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North Alabama Veterinary Emergency & Specialty

Kitten on Ground


A trip to the Emergency Room can be stressful and confusing if you do not know what to expect. Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about you and your pet’s visit to North Alabama Veterinary ER + Specialty.

What happens when we arrive?

One of our trained nurses will perform triage--an initial assessment to determine whether your pet is in critical or stable condition. Pets in stable condition may remain with you until a veterinarian is available to perform a thorough physical exam. Less stable or critical animals will be moved immediately to the hospital's treatment area, which is closed to anyone other than staff for further evaluation and treatment.

How long will I have to wait for a veterinarian?

Our hospital is managed much like a human emergency room. Critical patients will be handled before non-life-threatening illnesses, which can mean a longer wait to see a veterinarian. Patients are treated in order of severity, with critical and unstable patients being assessed and treated first before moving forward with other, more stable patients. Be assured, however, that each pet and client will be treated with the same thorough care when it is your time to see the doctor.

What happens if my pet needs to be admitted into the hospital?

One of our staff members will discuss various treatment options with you regarding your pet. Should it become necessary for your pet to be hospitalized, we will discuss a treatment plan and associated estimated costs with you. While your pet is in our hospital, we will often communicate with you regarding your pet's medical status.

Can I receive updates on my pet?

We know that you are concerned about your pet. Please feel free to call or ask at any time. Our doctors or technical staff will provide you with information as soon as they can step away from their patients. Pet owners will always be notified immediately if the pet becomes critical or remains unstable.

Can I visit my pet?

We understand how concerned you are when your pet is in the hospital. When your pets are hospitalized at North Alabama Veterinary ER + Specialty, they are carefully monitored, and you will receive frequent updates on your pet’s condition. Visitation with your pet may be possible depending on their condition and the number of other patients we have in the clinic at that time. We ask that you call ahead and speak to one of our veterinary team members about visiting your pet is possible.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept cash, Visa, Master Card, American Express, Discover, CareCredit, and Scratchpay. Please ask a staff member for more information.

Do you work directly with my veterinarian?

Your veterinarian entrusts us with the care of your pet when they are unavailable. We provide emergency veterinary care for your pet and overnight hospitalization for critical patients when regular veterinarians are closed; we are an extension of your family veterinarian.

What happens when it is time for my pet to come home?

As your pet recovers, we want you to be comfortable with the nursing and healing process. Before we release your pet, we will discuss any transfer or home-care instructions with you, including any bandage and incision care, as well as information about prescribed medications. Please ask any questions that you may have. We will give you a copy of the medical record and fax a copy to your regular veterinarian.

Will my veterinarian get a copy of my pet's medical record?

Records for all discharged patients can be found on our portal through rVetlink and can be faxed to your rDVM.

We understand how stressful and difficult an emergency experience with your pet can be. Please let us know if there is anything more we can do to help you through this difficult time.