Your scheduled visit to the Cardiology Service at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals begins with check in at the reception desk. Following completion of a small amount of requisite paperwork, you will be greeted in the waiting room by one or two students currently on their Cardiology rotation, and brought with your pet to a private examination room.
The student(s) will then inquire about your pet's history and perform a physical examination of your pet. This experience is invaluable to the education and development of our students, and we appreciate your patience and understanding in allowing these future veterinarians to interact with you and your pet.
The student(s) will then excuse themselves and consult with either a cardiology resident or cardiologist on service regarding their recorded history, physical examination findings, and recommendations for case management. A cardiologist or cardiology resident will then accompany the student(s) back to your examination room and, after introducing themselves, will examine your pet and discuss their initial findings and recommendations for management of your pet's case.
In most cases, you will be asked to leave your pet in the care of the student(s) after this initial examination so that we may begin appropriate diagnostic testing, which commonly includes: electrocardiography, echocardiography, thoracic radiography, and noninvasive blood pressure measurement.
Given our busy schedule and requisite interaction with other services in the care of your pet, you will most commonly be asked to return to discuss our findings and recommendations in the afternoon. Please understand that our primary concern is the well being of your pet, and that although we will always strive to minimize the duration of your stay, we do not wish to compromise patient care, and this may take some time. If minimal diagnostics are required, we may be able to significantly shorten the duration of your visit.
When you return to pick up your pet, you will meet with the cardiologist/cardiology resident and the student(s) who received you and your pet and discuss their findings and therapeutic recommendations (if any). In most cases, therapy will be in the form of medication that you can administer at home. In some cases, your pet may require hospitalization for supportive care and/or diagnostics, and the rationale and logistics of this recommendation will be discussed in depth upon your return. In the event that your pet requires an elective interventional procedure, the rationale, logistics, and risks associated with the procedure will be discussed at this time, and the procedure can often be scheduled either at the time of discharge or within 24 hours of discharge.
Prior to your leaving the Hospital, you will receive a copy of the cardiology report, which outlines the findings and recommendations for management of your pet's case using some medical terminology that you may not be familiar with. Your referring veterinarian (who will be more familiar with terminology used) will also receive a copy of this report via mail. You will also receive a copy of discharge instructions, which outlines our findings and recommendations in more vernacular terms, and we will strive to make sure that we have answered any and all questions that you may have prior to your departure.