Visitor Policy

Your pet has been admitted to the Animal Health Partners veterinary hospital. The following information will help you know what to expect when they are here with us.

Visiting Your Pet

For patients on all services, owner visits are limited to patients who have been here for 4 or more days or who are critically ill and possibly at “end of life”. Owners are welcome to be present for euthanasia. If your pet is expected to be discharged from the hospital within 48 hours we will request that you refrain from visiting. Our hospital, like most, is experiencing an unprecedented surge in demand alongside a scarcity of skilled veterinary workers. We are at capacity for space and staff. Most of our hospital space originally designed to allow clients to rest and spend time with their pets is now occupied by our growing staff or has been converted to bed or kennel areas for patients. Attending to owners while they visit takes our stretched staff resources away from caring for the patients.

Visits must be authorized and arranged ahead of time with a representative of the service caring for your pet. When permitted, in-person owner visits may be set up in our dedicated visiting room if your pet can be easily transported there, or “cage-side” if your pet is in a hospital kennel area and cannot be easily moved. If your pet’s condition allows and the weather is pleasant, we can also arrange for you to visit with your pet outdoors.

Visiting hours are generally limited to daytime working hours. Some exceptions may be made for patients in the emergency and ICU services. The service liaison will advise you on their particular hours. Indoor visits will be limited to 2 people and 15 minutes. Please wear good quality masks (preferably N95 or K94) during your time inside the hospital; we are still experiencing significant Covid-related staff illnesses and need to continue measures to protect our staff. While in the hospital, stay with your pet, do not wander through the corridors or other patient wards and please refrain from petting or touching other patients.

We know that visiting your pet provides comfort to you both and these policies may be stressful to you. We are grateful for your cooperation, as it helps us provide all of our patients with good care while we cope with significant capacity limits in our hospital.

Getting Information and Updates

If your pet is lucky enough to have many people interested in their care, please choose one person to be the primary contact with the veterinary team. Communication times and systems vary for each service, as noted below.

Surgery Service

The surgery coordinator and/or the surgeon will call you once to twice a day to give you an update on your pet, and you will be called shortly after surgery has been completed. You are welcome to call in to speak with the surgery coordinator during the day (8:00 to 5:30 pm Monday and Tuesday, 8:00 to 7:00 pm Wednesday to Friday) to get additional updates. Please do not call in the evening for updates on surgical patients.

Neurology Service

A veterinarian from the neurology service will call you once daily with a medical update on your pet and immediately after surgery. A member of the neurology team will contact you if there has been an unexpected change in your pet’s condition. Please do not call in the evening for updates on
neurology patients.

ER Service

The emergency veterinarian will update you during their shift (i.e. every 12 hours). Please do not call in requesting further updates unless you have been asked to provide us with specific information.

ICU Service

The ICU veterinarian will call you with an update at least once daily; this may be in the afternoon. During the weekdays, the ICU liaison will usually send a quick text or email in the morning with a brief update. You are welcome to phone in 1 to 2 times per day to speak with the ICU liaison or ICU technician (nurse), who can give you a nursing-care update and will relay any pressing concerns, questions or information to the primary case veterinarian.

Internal Medicine Service

The veterinarian will call you the day your pet has been transferred to the service; this may be in the afternoon. You can expect a daily morning update from a veterinarian on the IM service. You are welcome to call in once a day up until 5:00 pm to get another update from the technicians (nurses), who will relay any pressing concerns, questions or information to the primary case veterinarian. Please do not call for updates in the evening or overnight.

Leaving Items with your Pet

Food

You are welcome to bring in some of your pet’s favourite food if the veterinarian has recommended this. (Raw diets must be cooked.) If your pet requires a diet we do not stock, feel free to provide us with (just) enough of their own food for their hospital stay.

Special toys, bedding or clothing

We discourage you from bringing in special clothing or toy items from home as they quickly become soiled and then cannot be traced in the laundry system. If it is important to you that your pet has something from home in their kennel, please bring in a very small item and do not expect to have it returned. We provide generous comfortable, clean and dry bedding for all pets and padded mattresses for large patients.

Medication

Bring in any medication your pet is currently receiving. As needed, we will continue to administer it in the hospital if we do not stock it ourselves.

Billing

If not already provided, please ask the service liaison for a daily update on the invoice. If your pet’s condition and care needs change from what was anticipated on admission, we will provide updated estimates and may request that you leave a deposit or credit card pre-authorization to cover expenses to date. We will do our best to keep you informed of your bill and what ongoing expenses you might expect so you can make the best decisions for your pet and your family.

Discharge Times

Internal Medicine, Neurology, and Surgery Services

Patients are to be discharged before 6:00 pm. This allows a member of that service to go over important information and answer any questions before you take your pet home. Patients not ready to be discharged by 6:00 pm will be kept overnight for discharge the following day.

ICU and ER Services

Discharge times will vary with your pet’s condition. We will set a discharge time with you the day your pet is ready to go home. When possible, patients will be discharged before 8:00 pm to minimize the workload on the overnight staff.

All services will provide you with written and emailed discharge instructions.


Have additional questions?

Speak with us if you have any concerns. Our staff are all here to support you and your pet. We know it is stressful to leave your pet in the hospital and we honour the trust you have placed in us to care for your furry family member.