Frequently Asked Questions

When can I make an appointment to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital?

Small Animal Hospital: Operates on a referral basis only. You can make an appointment once we have received a referral from your regular veterinarian. The client phone line of the Small Animal Hospital (SAH) is 765-494-1107, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday - Friday EST.

However, if you live in Tippecanoe County, Indiana or are an employee of Purdue University, West Lafayette campus and want the VTH to be the primary care veterinarian for your pet, you can make an appointment directly with our Small Animal Community Practice section without a referral.  Contact us at 765-494-1107. 

Large Animal Hospital: Does not require a referral from your regular veterinarian. You can make an appointment by calling the client line of the Large Animal Hospital (LAH) at 765-494-8548, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday – Friday EST.

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What should I expect upon arrival at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital?

A receptionist will greet you and ask you to complete and sign a Client Information Service Agreement.  You will be asked for your vehicle license plate number for parking purposes.  You will be seated in the lobby with your pet until the veterinary student calls you to the exam room.

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What is the next step after the registration/admission process?

A fourth year veterinary student or veterinary technology student will initially greet you. They will perform a physical exam and take a medical history on your animal. The veterinary student will collaborate with a clinician to establish an appropriate diagnostic plan and cost estimate for the recommended procedures. The clinician and student will discuss this plan with you. If you decide to proceed, you will be asked to sign an Estimate Sheet.

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How long will the initial appointment take?

The initial appointment visit will last at least two hours. However, please be prepared to spend the entire day at our hospital. It can sometimes take many hours to complete all the procedures needed to diagnose and/or treat your animal’s problem. Remember we are a teaching hospital and each case is a teaching opportunity. We are also a referral facility and the cases we see many times need advanced diagnostics and care. This may cause your appointment to take longer than an appointment with your regular veterinarian.

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Why are tests performed by my regular veterinarian sometimes repeated?

For proper diagnosis and treatment, many animals will need to be hospitalized at least 2-3 days. This will be dictated by the procedures needed to diagnose and treat your animal and by the status of your animal when admitted. We are very thorough and attempt to reconstruct the history of the entire disease process. Complete diagnostic testing may require scheduling with multiple diagnostic units of the hospital.

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How will I find out about my hospitalized animal?

The senior student or clinician assigned to your case should make regular reports to you about your animal's status. In most cases, this is done on a daily basis. If and when a diagnosis is reached and a treatment plan has been established, or a major change occurs in your animal's status, you will be contacted immediately. Please provide phone numbers where you can be reached during the day and evening. If necessary, an updated cost estimate and prognosis will be provided to you at this time. Our clinicians will try to inform you if the cost is going to exceed the original estimate. Please understand that after 7 pm our reception area is closed, therefore, students/clinicians must contact you.

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How much will my animal's exam and treatment cost?

If you have any questions regarding the cost estimate or length of stay, these questions can be answered by our receptionist when your appointment is scheduled. At the time of admission, the student or clinician on the case can give you an estimate upon request before treatment is started.  Outpatient charges are due on the day of service.  

If your animal needs to be hospitalized, you will be provided with an estimate of the charges for the services your animal will need.  You will be required to leave a deposit of 50% of the estimate.  If the estimate changes due to the need for additional procedures or treatments, you will be notified.  The balance of the current bill will be due upon the discharge of your animal.  Frequently, not all charges are known at the time of discharge due to recent care, lab work not yet completed, etc.  The VTH will call all owners who have late appearing charges added to their bill to make them aware of those charges and to collect payment. The VTH is not funded to provide low cost or free veterinary care. In order for us to continue to provide veterinary care, we must be paid for services rendered. 

The VTH accepts payment by cash, check, and Master Card, Visa, and Discover cards. 

Care Credit, through Hurley State Bank, is available to clients that qualify. You must speak to our billing office to apply for Care Credit.

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What information will I receive when my animal is discharged?

The student and clinician will discuss the diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, possible complications, and follow-up appointments at the time of your animal's discharge. You will receive a written Visit Summary, which outlines the discharge instructions, and any medications your animal will need. Sometimes a final diagnosis cannot be reached, and your animal could be discharged to be treated at home for its symptoms without clearly knowing the underlying cause.

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Will my regular veterinarian be informed about my visit?

We work as a team with your regular veterinarian to restore your animal's health. Your regular veterinarian will be notified if your animal is admitted for an overnight stay. The clinician on the case will call him/her to update him/her on your animal's status during the stay and at discharge he/she will receive a copy of the Visit Summary Report. You may return to your regular veterinarian for follow-up treatment unless the follow-up treatment requires specialized care.

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How important are follow-up visits?

They are very important! These visits help the attending clinician assess your animal's response to treatment and to make adjustments to the treatment protocols, if necessary. It is your responsibility to make follow-up appointments at the time your animal is discharged.

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Can I get a copy of my animal's medical record?

Copies of your animal's record and other pertinent data (i.e. radiograph copies) are available for a fee. An authorization release form is required for this. Contact the Medical Records Department at 765-494-1139 for assistance.

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Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, 625 Harrison Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-7607

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