Client Information

Thank you for choosing the Ontario Veterinary College Health Sciences Centre (OVC HSC).

Our team of veterinary specialists and technicians are committed to providing excellent care for your animal companion. We understand you are faced with challenging decisions when you come to our specialty hospital. Our team will work with you to provide information on all the options for your animal companion's care and encourage you to ask questions. Our team is here to help you,but ultimately you are free to choose the option that is best for you, your animal companion and your family.  

Please see below a list of commonly asked questions and answers. If you have any additional questions before your scheduled appointment, please feel free to contact the applicable clinic.

Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs


Parking for clients of the HSC is governed by the University of Guelph and is a coin operated meter system. If you can bring enough change for the meter, please do. If you forget however, our Client Services team will be able to make change for you. The meters are in operation from 8:00-5:30 on weekdays only. The meters accept $2, $1 and $0.25 coins.

You can also pay for parking at our meters using "PayByPhone". This is a 3rd party service that allows you to buy parking time through a mobile application or website using your smartphone. There is a $0.35 transaction fee for each purchase of time and the service is run by PayByPhone, NOT The University of Guelph. A reminder email or text can be sent to your phone when your time is running out and you can buy more time without returning to your vehicle. More info can be found at

A free temporary parking spot is available for emergency clients to the OVC Companion Animal Hospital, located just outside the front doors. Clients may park in this spot free of charge for up to one hour while they go through the initial admission and examination of their pet in the hospital. Once initial admission and examination is complete, clients will need to move their vehicle to make the parking spot available to any further incoming emergency.

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Check in:

Please arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment. If you have pet insurance, please bring that documentation with you. You will be checked in at the front reception and the appropriate veterinarian will be notified of your arrival.  You will be asked to fill in a short information sheet at each visit and confirm your current address. Similar to when you visit your family doctor or regular veterinarian, we strive to see you and your pet at your scheduled appointment time.  Occasionally emergencies or urgent developments with other patients may delay your appointment.  We appreciate your patience if this occurs. There is a free coffee service in our waiting area and a Second Cup located at the corner of Gordon & College.

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How does the appointment process work?

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.

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How does payment work? Do I have to leave a deposit?

The clinician responsible for your pet will discuss all recommended diagnostics and treatments and will review with you an estimate for your pet's care. This estimate will cover a range because certain elements of your pets stay may vary, such as the treatment and length of hospitalization. You will be required to leave a deposit of 50% of the upper range of the estimate. The remainder of the balance will be due at the time of discharge. Accepted payment methods are cash, debit, Visa and Mastercard.

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What happens once my pet is admitted?

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 pet's care.

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If I'm bringing my pet to a teaching hospital, does this mean they will be receiving their care from students?

Final year veterinary students will be involved in the care of your pet under the supervision of technicians, interns, residents, and specialists. Interns and residents are well-trained, licensed veterinarians who are pursuing advanced training. Similar to your family veterinarian, interns and residents are graduates of a veterinary college. Interns are veterinarians who are pursuing an additional year of training to apply for specialty residency positions or who wish to advance their skills as family veterinarians. Residents are veterinarians who have completed at least one internship and who are pursuing specialization and board-certification. You may not always meet the supervising faculty clinician but these specialists are involved with every step of your pet's care.

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May I visit my pet if he or she is hospitalized?

Yes, most patients can be visited, however there may be some situations where visitation is not possible. Visits may be scheduled with your treatment team. The number and length of visits will be based on your pet's condition.

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Will my regular veterinarian be aware of the results of the tests performed?

Yes. 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 pet's history, tests, diagnosis, treatments given and recommendations for further treatment.

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My pet is going to require recheck appointments, what does this involve?

Depending on your pet's condition, recheck visit(s) may be necessary, and may be performed at the OVC HSC or with your family veterinarian depending on the nature of the condition. The schedule of rechecks, as well as any cost estimates for rechecks performed at the OVC HSC can be discussed prior to your pet being discharged from the hospital.  If you choose to pursue some or all of the rechecks with your family veterinarian, members of the OVC HSC are available to discuss any results of tests performed with you and/or your family veterinarian.

Thank you for entrusting us with the care of your pet. We will do our very best to ensure that you and your pet have a positive experience at the Ontario Veterinary College Health Sciences Centre.

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Privacy Policy

Client information is collected under the authority of the Veterinarians Act and the University of Guelph Act (1964) for the purpose of patient care. For details, contact the Manager Information, Quality Assurance, Risk Management, at 519.824.4120 ext. 54137 or email

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