Your pet has been admitted to Toronto Animal Health Partners. The following information will help you know what to expect during their stay with us.
My Pet Is In The Hospital
For patients in all departments, 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.
It is important to us that you are able to spend time with your beloved family member. Members of your family are welcome to visit if your pet is scheduled to be in hospital for longer than 24 hours at designated times dictated by the service your pet is staying with. Please ask the technician or doctor who is taking care of your pet about specific visitation hours. We place priority for visitations on patients who are critically ill or possible at the end of life.
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 department liaison will advise you on their 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 our patients with good care while we cope with significant capacity limits in our hospital.
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.
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 am to 5:30 pm Monday and Tuesday, 8:00 am to 7:00 pm Wednesday to Friday) to get additional updates. Please do not call in the evening for updates on surgical patients.
A veterinarian from the neurology department 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.
The emergency veterinarian will update you during their shift (i.e. every 12 hours). Please do not call requesting further updates unless you have been asked to provide us with specific information.
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 Department
The veterinarian will call you the day your pet has been transferred to the department; this may be in the afternoon. You can expect a daily morning update from a veterinarian. 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.
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 that 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 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.
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.
If not already provided, please ask the department 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.
Internal Medicine, Neurology, and Surgery
Patients are to be discharged before 6:00 pm. This allows a team member 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
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 departments will provide you with written and emailed discharge instructions.