Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions from Oakland Veterinary Referral Service

What's the difference between my family veterinarian and a veterinary specialist?
Both your family veterinarian and a veterinary specialist have earned their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, which typically requires four years of undergraduate training and four years of veterinary school. A specialist must also complete an additional three to five years of internship and residency training, as well as passing a rigorous exam in order to become board certified. The OVRS team includes board certified veterinarians in anesthesia, cardiology, dermatology, internal medicine, oncology, ophthalmology, and surgery. We also have an excellent support staff of licensed veterinary technicians, experienced veterinary assistants, and courteous receptionists.
Why would my pet need a specialist?
Your family veterinarian may refer you and your pet to our facility if your pet requires specific treatments or procedures that your family veterinarian does not offer. We offer specialized surgical procedures such as tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO), tibial tuberosity advancement (TTA), and KYON® total hip replacement as well as soft tissue surgeries. OVRS can also provide state-of-the-art diagnostic testing including ultrasonography, endoscopy, CT scan and MRI imaging, arthroscopy, and video otoscopy. In addition, we are also available 24-hours for emergencies.
Can OVRS be my pet's regular veterinary hospital?
Our practice provides only specialty care and emergency and critical care. OVRS works directly with your family veterinarian on a referral basis. By coordinating our specialty care with your veterinarian's primary health care we can provide your pet with the most comprehensive medical care possible.
How do I get a referral?

If you have a concern regarding your pet's health, please contact your family veterinarian. He or she will determine whether a referral is necessary. Your veterinarian will complete a referral form, which will describe your pet's medical condition and determine the appropriate specialty department for your pet to see. Your veterinarian will also have you contact our office for an appointment. Please be sure your veterinarian provides us with your pet's medical history, which can be sent to us by fax, e-mail, or given to you to bring with you the day of your appointment.

If you pet's condition is an emergency and your family veterinarian is not available, please contact us at (248) 334-6877 to arrange immediate care.

What happens at the time of my pet''s initial referral visit?
We ask you to bring all relevant information from your family veterinarian concerning your pet's current medical condition including x-rays, blood test results, and any medications that your pet may be taking. We will also have you fill out a brief medical history on your pet. You pet's consultation will consist of a review of your pet's medical history, an examination of your pet, and a discussion of your concerns regarding your pet's medical condition. We will also provide you with an assessment of your pet's treatment plans, options, and costs and discuss this assessment with you to agree on a treatment plan for your pet.
How will my family veterinarian be kept informed?
OVRS works in a partnership with you and your family veterinarian to provide the most complete veterinary care possible. Your veterinarian will receive the notes and results from your consultation and any procedures by fax, e-mail, or mail. You or your family veterinarian are encouraged to call us with any questions or concerns at any time.
When can I visit my pet?
Visiting your pet in the hospital can be arranged in most cases. Visiting hours are between 6:00pm and 8:30pm unless otherwise agreed upon by you and your doctor. We ask that you limit your visitation to 15 minutes to keep from disrupting your pet's treatment and recovery. Please understand that there may be a wait due to unexpected procedures or changes in patients' conditions and allow yourself extra time when coming to visit your pet.
Can I leave personal belongings with my pet?
We do not recommend that you leave blankets or towels; such items may become soiled and may be misplaced during the daily laundering process. We have an ample supply of blankets and towels for your pet's comfort. Toys and stuffed animals are permitted if adequately labeled. Food and water dishes are not necessary. If your pet requires a special diet or if you prefer to bring your pet's own food, please make sure to label all bags, cans, and containers.

ACVIM ( for cardiology, oncology, internal medicine
ACVS ( for surgery
ACVD ( for dermatology
ACVO ( for ophthalmology
ACVB ( for behavior

Picutre of Jasmine
Thank you everyone for taking such good care of me. I promise to stay out of mischief--at least the kind that requires surgery!

Love, Jasmine

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