Small Animal Services

Frequently Asked Questions for Small Animal Clients

Can I use the VTH for my pet’s regular veterinary check-up?

We provide full service out-patient preventive health care to local small animal clients within a 35-mile radius of Blacksburg through the Small Animal Community Practice. Patients from outside a 35-mile radius of the hospital must be referred by their veterinarian.

I live within a 35-mile radius of Blacksburg, but I use a local veterinarian other than VMRCVM for my pet's primary veterinary care. Can I have my pet seen by one of your specialty services without a referral?

To receive an appointment with our specialty services, you need a referral from your primary care veterinarian, regardless of where you live. You can be referred by our Small Animal Community Practice if your pet receives primary care through their service.

I live within a 35-mile radius of Blacksburg, but I use a local veterinarian other than VMRCVM for my pet's primary veterinary care. Can I make an appointment for my pet with the Community Practice service for a second opinion?

You can bring your pet to the Community Practice clinic if you live within a 35-mile radius of Blacksburg, however it is in the best interest of your pet to have only one primary care veterinarian. We would request that you have your records transferred to our hospital.

What can I expect during my visit to the hospital?

Please visit our About Your Visit page to learn about the following aspects of your visit:

  • Parking
  • Patient check-in
  • Patient status inquiries
  • Visitation
  • Payment & fees
  • Patient discharge

What role will the student play in the care of my animal?

For information about the roles and responsibilities of each member of your Patient Care Team, please visit the Your Animal Health Care Team page.

How long does an examination take?

The initial examination for your pet will require a minimum of 1½ - 2 hours. A complete evaluation of your pet will include:

  • A fourth-year DVM student will obtain an accurate history for the pet from you, the owner.
  • The student will conduct a physical exam of your pet.
  • The student will present findings to the supervising veterinarian.
  • The veterinarian will talk to you about their recommendations for your pet's treatment.
  • The client will work with the veterinarian to decide how to proceed with the care plan that has been designed for your pet.

What is the average length of time an animal will stay in the hospital once it has been admitted?

Your pet’s stay in the hospital is determined by the physical problem, the type of procedure, test, and/or surgery that is performed. These factors are decided after the initial physical examination and evaluation. It is best to be prepared for an overnight or longer stay for most non-surgical cases. Cases requiring anesthesia and surgery will generally stay for three to five days.

When can I expect notification of laboratory and test results?

All tests results are forwarded directly to the attending Patient Care Team members for communication to their clients. Please be aware that some tests are performed by outside laboratories and a waiting period of a few days is not uncommon. A member of your Patient Care Team will contact you when pending test results become available.

In the case of necropsy (autopsy) results, these tests, depending on what tests have been requested, can take up to two weeks to be finalized. If you are a referral client (sent to us by your primary care veterinarian), necropsy results will be sent directly to your veterinarian who will communicate and explain the results to you.