case.

Be assured the veterinarian is always very much involved in your animal’s care and is in close communication with the students seeing your animal. We encourage our students to communicate directly with you, as this is part of their educational process. Keep in mind that you may ask to talk with the attending veterinarian or faculty veterinarian at any time of your visit, so please do not hesitate to ask.

Back to top

Hospitalization

What happens if my pet needs to be hospitalized?

Your pet may be admitted to the hospital immediately following your appointment for a diagnostic procedure or treatment. If your pet is admitted by our Emergency Service, your animal will be transferred to the applicable specialty service within 24 to 48 hours and will be seen by a different veterinarian.  Every case is thoroughly reviewed upon transfer to ensure excellent patient care and an outstanding educational experience for our students.

Patient-care staff is on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week in the Intensive Care Unit and the Intermediate Nursing Care Unit, where animals are monitored continuously and as specified by the doctor. 

Back to top

How often will I receive updates during my pet’s hospitalization?

If your animal is admitted, be sure to ask what time of day you will be called to receive an update on your animal's condition.

After any procedures or if there is a significant change in your animal's conditions, a veterinarian will contact you directly.

In addition, a veterinary student or technician will contact you twice a day - once in the morning and once in the evening - to give you an update on your pet's condition. Our hospital is a busy place and your animal's care is our first concern. If you haven't heard from us, it is likely because our doctors and staff are busy caring for patients and your animal's condition is either stable or unchanged.

To leave a message for the student or veterinarian involved in your animal's care, call (607) 253-3060. If you have e-mail, you may send a message that will be given to the student or veterinarian by e-mailing us at: vet-hosp@cornell.edu

Back to top

Can I schedule a time to visit my animal?

You can set up a time to visit your animal with the veterinary student on your service. We do allow children visitors, but they require close supervision by an adult.

If your pet is admitted to the Intensive Care Unit or to the Intermediate Nursing Care Unit, the visiting hours are strict for the same reasons they are in human hospital intensive care and intermediate care units. Our doctors and staff always prioritize the health and safety of the patients in the unit. If an animal requires treatment, you may be asked to leave.

Back to top

Can I leave personal belongings with my animal?

We ask that you not leave any personal belongings with your hospitalized animal. Due to the number of patients we see, we can't guarantee that personal belongings are returned. Our hospital is fully equipped with everything your animal needs to ensure a comfortable stay including sheets, towels, blankets and toys.

We also have a full kitchen and Nutrition Service. We stock a wide range of commercial and prescription pet foods and can provide customized diets for animals with special needs.

Back to top

Financial Information - Companion Animal

Can you describe your fee structure?

When you schedule an appointment at the hospital, there will be an initial administrative and appointment fee. After your pet is examined, you will be given an estimate of the cost of the recommended treatment plan and asked to sign your permission to continue with treatment along with your guarantee to pay for the cost of care. In serious emergencies, stabilization of your animal will begin as soon as it is taken back to the Intensive Care Unit, with your verbal permission.

The cost of excellent veterinary care can be expensive, because we use much of the same equipment, drugs, and materials used in a human hospital.  Please keep in mind that the veterinarians involved in your animal’s care are on salary and have no financial stake in income generated from the care of your animal. In fact, our financial goal in the Companion Animal Hospital is to simply cover our annual costs.

Care of this level, quality and sophistication can be costly.  Occasionally, animal owners decide not to proceed with treatment.  We will help you weigh your options, but ultimately the decision is yours. 

Back to top

What is your payment policy?

Outpatient visits require full payment at the time the service is rendered.

For hospital patients, a deposit of at least 50 percent of the highest estimate is expected at the time your pet is admitted, and payment of the remainder of the bill is required at discharge.

Back to top

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept cash, personal checks, travelers’ checks, money orders, MasterCard, Visa, Discover and Care Credit (see below).

We do not accept American Express.

Back to top

Do you offer payment plans?

Unfortunately, we are not able to offer payment plans.

Instead, we accept Care Credit, a healthcare credit card through GE Capital that provides a credit line for treatments and procedures. This program offers a no interest repayment option over six months for any amount.  If you required a longer time period to pay your bill, Care Credit offers other financing options as well.

For more information or apply for Care Credit, inquire at the reception desk or go to the Care Credit web site.

Back to top

Do you accept insurance?

We do not participate directly with any insurance companies.

We are happy provide the necessary documentation - including assistance in filling out your claim form and providing an itemized list of charges and a discharge statement - so you can file your own insurance claim.

Back to top

Do you offer financial assistance?

We do have limited patient assistance that is made available to our patients through donations. To find out if you qualify for this program, ask for an application at the discharge/billing office.

We also encourage our clients to seek out independent financial assistance organizations for veterinary care.  Here is a list of several we have worked with in the past.

In Memory of Magic

The Magic Bullet Fund

The Pet Fund

Paws 4 A Cure

All4PetsWNY

Friends and Vets Helping Pets

Back to top

Financial Information - Equine and Farm Animal

Can you describe your fee structure?

When you schedule an appointment at the hospital, there will be an initial administrative and appointment fee. After your pet is examined, you will be given an estimate of the cost of the recommended treatment plan and asked to sign your permission to continue with treatment along with your guarantee to pay for the cost of care. In serious emergencies, stabilization of your animal will begin as soon as it is taken back to the Intensive Care Unit, with your verbal permission.

The cost of excellent veterinary care can be expensive, because we use much of the same equipment, drugs, and materials used in a human hospital.  Please keep in mind that the veterinarians involved in your animal’s care are on salary and have no financial stake in income generated from the care of your animal. In fact, our financial goal in the Companion Animal Hospital is to simply cover our annual costs.

Care of this level, quality and sophistication can be costly.  Occasionally, animal owners decide not to proceed with treatment.  We will help you weigh your options, but ultimately the decision is yours. 

Back to top