Companion Animal Referrals

From cats and dogs to parrots to pythons, the parade of patients through the OVC Companion Animal Referrals is varied. more than 12,000 animals are seen annually - the majority of which are referred by veterinarians across the province for special diagnostic procedures or treatments not readily available in general practice.

When choosing the OVC HSC your pet will have the opportunity to interact with a team of final year student veterinarians and veterinarians of different specialties. During their visit, your pets will benefit from the expertise of an internist and may also be evaluated by a surgeon, radiologist, anesthesiologist, pharmacist and critical care specialist in addition the care provided from the residents, interns, student veterinarians and technicians.

As part of your appointment you will meet with a final year veterinary student, intern and/or resident. In most cases, you will be greeted first by the student who will take you into a consultation room, take a history from you and examine your pet. This step is an important part of the learning process for the final year students who are soon to be new veterinarians. Please note the student veterinarian will not provide any information on their findings or prognosis until they have consulted with a veterinarian. The student veterinarian will then take your pet to an examination area to consult with an intern or resident and supervising faculty member.

Following evaluation and consultation with the faculty member, the student veterinarian and primary clinician (intern or resident) will return to clarify any important history and discuss examination findings and recommendations for further diagnostic workup. This workup can sometimes be performed on the day of your appointment or your pet may need to be admitted overnight or readmitted the following day for further workup. Availability of certain diagnostics is variable and cannot be guaranteed on the day of your appointment unless previously arranged. If possible, please ensure that your pet has not had breakfast on the morning of his/her appointment. Unlimited access to water is permitted unless you have been directed otherwise.

Once your pet is admitted to hospital, he or she will be placed in a large kennel, run or stall and provided with bedding, food, water and lots of attention! Cats are given a litter box and dogs receive frequent walks. The student veterinarians work closely with your pet and will call you twice daily with updates. You will also receive frequent updates from the primary clinician (intern or resident) responsible for your petís care.

We work closely with your referring veterinarian to ensure the best possible care for your pet. Your referring veterinarian(s) will be updated by phone with preliminary test results and treatment plans. They will also receive a referral letter (Discharge Summary) which is a summary of your petís history, tests, diagnosis, treatments given and recommendations for further treatment.