- When is the SAEC open?
We are open every weekday from 6:30pm until 7:30 the following morning, and from 6:30pm Friday continuously until 7:30 Monday morning–or until 7:30 Tuesday morning if Monday is a holiday. In additional, we open 24 hours on every major holiday: New Year’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve.
- Is there a veterinarian present at all times?
Yes. At all times when the clinic is open, there is at least one licensed veterinarian on duty. Sometimes, there are multiple veterinarians onsite; this often happens when one vet is in surgery and another is seeing patients in the exam rooms.
- What does “small animal” mean? Will you see my large dog?
Yes, we will see any size of dog. In veterinary medicine, “small animal” generally means dogs and cats (as opposed to livestock animals). We do have a couple of vets who have experience with exotic pets such as ferrets, hedgehogs, sugar gliders, etc.; but it is a good idea to call ahead of time before showing up with an exotic. The vet on duty may not be able to treat your pet if you have an exotic. If in doubt, don’t hesitate to call us at (806) 352-2277. We’re always happy to tell you whether the vet on duty will be able to examine your pet, whatever his size or species.
- Are the staff and veterinarians experienced in emergency medicine?
Yes. All of our veterinarians are experienced in both general veterinary medicine and emergency veterinary medicine. In addition, all of our veterinarians and licensed technicians must meet minimum Continuing Education requirements (set by the Texas Veterinary Medical Association) annually.
- Can I get help over the phone?
We are always willing to discuss your pet’s problem, condition, symptoms, or situation with you, but we cannot assess a patient’s condition based on your description over the phone. We also are not allowed to give out dosages for medications. A veterinarian must physically examine your pet to make a diagnosis; therefore, no medication or treatment advice can be given over the phone.
- Do I need an appointment?
We see walk-ins only, but we do recommend that you call before you arrive (if possible). We see patients in the order of the severity of their emergency. Please be understanding if another pet is called to the back before yours. If this happens, we think that the other pet’s problem is more serious than your pet’s. If you think your pet’s problem is life-threatening, please inform us immediately.
- Can I bring my pet to the SAEC for routine care (heartworm testing, vaccines, etc.)?
No. We are not here to provide routine care. We recommend that every pet owner become established at a regular daytime veterinary practice for these services.
- Can I bring my pet to the SAEC for spay or neuter surgery?
No. These procedures are performed at the SAEC only if they are necessary as part of a treatment plan for an emergency condition.
- How is the SAEC different than my primary veterinarian?
We are here to bridge the gap from the time that most primary care veterinary clinics close until they re-open. Most of the treatments we provide can be provided by your primary veterinarian also; we are here simply to ensure that you and your pet have access to veterinary care at all times–either at your primary veterinarian’s office or at ours, if your primary vet is unavailable.
- What happens after I arrive with my pet?
Because no treatment can be performed on your pet without your signed consent, the first thing you will be asked to do is fill out a Financial Policy and Treatment Authorization Form. (You can print the form off and bring it to the cinic already completed if you’re concerned about taking the time to fill it out once you arrive.) If your pet’s condition is life-threatening upon arrival at the clinic, a technician will take your pet directly to the ICU treatment room so that the on-duty veterinarian can assess your pet’s condition while you are filling out the form. The veterinarian will then discuss your pet’s treatment options with you.In non-life-threatening situations, you will fill out paperwork and, as soon as possible, a technician will escort you, your pet, and a maximum of one other person to an exam room. In the exam room, the technician will interview you for a brief history on your pet’s condition and will document pertinent vital signs. A veterinarian will then examine your pet, after which treatment and diagnostic options will be discussed with you.
- If my pet is critical and is taken into the treatment area, can I go with him/her?
No. For the safety of you, our staff, and all patients hospitalized in the ICU treatment area, no clients are allowed in the treatment area.
- How much will diagnostics and treatment cost?
The daytime emergency visit charge (from 7:30am to 10:00pm) is $90. The nighttime emergency visit charge (from 10:00pm to 7:30am) is $130. The emergency visit charge includes the veterinarian’s examination and consultation with you. All diagnostics and treatments are in addition to the emergency visit, and these will depend on your pet’s needs. Whenever possible, we will give you an estimate of charges based on the veterinarian’s recommended treatment plan, and you will be able to approve or decline any or all items on the treatment plan.
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