You do not want to be faced with an emergency situation before knowing if the animal medical center you normally go to is a full service hospital or a clinic. While many clinics are associated with a hospital, the time it takes to be seen at the clinic and referred to the hospital could prove to be the difference between life and death for your pet. When you take your pet in for a wellness check or immunizations, ask the veterinarian if the clinic is a full-service hospital and if not, which one he or she uses when different services or equipment is needed.
Services Offered at a Veterinary Clinic
A veterinary clinic is the place you take your pet for annual checkups and immunizations. If your pet is acting ill, you would make an appointment at the clinic. Some clinics may have an X-ray machine, but not all of them do. Minor or common surgeries, such as neutering or spaying, can be done at a clinic. Blood can be drawn for any needed lab work, but will need to be sent out to be analyzed.
A veterinary clinic may also have an area set aside as a kennel where you can take your pet if you are going away on vacation and will be boarding the animal. Due to the possibility of germs and bacteria being transferred back and forth, it is seldom sick or injured pets are kept at a clinic during recovery.
Services Offered at a Veterinary Hospital
While you can take your pet to an animal hospital for regular visits, keep in mind that the increase in overhead for additional staff, space and equipment usually means an increase in the fees you will pay for the visit. However, if the situation warrants diagnostic testing, to include X-rays, ultrasound, immediate lab results, or major surgery, your only option is to go to a hospital.
A full-service veterinary hospital should be used any time there is a life or death situation. If you are not sure of how serious the condition is, call your regular veterinarian and ask if you should go to the clinic or if he or she will meet you at the hospital. It is important to note that the doctors at both clinics, such as Animal Medical Center, and hospitals are capable of caring for your pet in any way necessary, it is only the equipment and space that is different.Read More