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General FAQ

What are your hours?

We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays, for pet medical emergencies.  Our animal hospital in South Nashville, TN never closes, so if your pet is experiencing a medical emergency, contact your primary care veterinarian or bring your pet directly to us.  The specialty services offer regularly scheduled appointments Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. through 5:30 p.m.  Our hospital is staffed at all times by veterinarians, veterinary technicians, assistants, client service representatives, and others who can help you and your pet.

How do I get an appointment with the specialist?

For our non-emergency specialty services, you will need a referral from your primary care veterinarian. After speaking with your veterinarian, he or she will send a referral form to our hospital.  One of our client services representatives will call you to schedule an appointment once we receive the referral from your vet.

Why do I need a referral?

A referral is necessary because your veterinarian knows your pet’s history and current medical condition.  Nashville Veterinary Specialists acts as an extension of your veterinarian’s office. We work with your veterinarian to provide speciality care. Our Animal Hospital does not offer vaccines, routine dentals, or other services your primary care veterinarian provides.

What if I don’t have a regular veterinarian?

If you have not established a relationship with a primary care veterinarian, and your pet is having a medical emergency, bring your pet directly to our animal hospital in Nashville for treatment.  If the emergency doctor who sees your pet feels he or she needs to be seen by a specialists, we will discuss options with you.  Of course, it is best to make an appointment with a primary care vet for annual check-ups, and to keep your pet in good health. Your primary care veterinarian will be able to treat most of your pet''s medical needs. If he or she feels your pet needs to see a specialists, they will refer you to our office.

How do I prepare for my first consultation visit?

We ask that you do not feed your pet after 8:00 the evening before your appointment unless directed otherwise. Water can be offered until the morning of your appointment. You will need to arrive 20 minutes before your scheduled appointment in order to be checked in and fill out a new client questionnaire.

What do I bring to the appointment?

Please bring any laboratory test results, radiographs, CT or MRI reports, all current medications and of course, your pet. Also if your pet eats a specific type of food and is staying overnight, please bring an appropriate amount of its food as well.

Why do I have to fast my pet just for the consultation visit?

We ask that you not feed your pet in case it needs to be sedated or have general anesthesia performed on the day of its appointment.  Fasting is also required for certain blood tests and radiographs often require sedation. Overnight fasting can reduce the risk of complications associated with sedation.  

Two exceptions to this recommendation are if your pet is very young (i.e., less than 6 months of age) or has a medical condition that necessitates frequent feeding (i.e., diabetes, insulin secreting tumor). In those cases feed your pet as you normally would unless specifically directed by one of our doctors.

Do you have any payment plans?

We offer Care Credit, a third-party payment systems that provide several extended payment options.  One of our client service representatives can answer your questions about this options.

Payment Plans and Options

What forms of payment do you accept?

At NVS, you have several payment options. We accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, Care Credit, Apple Pay, Scratch Pay and cash. We do not accept personal checks.

What are the costs associated with treatment?

Our doctors will give you an estimate of total costs at the time of your consultation. This estimate will include a high and low quote.  You may contact our office to get a general estimate of costs on a case-by-case basis.  Please realize however that costs of care may change significantly once your pet is evaluated by one of our doctors.

Can I visit my pet while they are in the hospital?

In general, we feel that it is in the best interest of our patients to remain hospitalized without the excitement of having visitors.  If your pet is hospitalized for several days however we certainly will facilitate a visit with your pet.

Guidelines associated with visiting your pet include:

  • Visiting hours:  Visitation hours are limited from 10AM to 4PM unless a specific exception is made.

  • We ask that you limit visitation times with your pet to 20 minutes per day.

  • All pet visitations must be scheduled with your NVS doctor or one of our support staff.

  • Visitation is not allowed on the same day that a major surgical or medical procedure is performed.

  • You will most likely not visit in person with your doctor at the time of visitation with your pet.

Can I call your clinic to check on my pet?

Yes, you are always welcome to call and check on your pet. We will make every attempt to keep you up to date of your pet’s condition.  If your pet is having surgery, we will give you an estimated “table time” and we will call you as soon as your pet is recovered from anesthesia. We ask that you do not call the overnight staff for an update on your pet. If your pet is in the hospital for multiple days you will be updated at least once per day and most likely twice on his or her condition.

