At WestVet, we understand that coping with your pet’s emergency or specialty health concerns can be an emotional process and you may have additional questions about our services or your pet's treatments.
While you are certainly welcome to contact our hospital at any time of day with questions or concerns, this section addresses some of the most common questions.
If you feel that you are still in need of clarification regarding your pet’s care or our hospital policies, please call us so that our client care specialists and medical staff can assist you.
I brought my pet in on emergency, another pet who came in after mine was seen first. Why is this?
Please trust the knowledge and experience of our staff to determine the level of priority that is assigned to each patient.
Patients are seen in order of critical nature and not in order of arrival. There may be a delay in your pet’s visit with the doctor if another pet has been assessed with having a more critical need for receiving treatment. Please rest assured that your pet will receive this same special attention as our more critical patients.
How can I help a stray pet that I found injured?
If you have found a stray pet, please contact the Idaho Humane Society directly at (208) 342-3508. They are the best resource for helping locate an owner. In addition, they have medical facilities on site and can help injured pets.
If you bring an injured stray animal to our hospital, it will be necessary for you to sign a release form and fill out a brief questionnaire regarding how and when you found the animal. While in our care, the stray pet will be stabilized and held for the Idaho Humane Society to assume responsibility.
If you wish to make decisions regarding the nature of care that this pet will receive, it will be necessary for you to assume responsibility as an owner.
Why does it take longer for the hair to grow back where the epidural was given?
If your pet was given an epidural with surgery, there will be a patch of hair at the top of the neck, or on the lower back that was shaved. These areas have thicker hair that grows more slowly which causes it take longer when growing back.
What should I do if I have found injured birds/wildlife?
If you have found injured wildlife, please contact the appropriate rehabilitation organization directly. Animals in Distress Association (AIDA) can be reached at (208) 367-1026 and the Ruth Melichar Bird Center can be contacted at (208) 338-0897.
Please be aware that as a private hospital, we do not have licensed wildlife rehabilitators at WestVet and that injured wildlife should only be treated by licensed wildlife rehabilitators.
Why might there be a wait to see the doctor?
Just as you can often expect to wait when seeing a human physician, our doctors have many patients who need their care and attention. We respect your time and appreciate your decision to come to our hospital. If you are experiencing a wait, our doctors are most likely needed by a more a critical patient and will attend to you and your pet as soon as they possibly can.
Please let a client care specialist know if time is a concern. Complimentary tea and coffee is available in our lobby, as well as a diversity of reading materials for your comfort.
How do I properly remove a fentanyl patch?
If your pet has been discharged with a fentanyl patch, there is a date written on it that indicates when it should be removed. Carefully peel back the tape to remove it, ensuring that your fingers only touch the edges.
Do not touch the underside of the patch. Dispose of the fentanyl patch properly. To clean the area of the skin where the patch was on your pet, use warm, soapy water with a cloth to gently wipe the area so that there is no residue of the medication left on the skin.
Remember to wash your own hands and any other surfaces that the bottom of the patch came in contact with. If you have any questions please contact us at (208)375-1600.
What should I do if my pet has a new health concern?
If your pet has been seen at WestVet in the past for a previous health concern, but has a new health concern that you believe is unrelated, you should contact your primary care veterinarian for follow up care.
If you are unsure if the health concern is related, please contact your primary care veterinarian so that he/she can determine if the WestVet specialist or emergency doctor should follow up with your concerns.
Why does the incision where my pet had surgery seem red and irritated?
If your pet’s incision seems redder than normal or has a discharge, the most common reason is your pet is able to get around the elizabethan collar(e-collar) and has been licking at this area. If your pet was discharged with an elizabethan collar, it is very important that you keep this on your pet at all times, especially when you are not home or not able to supervise.
Even if you have never noticed your pet doing this, it is likely that your pet is able to lick at the incision when you are not looking. If you do have a collar for your pet, it may be necessary to adjust the fit or exchange it for a different size so that it is long enough that your pet cannot get his or her nose around the edge of it.
Please check with your primary care veterinarian or come to our hospital to obtain an elizabethan collar if you do not already have one for your pet. If you have any concerns with the appearance of your pet’s incision, it is best to call our hospital and arrange for a doctor to examine your pet; (208) 375-1600.
Why wasn’t medical advice given to me over the phone?
