Your emergency visit to the Cornell University Hospital for Animals begins when you pull up to front of the Companion Animal Hospital. Please park your vehicle in the patient parking in front of the hospital and check-in at the reception desk.
After you register, a veterinary student or LVT will perform a triage. During the triage you will be briefly interviewed about your pet’s condition. To further evaluate your pet’s stability, the student or LVT may also obtain baseline vital parameters. After this brief assessment the student or LVT may ask you to wait with your pet in the waiting room, or they may ask your permission to take your pet to the emergency treatment area where they will be further evaluated by one of our emergency clinicians. If stabilization is recommended, they will also ask your permission to perform basic diagnostic tests and institute the therapy deemed necessary to stabilize your pet. If your pet is taken to the emergency room you must wait in reception area. Space restrictions and the intense activity that may involve your pet as well as other patients being cared for in the emergency room preclude your ability to stay with your pet. Please remain in the reception area, so emergency personnel can find you when needed.
In turn, you will be escorted to an exam room where a veterinary student will obtain a full clinical history. If your pet is waiting with you, the student will also perform a complete physical exam. Subsequently, the student will leave to discuss your pet’s history and physical exam findings with the emergency clinician that is caring for your pet. Afterwards the emergency clinician will enter the exam room, review the history clarifying any questions, and perform their own physical exam. After this complete assessment the emergency clinician will discuss their findings, thought processes, and recommendations with you.
Throughout the emergency visit, please understand that there may be delays. The reasons for the delays may not be obvious to you, but always are related to how many critically ill and emergency animals our patient-care team is treating at the time. We will do our best to keep you informed about your animal’s status, what our patient caseload is, and what you might expect in terms of the length of time you may need to wait. Please be assured that your doctor’s priority is the care of your animal and the other emergency and critically ill patients in the hospital.
If your animal’s condition requires the opinion of a specialist and the specialist is not on-site at the time of your emergency visit, you may have to wait for the specialist on-call to come to the hospital, or your animal may have to stay overnight for a consultation the following day.
If your animal needs to be admitted to the hospital as an inpatient, your animal will be transferred to a specialty service within 24 to 48 hours and will be cared for by a different veterinarian. Every case is thoroughly reviewed upon transfer to ensure excellent patient care and an outstanding educational experience for our students.
If you would like to visit your pet during their hospitalization, this can be arranged with the doctor caring for your pet. For safety reasons, all visitors must be accompanied when in the clinical areas of the hospital. Please remain in the public areas of the hospital unless escorted by your doctor, student or LVT.
If your veterinarian arranged for your pet to visit our Emergency Service, or if you provide us with the contact information for your veterinarian, the Cornell University Hospital for Animals doctors will do their best to keep your veterinarian informed of your animal’s progress and our diagnosis. Discharge statements outlining diagnosis and treatment are faxed to your veterinarian unless you instruct us not to do this.