A veterinary specialist is a veterinarian who has chosen to undergo additional training and education to"specialize" in a specific aspect of animal care.
The specialist had undergone an additional 3 to 4 years of training in a particular specialty, such as surgery or internal medicine. The specialist completed a 1-year internship and then 2-3 years of residency training. The specialist receives the prestigious title of Diplomate once they pass their exams and complete all the other requirements.
The areas of specialty available at VCVREC are Acupuncture, Cardiology, Clinical Pathology, Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, Nuclear Medicine, Oncology, Ophthalmology, and Surgery.
Your family veterinarian will refer you to a specialist at Valley Central when your pet requires further specialized tests, treatments, or procedures that your family veterinarian does not offer. A specialist has undergone additional years of advanced training. They have met multiple requirements to be recognized as experts in their field and will have more insight into your pet's specific illness or injury. They will work with you and your family veterinarian to develop a treatment plan that is best for your pet.
Once your family veterinarian has determined that your pet needs to see a specialist, they will provide you with our contact information to schedule an appointment. A completed referral form and recent medical records are needed for your appointment. At your appointment, our specialist will examine your pet and may need to perform some additional tests in order to assess your pet's current condition. We will work with you and your family veterinarian to determine the best treatment option(s) for your pet. This team approach ensures the most comprehensive medical care possible for your pet.
If you have a concern about your pet's health, please contact your family veterinarian. They should always be the first person you turn to when your pet is ill or injured, the exception being if it is an emergency and your veterinarian's office is closed. Your family veterinarian will perform all the appropriate tests and if they believe your pet is in need of additional, specialized care, they will refer you to one of our specialists. Your veterinarian will complete a referral form (conveniently available on this website) and have you schedule an appointment with one of our specialists. Please bring a copy of your pet's recent history, copy of radiographs, and any lab results to your appointment. Do not allow your pet to drink or eat anything after 10 p.m. the night before your scheduled appointment. If you have any questions about our referral process, please consult with our front office coordinators.
We accept all major credit cards, personal checks, and cash. We also accept CareCredit - a low or no cost financing option for qualified applicants.
Yes. Pet insurance is becoming more and more a practical option for those wishing to provide the best possible care for their pet. There are various pet insurance companies in the market today. Be sure to research which plan best fits your family's budget and your pet's health needs. Your pet insurance company will supply you with the claim forms. You will need to bring the claim forms with you to your appointment(s) and have the office complete the forms. You will pay Valley Central directly and then mail or fax the claim form directly to the insurance company for your reimbursement. The insurance company will reimburse you the appropriate amount allocated by your plan.
Medical advice can rarely be given over the phone; we cannot give meaningful medical advice without being able to examine the patient. If you have a concern about your pet, our advice is to bring your pet to our Center so we can evaluate your pet.
If you believe he or she is sick or hurt, you could be right. Types of emergency situations include the following:
- Animal attack
- Collapse episodes
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty urinating
- Hit-by-car incidents
- Ingestion of medications, poisons, or objects
- Severe diarrhea
If you are unsure whether your pet has an emergency, please do not hesitate to call us at 610.435.1553 and speak to a staff member.
If you are concerned that your pet may have gotten into something poisonous, you should call the Animal Poison Control Center at 1.888.426.4435 for specific instructions. If they instruct you to bring your pet to the hospital, they will provide you a case number that will allow our doctors to contact them for further information on your individual pet. Be sure to bring this case number with you to the emergency hospital.
For an emergency visit, there is a $135.00 emergency exam fee. All diagnostics, treatments, and medications are all additional. If your pet requires hospitalization, you will receive an estimate of anticipated charges prior to admission. Our Center's policy requires a deposit of 100% of the high end of that estimate.
Should your pet require care and treatment which exceeds the initial estimate, a revised updated estimate will be provided to you. Payment in full is due at the time of discharge.
Please feel free to discuss any financial concerns with a member of our front desk staff or a supervisor on duty; note we do not have payment plans available.
Fees for our other specialty departments vary. For more information please call 610.435.1553.
Just like a human emergency room, the emergency case load on any given day or night is unpredictable. Within minutes of your arriving our Emergency Department nurse will triage your pet. After this initial evaluation, the order in which patients are seen is determined based on the seriousness of each individual pet's problem. Patients with life-threatening problems are seen immediately while more stable pets are seen in order of arrival. However, please note that we make every effort to see all patients in a timely fashion, and we will certainly provide you updates while your pet is being seen by our Emergency Department.
Our Emergency service is available 24 hours a day. No referral is necessary. If possible, please call the Center at 610.435.1553 and let us know that you are coming so that we can be best prepared for your arrival.
Although a referral for any of our other services is preferred, it is advisable to get one from your primary veterinarian. Our specialists work closely with primary veterinarians and getting a referral helps improve our ability to provide care to each patient and owner.
We partner with your primary veterinarian to provide comprehensive medical care for your pet. After each visit to our ER department or one of our specialty services, we will send a full report to your primary veterinarian. Depending on your pet's diagnosis, you may be asked to follow-up with your primary veterinarian or with one of our specialty departments.