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02/23/2012
By: jmelgar
VCA Highlands Animal Hospital
VCA Highlands in Abingdon VA has the same pricing issues already mentioned but, in our area, they have the most expertise and best-equipped facility around for small animals. And, Dr. GINA ROBINSON is a "bull dog" when it comes to diagnosing. She also has no hesitation about consulting with other vets or referring to Virginia Tech (or UT) if that's necessary. Our dog loved her so much he let her stick a big needle in both sides of his chest to withdraw fluid without anesthesia - twice! Sadly, even with advice from VT professors, she kindly put him to sleep and cried with us - we love Dr. Robinson!
Tips & Advices
Most 24-hour clinics do not allow owners to stay with their pets overnight. However, many do have specific visiting hours or will let owners see their pets at any point during the day. In addition, owners can call most clinics at any time for an update on their pet's well being.
  • Important phone numbers, especially those of the the veterinary clinic, the animal hospital or emergency clinic, and the poison control center
  • A book detailing pet first-aid steps
  • Copy of medical records
  • Nylon leash
  • Muzzle (only use if pet is not vomiting and has no difficulty breathing)
  • Absorbent gauze
  • Nonlatex disposable gloves
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Nail clippers
  • Digital thermometer
  • Sterile saline solution
  • Hydrogen peroxide (to induce vomiting only at the recommendation of a veterinarian
  • Milk of magnesia (to absorb poison only at the recommendation of a veterinarian)
Find a 24-hour animal hospital that provides emergency services within your area. Keep the facility's contact information in a place that's easy to locate, such as the refrigerator, address book, or smartphone. Most veterinary clinics operate on standard business hours and are not equipped to handle emergencies.
Veterinary clinics operate on a smaller scale than animal hospitals. The latter are more likely open 24 hours and provide emergency services. The former generally operate on typical office hours and only perform wellness exams and minor surgeries. Veterinary clinics also do not generally perform laboratory tests on site.
The specifics vary depending on the type of visit. For a wellness exam, bring:
  • Medical records
  • The type or brand of food the pet eats
  • Medication (including flea, tick, and heartworm medication).
If the animal needs medical treatment, the following may be helpful depending on the situation:
  • Fresh stool sample
  • Vomit sample
  • Video of the pet engaging in abnormal behavior
  • Substance the pet may have ingested

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