Surgery FAQ

What should I know prior to my pet being sent home?

Prior to your pet being sent home, you will receive detailed instructions on post-surgical care.  The details of your pet’s care will also be communicated to your primary care veterinarian during your pet’s stay and at the time of discharge.

If my pet needs surgery, what should I do the evening before the procedure?

Your pet will need to be fasted the night before any type of surgery. We ask that you take up your pet’s food at 10:00 p.m. the night before surgery. Your pet may have water until the morning of surgery. Remember, do not give your pet food, treats or medications the morning of surgery.

What should I bring when I am dropping off my pet for surgery?

You will need to bring your pet and be prepared to leave a deposit for one-half of the total cost of the surgical procedure. If your pet takes any medications, please bring those as well. We do not recommend that you bring any personal items (i.e., toys, blankets, t-shirts, etc.) for your pet’s hospital stay. If you do bring a personal item, please write your name on it to help us keep track of it. We, however, cannot guarantee that personal items left will make it home.

If I am dropping off my pet for surgery, when should I arrive?

Most surgical drop-offs need to be here between 7:00 and 7:15 the morning of surgery. This allows the surgery and anesthesia staff to evaluate all our surgery patients and perform any pre-operative testing before the surgery day begins.  If you are concerned that you may not be able to have your pet here by 7:15, please consider dropping off your pet the night before. We have 24-hour care.

What time will my pet’s surgery begin?

The daily surgery schedule is determined each morning and includes the elective surgery patients, that were dropped off on time (by 7:15 a.m.), as well as surgical transfers from the Emergency services. The surgery patients are placed on the schedule in an order that will best allow us to complete all of the surgeries on the schedule.  We typically start the first surgery by 8:30 a.m. We do NOT designate specific surgery times for any of our patients to allow us to accommodate any unexpected delays or challenges we might encounter.

Will someone call me when my pet’s surgery is over?

Yes, we will call you once your pet has woken up from anesthesia to update you on how the surgical procedure and anesthesia went. The surgeons typically update pet owners at the end of the surgical day.

When will I be told about aftercare?

When you come to pick up your pet, one of our daytime staff members will go over aftercare instructions with you. You are welcome to ask any questions at that time. We will also provide detailed discharge instructions for your pet.

Should I make special preparations for the ride home?

It is best if your pet can be restrained/confined for the ride home. Ideally your pet should be transported in a crate. If this is not possible you should arrange to have an additional person assist you during the transport home.

Will my pet need any follow up appointments?

In most instances, your pet will have staples or sutures removed 10 – 14 days after surgery. Your pet can generally be taken either to your primary care veterinarian or to our hospital for this visit. For some types of surgeries, we require that the suture removal be performed in our office. We will perform additional follow up exams if your pet experiences any post-operative complications. Most pets with bone and joint surgeries will need to have radiographs (x-rays) taken ten weeks following surgery. Certain surgical procedures will require many recheck examinations (i.e., complicated fractures, joint fusions, etc.). If extensive follow-ups are predictable for your pet, you will be advised of this before surgery is performed.

Are follow up appointments included in the surgical estimate?

Two free recheck exams are included in your surgical costs.  You will be charged if you pet needs a bandage change, any diagnostic testing (i.e., blood work, radiographs, etc.), medications or sedation during these recheck visits.  You also may be charged an exam fee if more than two rechecks are required.

Are there complications that can occur with any surgery?

Yes, any surgical procedure has the potential to result in complications and carries a certain amount of risk. Fortunately, the generic complications associated with all surgical procedures are very rare.

The first potential risk with any surgical procedure is related to general anesthesia. Fortunately, the risk of significant complications with general anesthesia is very small. Less than one percent of animals undergoing anesthesia will have a serious complication.

Another potential complication associated with any surgical procedure is incisional dehiscence or infection. Incisional problems are rare as well. Between three and five percent of surgical incisions in animals will become infected. Most incisional infections occur either because of licking or chewing at the incision. It is therefore extremely important to prevent licking or chewing following surgery when your animal returns home.

*If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact our offices at 615-386-0107. We want our clients to feel comfortable and informed during their hospital visit. We will be glad to answer any of your questions in order to have you fully understand all aspects of your pet’s care.