General Information About Your Appointment
- Arrival Window – Please remember that we are scheduled to arrive between the times we have given you, and we will do everything we can to arrive in that “window”. Due to the unpredictable nature of traffic and the occasional situation where a previous appointment extends longer than anticipated, we may arrive towards the end of the window.
- Urgent Pet Visits - Occasionally, an urgent illness arises in one of our current patients, and we ask for your understanding should we arrive later than anticipated. **As soon as we realize that we may be later than the outside of the time range given, a member of our staff will call you to apprise you of the situation and provide an estimated arrival time.**
- Telephone call when on our way – if you would like us to call you whenever we are heading your way (10-30 minutes from arrival) please let us know and we will make a note on our schedule for that day.
During the Visit
We are very flexible during our visits and often adjust as things progress to ensure than your appointment runs as smoothly as possible and any stress for you or your pet is minimized. We do have a few general guidelines that we try to stick to for the safety and efficiency of our visits, and we greatly appreciate your assistance.
At the beginning of the visit, one of our technicians may enter first to gather information on the current situation and pertinent history. The doctor may work in the vehicle during this time.
If we will be seeing your CAT(s)
click or scroll down for dog info
- Exam Area Preparation - We ask that you do not hand your cat over to a technician or doctor until they have set up the exam area. This will allow them to get prepared quickly and maximize the time for your visit.
- Location of exam/work surface - Ideally, the doctor and her assistant will have access to a table or a counter-height horizontal surface of about 2 feet by 2 feet or larger upon which to examine your cat. If such an area, with relatively good lighting, could be cleared prior to our arrival, it would be helpful. Provision of an old bath sized towel will be appreciated.
- Access to your cat(s) – If your cat may hide when guests arrive, it is a good idea to make sure that they are in a room where they cannot hide under a bed or heavy furniture upon our arrival. Depending on your cat and your home’s layout, it may be a good idea to close bedroom doors and to put them in a small room like a bathroom while awaiting our arrival. We are happy to call a few minutes before our arrival so you do not need to leave them isolated for longer than necessary.
- Collection of important samples – to facilitate the collection of urine or fecal samples which may be advised, it is strongly recommended that cats be denied access to their litter pans for about 3-4 hours prior to our arrival. If you put them in a bathroom in anticipation of our arrival, please make sure to remove bathmats and to close the sink and bathtub drains in case they decide to urinate there (they often do!).
- Owner involvement - We invite you to observe our examination and feel free to ask questions. Your presence is likely comforting to your cat and we want to keep the whole visit as stress-free as possible for you and your pet. One of the main benefits of having a house call is that your pet is not taken away from you like they often are at a traditional veterinary clinic. However, please do not attempt to restrain your cat nor put your hands near their face while we are restraining your cat for exam or sample collection! Even cats that are not prone to biting can be unpredictable in that situation and cat bites are dangerous!
If we will be seeing your DOG(s):
- One dog at a time - Usually, it is better to examine just one dog at a time, so that there are fewer distractions. If we are seeing more than one dog, it may be helpful to take the dog(s) not being examined to another room, or if you can hold them while we are examining the other dog, that would help both with safety and the efficiency of our visit.
- Food allergies - Typically we ask before offering, but please do remind us if your dog has food allergies so we can offer only hypoallergenic treats.
- Location of exam - Usually we examine your dog on the floor, on our laps, in their favorite bed or even outside – though occasionally we will ask you to leash them to keep them from roaming away from us. Our goal is to make the examination as low stress as possible.
- Collection of samples – Please do not take your dog outside or allow them to go outside for about 3-4 hours prior to our arrival, if possible. This will give us the option of collecting a urine sample if necessary. Please save a fresh stool sample from earlier in the day if we are seeing your dog for an annual exam or if there are issues involving the stool.
- Owner involvement – Most of the time, dogs do better with their owners in close proximity, so we invite you to remain nearby. However, please do not attempt to restrain your dog during the examination. Safety is our first priority, and there are situations where it may not be safe for owners to be directly involved in holding their dog(s).
- Other pets - We may ask you to put other pets in a different part of the house until it is time for their exam. We will be sure to give them love and treats (with your permission) when we are done with the scheduled appointment.
Reminders/Notes on Fees
- Routine consult time - In general, we have allowed for approximately 30-40 minutes of a doctor’s time per routine examination (or about 20 minutes of doctor time for a recheck appointment). The appointment time may last longer than that however due to the time it takes for a technician to gather information at the beginning and for set up and clean up/paperwork at the end.
Extended consult time
- There are many situations where lengthy discussions – beyond the typical times listed above - with the doctor are required or desired. We are happy to engage in longer and more in-depth discussions with our clients and want everyone to feel that all their questions are answered. Extended consult time beyond the time included in the exam fee (as above) is charged out as described below:
- Each wellness and sick pet examination includes up to 45 minutes of examination and discussion time. Quality of life assessments include up to 1 hour of examination and discussion time.
- Time beyond our normal examination times is billed in 15 minute increments at $37.50 per 15 minutes.
- Fees to cover the time a doctor spends emailing or doing a phone consult are billed at the same rate per 15 minute intervals. We really want to be able to continue to provide extraordinary access to our doctors’ expertise to all of our clients, and have found that a time-based system is the most fair to all.
- The first telephone call or comprehensive email to discuss results of labwork that At Home Veterinary Services has performed and the plan for treatment is included in the cost of labwork.
- Ongoing consultations about the initial issue or about new issues will be billed as above.
- If you would like to schedule an extended consult with one of our doctors or make an appointment for a telephone consult, please let us know – we would be happy to set something up.
• Unless there are prior arrangements, fees will be due at time of service.
• Upon your request, we are happy to provide written estimates of our fees.