Your pet has been admitted to Lakeshore Animal Health Partners. The following provides information and guidelines during their stay with us.
My Pet Is In The Hospital
It is of utmost importance to our team that you are able to spend time with your beloved family member during their stay in our hospital. Other family members are welcome to visit within the parameters designated by the department your pet is being cared for.
Intensive Care Unit
We understand the need to be with your pet when they are critically ill, and therefore owners of pets admitted to the ICU are permitted to visit twice daily (once per 12-hour nursing shift). Visiting hours are between 9:00 am – 6:00 pm for the day shift or between 9:00 pm – 6:00 am for the night shift. Visits need to be pre-arranged at a time that is convenient for all involved parties.
Visitations may be scheduled over the phone with your primary clinician during medical updates or by calling in to speak with the ICU liaison. Depending on visiting time and other factors within the hospital that day, a doctor may not be available to meet with you during your scheduled visit time. Please try to ask all questions your family may have during your phone updates in case a doctor is unavailable while you are visiting.
We will try to allow visits to occur in a private exam room as much as possible to allow you uninterrupted time with your pet. However, visitation in the ICU may be required when patients are not stable for transportation to other areas of the hospital and require close monitoring by nursing staff. ICU visits within the ICU are limited to 30 minutes each. Although we will try to adhere to the pre-scheduled time as often as possible, pet owners should be aware that occasionally visitation may be delayed depending on the current health status of other patients in the ICU, nursing demands or staff availability for visit supervision. Rarely, premature termination of a visit is also possible if an urgent issue with a patient arises that requires immediate intervention by the medical staff within the ICU.
Please note that exceptions will be made in critical situations. If your pet’s health is rapidly declining, we will work with you to ensure you are able to be present with your pet.
Visiting hours are between 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. Please pre-schedule your family visits by speaking with your primary clinician, department technician or liaison. Due to other duties within the hospital, your doctor may not always be available to speak with you during your scheduled visit time. It is encouraged that all questions are asked during your phone updates in case there is not an opportunity to meet with your doctor during visitation.
We ask that visits are limited to 30 minutes each and that your family remains flexible with our team, dependent on caseload and hospital staffing. If the weather and your pet’s health condition permits, we may also be able to arrange for you to visit with your pet outside. As a general rule, we ask that you do not leave the designated area provided for your visit and refrain from petting or touching other patients in the hospital.
We ask that one family member be assigned as the primary contact for our team, and remain consistent throughout your pet’s stay at our hospital. This family member should have the ability to make medical decisions for your pet.
Critical Care Department
If your pet’s care is being primarily overseen by one of the ICU specialists, you will receive a phone call with an update once daily. This may be in the afternoon and is most likely to occur between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. If there are any significant or concerning changes in your pet’s condition, you will always be contacted as soon as possible. If your pet’s care is being primarily overseen by a doctor in another department (e.g. Internal Medicine, Surgery), they will advise you as to the parameters set by their department.
You are welcome to phone in once per 12-hour nursing shift to speak with the ICU technician (nurse) or client liaison, who can provide you with a general nursing care update and will relay any questions, information or pressing concerns to the veterinarian. We ask that phone calls are made between the hours of 9:00 am and 6:00 pm for the day shift and 9:00 pm and 6:00 am for the night shift as much as possible to not interrupt nursing rounds and patient treatment times.
The emergency veterinarian will provide an update on your pet during their shift (i.e. every 12 hours). Updates will take place by the overnight doctor roughly between 6:30 am – 8:00 am and by the daytime doctor at various times, typically beginning mid-morning (based primarily on when new diagnostics or information is obtained on your pet). Should there be any significant changes or concerns with your pet’s condition, you will be contacted as soon as possible by the attending veterinarian. We kindly ask that you do not call requesting further updates unless you have been asked to provide us with specific information.
Internal Medicine Department
The internal medicine specialist will call you the day your pet has been transferred to the department; this may be in the afternoon. A veterinarian from the Internal Medicine department will call you at least once daily with a medical update as well as following any diagnostics and procedures. You will be contacted as soon as possible if there are any unexpected or significant changes in your pet’s condition. You are welcome to call in once a day up until 4:00 pm to get another update from the technicians (nurses) on your pet’s care team. We kindly ask that you do not call for updates in the evening or overnight.
A veterinarian from the neurology department will call you at least once daily with a medical update on your pet, as well as after surgery or diagnostics such as MRI. A member of the neurology team may send an update via text or email throughout the day. The neurologist will contact you if there has been an unexpected change in your pet’s condition. Please do not call in the evening or overnight for updates on neurology patients.