In accordance with Idaho State law, it is illegal to provide medical advice for a patient for whom no physical exam has been given.
In addition, it is not in the best interest of your pet to have treatment recommended without a physical exam performed. If your pet has never been seen by a WestVet doctor or if there has been an extended amount of time since the last exam, you will be asked to bring your pet to the hospital for a physical exam before the doctors or staff can make any recommendations.
Please rest assured that it is truly in your pet’s best interest that we adhere to this policy.
My pet was already seen by my primary veterinarian, so why is it necessary to pay for an additional
State law prevents a veterinarian from prescribing medication, diagnosing, or treat a patient for whom he/she has not performed a physical exam. Even though your primary care veterinarian has performed a physical exam, made a diagnosis, and suggested a treatment plan, it is the legal requirement of our veterinarians to perform a physical exam on your pet.
By law, our doctor can not perform the treatment suggested by your veterinarian without this exam.
Why are my follow up x-rays not included in the price of the surgery?
If your pet has had a procedure performed, post operative x-rays have likely been recommended to ensure that your pet has successfully healed and is ready for a return to normal activity.
As each pet is unique and may have a different healing process, it is not possible to exactly predict the number and type of x-rays that your pet may need. Follow up x-rays are not included in the price of the surgery due to this variety in patient healing and individual radiographic needs.
WestVet now has digital x-ray! If you would like a copy of your pet’s x-rays, please ask a technician or a client care specialist for a copy to be made. You can read more about our Medical Imaging services HERE.
Why was my invoice under/over the estimate?
Care plans are simply estimates of treatment cost and cannot allow for every possible scenario. Estimates are intentionally broad and are provided as a courtesy to help you plan for the more likely range of the final invoice. If finances are a concern, please ask a client care specialist for daily updates on your account balance.
We may also assist you with applying for financing with one of our third party financial providers.
Why is an initial payment required before a procedure?
Unlike many human hospitals, WestVet is a privately owned hospital and does not receive government funding. In order to be properly prepared for your pet’s services, it is our requirement that an initial payment is collected towards your pet’s care.
An explanation of your pet's care and treatments will be provided to you prior to the request for initial payment. If your payment exceeds the cost of care provided, the remaining portion will be refunded to you. You have the right to decline any services we offer you. Please be aware that if you decline any service, legally, we must ask you to sign a waiver.
If finances are a concern, please discuss this with a client care specialist so that we may assist you with applying for financing with one of our third party financial providers.
Why don’t you take payments?
Full payments are required to ensure that we can be properly supplied and prepared for the next pet’s emergency.
The next pet could be yours.
For the benefit of all future pets, it is necessary for us to receive full payment so that we may continue to provide the best emergency and specialty care veterinary medicine has to offer .If finances are a concern, please discuss this with a client care specialist so that we may assist you with applying for financing with one of our third party financial providers.
I am asked to schedule an appointment for a visit or release of my pet, why is that?
We ask that your visits are scheduled in advance to ensure that our nurses can accommodate the visit at a time that will not interrupt the treatment schedule of your pet or other patients. While hospitalized, your pet has been given a very specific treatment schedule by our doctors. It is important for your pet’s optimal recovery that all treatments are performed on time.
We respect your time and know that you will have many questions as you prepare for your pet’s release. We want to ensure that we have time in our schedule and all materials str ready for your pet’s release so that you and your pet can have all the time and attention needed.
While preparing a patient for discharge, our staff members ensure that all treatments have been complete, release instructions have been typed, medications have been dispensed, and elizabethan collars have been fitted before releasing your pet.
Why shouldn’t I feed my pet the morning before surgery?
The anesthesia given to your pet is the same type of anesthesia given during a human procedure or surgery; upon waking from anesthesia, it can cause mild nausea in your pet. It is better for your pet’s comfort to ensure the stomach is empty when undergoing anesthesia.
Is there insurance available for pets?
Yes! We highly advise that you carry health insurance for each of your pets, just as you maintain insurance for yourself and your family members. Pet insurance can help ease the financial burden when the unexpected happens with your pet.
For as little as $10 per month, pet insurance can be a great investment to plan for your pet’s potential health care needs throughout his/her lifetime. There are many pet health insurance options available, the internet is a great way to research the many available carriers.