Can I make an appointment for my pet?
We do not accept appointments for emergency care. Our Albuquerque and Santa Fe emergency hospitals are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If your pet is in need of emergency care, no appointment is necessary. Since emergencies are not predictable, we cannot schedule appointments. All pets are seen based on the severity of the injury or illness which means pets with the most severe injuries or illnesses will be seen first. As such, your wait time to see one of our veterinarians will vary depending on the number and types of emergencies received.
We do schedule appointments for specialty care. If you would like to have your pet seen by one of our specialty doctors at our Specialty Center, your pet will need to be referred by your family veterinarian. Once your family veterinarian completes and submits a referral form, we will contact you to make an appointment at either our Albuquerque or our Santa Fe location.
How is emergency care different from regular veterinary care?
Emergency care is available when your family veterinary clinic is not open or your family veterinarian refers your pet to us for critical care. Our 24-hour emergency hospital allows for intensive care by specially trained staff with state-or-the-art equipment. Our emergency hospital, however, cannot replace the historical knowledge and valued relationship you have with your family veterinarian. After initial treatment at our emergency hospital, we make every effort to discharge your pet back into the care of your family veterinarian.
Will my family veterinarian be updated on my pet?
Yes. One of our obligations as an emergency and specialty practice is to remain in close communication with your family veterinarian. We recognize that you may have a long and trusting relationship with your family veterinarian and that she or he may provide essential insight into the medical management of your pet’s condition. Our goal is to work closely with your family veterinarian as a team of professionals overseeing the care of your pet.
Can I visit my pet while my pet is in the hospital?
Yes. Our visitation policy is designed to protect the safety and health of our patients. As such, we request that you call before visiting. If the hospital treatment area is busy or procedures are being performed, visitation will not be allowed. Visiting hours and limitations vary at each clinic. Only pet owners or authorized representatives are allowed to visit.
Can I be billed for veterinary services?
No. Our hospital is not funded by any governmental agency. We rely solely on the fees that we must charge in order to remain a service to the community. As such, to keep fees as low as possible, we respectfully request that all fees be paid up front prior to treatment being rendered. There may be a balance due when your pet is discharged, which we will collect at the time you pick up your pet. We accept cash, checks, money orders, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and CareCredit.
How can my pet be seen at your Specialty Center?
Our Specialty Center is a referral-based practice meaning that your family veternarian must refer your pet to us for specialized care. In many cases your family veterinarian is fully capable of treating most injuries and illnesses, but in some cases, a specialized veterinarian is necessary. Your family veterinarian knows best when to refer your pet to us. If you think your pet requires specialized care, discuss your concerns with your family veterinarian.
What is a Board Certified Surgeon?
The term “ACVS Diplomate” refers to a veterinarian who has been board certified in veterinary surgery. Only veterinarians who have successfully completed the certification requirements of the ACVS are Diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and have earned the distinction to be called specialists in veterinary surgery. Veterinarians wishing to become board certified must complete a three-year residency program, meet specific training and caseload requirements, perform research and have their research published. This process is supervised by current ACVS Diplomates, ensuring consistency in training and adherence to high standards. Once the residency has been completed, the resident must sit for and pass a rigorous examination. Only then does the veterinarian earn the title of ACVS Diplomate.
What is a TPLO?
The tibial plateau leveling osteotomy, or TPLO, is used to neutralize the effect of the upper leg bone (femur) rolling forward on the lower leg bone (tibia). The procedure levels the lower part of the knee joint (tibial plateau), thereby eliminating the need for the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) to act as a restraint. In other words, thinking of the ACL as a cable restraining a car from rolling downhill, this procedure levels the surface and eliminates the need for the cable. Injuries to the joint cushioning material (meniscus) can also be corrected during the surgery to prevent further arthritic changes in the joint. After surgery, the dog will need to be confined for eight weeks. The only activities allowed are: on a carpeted surface under control of the owner -- no playing!; being left in a traveling dog kennel; short walks of less than 1/8 mile under direct owner supervision.
Does My Dog Need a TPLO?
Since dogs stand on their toes, with their ankles up in the air and their knees bent forward, the lower part of the knee joint (tibial plateau) is sloped forward. Weight-bearing activities create a force that pushes the top leg bone (femur) down the sloping tibial plateau. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the only thing keeping this force in check. Acting like a cable restraining a car on a hill, the ACL restricts the downward motion of the femur. Every step a dog takes adds stress to the ACL, and over time, this stress can rupture the ACL. This can happen from a single incident, which causes a sudden and severely painful ACL rupture and subsequent lameness. There are also partial ruptures, caused by small ruptures causing slight pain and mild lameness. The most common cause of rear limb lameness in the dog is rupture of the ACL. This leads to arthritis in the dog's knee joint including cartilage damage, bone spur production, and injury to the meniscus. which cushion the joints. The tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) has proven effective in returning the knees to full function.
What is a TTA?
Tibial Tuberosity Advancement, or TTA, is the new anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) stabilization surgery that many believe is a good alternative to TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy). The procedure has been around since 2001, with more than 2,500 procedures being performed throughout the world by 2005. Developed in Switzerland by Dr. Slobodan Tepic and others at the University of Zurich, the technique has been gaining popularity in the United States. The main advantage to TTA over TPLO surgery appears to be an easier recovery for your dog. Initial complications are often due to the dog's premature, unrestricted activities. Potential advantages include improved action in the knee joint, resulting in less arthritis and other joint complications. One main disadvantage compared to TPLO is that the limb alignment can't be addressed with TTA. The main goal of the technique is to align the straight ligament over the knee to be perpendicular to the lower part of the knee joint (tibial plane). While the patient may regain early leg function, the recovery is exactly the same as TPLO.