The patient journey – what happens during your appointment?
We understand that many clients are concerned about what will happen during their appointment.
There is no need to starve your pet prior to the appointment – they can have breakfast as usual (hurrah!) but please avoid feeding a large meal immediately prior to their appointment as this could make lying on their side uncomfortable. Please also administer any medication prescribed by your vet as usual on the morning of the appointment.
Firstly you arrive and enter our reception area, at Sarah Smith Cardiology– there’s usually only 1-2 animals in the building at any time so our reception area may seem a bit quiet but that’s generally a bonus for pets who are worried.
There’s a doorbell on the outside door – press this and someone will come and greet you and your pet. There’s a small amount of paperwork to complete prior to starting the consultation.
The consultation usually lasts around 1 hour and firstly we will ask some questions so that we can get to know you and your pet and fully understand the problem. Then we perform a physical examination of your pet which varies a little depending on the clinical concern and also their temperament.
After this we will discuss our findings and agree a diagnostic plan which often includes tests such as echocardiography (ultrasound of the heart), checking blood pressure or placing a heart monitor to record heart rate and rhythm whilst your pet performs normal activities at home. Whilst some clipping is often required, these tests are painless, do not require sedation or anaesthesia and most clients choose to stay with their pet whilst these tests are performed to minimise stress. The results of tests such as echocardiography and blood pressure measurement are available straightaway and we’ll discuss these with you prior to making a treatment plan.
Before you leave you will receive a discharge form with details of diagnosis and treatment. We can provide a supply of medication or written prescriptions if appropriate. A report is then sent to your local practice explaining our findings and the treatment plan.