A surgeon will contact you at least once daily with a medical update on your pet. This call will typically happen between 9:00 am and 12:00 pm. You should expect to receive an additional update shortly after surgery has been completed and your pet has been moved to the recovery ward. A member of the surgery team may send you general updates via text or email throughout the day. You are also welcome to call in for a general update which will be provided by a member of the surgery team once daily. We kindly ask that you refrain from calling in the evening for updates on surgical patients. The surgeon or attending veterinarian will contact you if there have been any significant changes or concerns in your pet’s condition.
For pets that have been transferred overnight from the emergency department, an emergency doctor will provide a brief status update in the morning. You will then hear from a surgeon later on prior to any further diagnostics or surgical procedures. If your pet is having emergency surgery overnight by an on-call surgeon, the emergency department will discuss the surgical procedure and potential risks with you, and you will be contacted shortly after the surgery is completed with an update from the surgeon.
You are welcome to bring in some of your pet’s favourite food, if recommended by the attending veterinarian. Raw food diets are not permitted in the hospital. Home-made diets can be accepted if fully cooked. If your pet requires a diet that is not stocked in hospital, feel free to provide us with (just) enough of their own food for their hospital stay.
Special toys, bedding or clothing
We do not recommend bringing in special clothing or toy items from home, as they can easily become soiled and then cannot be traced in the laundry system. If it is important to you that your pet has something from home with them, please bring in a very small item with the expectation that it may not be returned. We provide generous, comfortable, clean, and dry bedding for all pets and padded mattresses for large patients.
Please bring in any medication your pet is currently receiving in the bottle or box with which it was prescribed. As needed, we will continue to administer it in the hospital.
If not already provided, please ask the department liaison for a daily update on the invoice. If your pet’s condition and treatment plan 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 invoice and expected ongoing expenses so you can make the best decisions for your pet.
Critical Care & Emergency
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.
Patients will ideally be discharged before 5:00 pm. A specific discharge time will be arranged with one of the Internal Medicine team members, and all medications and at-home instructions will be reviewed with you at that time. If you cannot pick up your pet before 5:00 pm, a later discharge can be arranged. In this case, the discharge instructions will be reviewed over the phone earlier in the day by an Internal Medicine team member, and your pet will be discharged later by an ER team member. Please be advised that the ER team member will not address any questions or concerns at the time of discharge; these will need to be discussed with the Internal Medicine team the following business day.
Patients ideally will be discharged before 7:00 pm. The discharge will be arranged with one of the Neurology team members, and all medications and at-home instructions will be reviewed with you at that time. If you cannot pick up your pet before 7:00 pm, a later discharge can be arranged. In this case, discharge instructions will be reviewed over the phone earlier in the day by a Neurology team member, and your pet will be discharged later by an Emergency Department R team member. Any addition questions or concerns can be addressed with the Neurology team the following business day.
Patients will be dropped off for their diagnostics or chemotherapy treatments at either 8:00 am or 1:00 pm. You will be called as soon as your pet is ready for discharge after treatment. In cases where diagnostics are being performed, it is common to allow your pet to recover from sedation or procedures for a few hours. Discharge times are usually scheduled with a member of the Oncology Department before 5:00 pm. If discharge at a later time is required, we will provide information by phone or email, and you may pick up your pet at your convenience.
If your pet has received chemotherapy, discharge instructions will be provided alongside refill medications you have requested at the oncologist’s discretion. If your pet underwent diagnostic tests (diagnostic imaging like an ultrasound or CT scan or sampling like cytology or biopsy), results likely will not be available the same day and can take up to 7 business days to have a full report available. Your oncologist will provide the results within 7 business days.
When possible, discharge times should be scheduled between 9:00 am – 6:00 pm. This can be arranged with a member of the surgery team. The at-home instructions will be emailed to you prior to discharge for you to review, and any questions or concerns that you may have will be addressed at the time of discharge.
If you cannot pick up your pet within this time frame, a member of the surgery team will arrange to review the instructions with you over the phone, and your pet will be later discharged by a member of the emergency team. Please be advised that the ER team member will not address any questions or concerns at the time of discharge; these will need to be discussed with the surgery team the following business day.
If you will be delayed or would like to reschedule your pet’s discharge, we kindly ask that you contact a member of the surgery team (within business hours) or the emergency department as soon as possible.
All departments will provide you with written and emailed discharge instructions.