Upon arriving at the UF Small Animal Hospital, you and your pet will be brought into an examination room by one of our client liaisons. A third- or fourth-year veterinary student will take a history and perform a physical examination of your pet. Then the student will review any diagnostic information that you have brought from your regular doctor and discuss your pet’s concerns with a clinician. It is sometimes easier to perform a physical examination with additional help, in which case the student may ask to bring your pet to the Internal Medicine treatment room for examination by the doctor with the help of other students and a technician. The doctor and the student will then return to the examination room to go over their initial assessment with you, together with any additional diagnostic recommendations and a proposed treatment plan.
Internal Medicine evaluations can be time-consuming, so please prepare for a longer visit (typically 2-6 hours, depending on what is recommended). For example, it may take some time to schedule a radiographic or ultrasound examination or other diagnostic procedure. For this reason, we may ask that you leave your pet with us so that we may complete our evaluation and provide you with a detailed treatment plan. Some patients may need to stay overnight or return the next day for more extensive treatment or for diagnostic procedures to be performed under general anesthesia. Some of these may include endoscopy, tube placements, bone marrow biopsies, joint taps and laser lithotripsy.
We realize that your time is valuable and will do everything possible to address your situation in a timely fashion and to fit with your schedule. Once our evaluation is complete, we write a summary of our findings and recommendations for you and your regular doctor and will discuss them with you before you leave. Writing these instructions takes time and can delay your departure, but we can send you more a finalized document by email the next day if that is satisfactory for you. In many cases we may not have any results until the very end of the day or even the next day, in which case you will be notified when the results come in.