FAQ

Welcome to WestVet. WestVet offers 24 hour Emergency Veterinary care at our Animal Hospital in Western Idaho.

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, below is a list of the most common questions.

If you need additional clarification regarding your pet’s care or WestVet hospital policies, please call us at 208.375.1600 so that we may assist you.

I brought my pet in on emergency, another pet who came in later 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. Rest assured that your pet will receive this same special attention as more critical patients. 

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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 an on-site medical facility and can help injured pets.

If you bring an injured stray animal to our hospital, we require that you complete and sign a release form that includes a brief questionnaire regarding the details of 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 veterinary care the animal may receive, it will be necessary for you to assume responsibility as an owner.

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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; 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 employed at WestVet; injured wildlife should only be treated by licensed wildlife rehabilitators.

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Why might there be a wait to see the doctor?

Just as you may often experience some waiting time when seeing a human physician, our doctors have numerous patients who require their care and attention.

We do respect your time and greatly appreciate your decision to come to WestVet. If you are experiencing a delay, 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 diverse range of reading materials for your comfort.

 

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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.

Typically for animals, these areas have thicker hair. In addition, this hair grows more slowly so it takes a longer time when growing back.

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How do I properly remove a fentanyl patch?

We have created a how-to video which demonstrates the safe removal of a Fentanyl patch, you may view it HERE.

If your pet has been discharged with a Fentanyl patch, there is a date inscribed on it indicating when it should be removed.

To begin, carefully peel back the tape ensuring that your fingers only touch the edges.

Do not touch the underside of the patch.

Ensure proper disposal of the Fentanyl patch.

Use warm, soapy water to clean the area of the skin where the patch was placed on your pet. 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.

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What should I do if my pet has a new health concern?

If your pet has been treated at WestVet in the past, but now has a new health concern that you believe is unrelated to our previous care, you should contact your family veterinarian for follow-up care.

If you are unsure if the new health concern is related, please contact your primary care veterinarian so that he/she can determine if  a WestVet Veterinary Specialist or emergency doctor should follow up with your concerns.

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Why does my pet’s incision seem red and irritated?

If your pet’s incision seems redder than normal or has a discharge it often means that he/she has been able to reach around the elizabethan collar (e-collar) and has licked the area.

Please note that if your pet is discharged with an e-collar, it is critical that you keep it on your pet at all times—especially when you are not home or unable to supervise.

Even if you have not seen your pet doing this, it is likely that he/she is able to lick at the incision when you are not looking. Sometimes it may be necessary to adjust the fit or even exchange the e-collar for a different size--one large enough to stop your pet from getting his/her nose around the edge of it.

Please check with your family veterinarian or come to WestVet hospital to obtain an e-collar if you do not already have one. If you have concerns with the appearance of the incision, it is best to call our hospital and arrange for a doctor to examine your pet; 208.375.1600.

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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.

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Why are my follow up x-rays not included in the price of the surgery?

If your pet had a procedure performed, post operative x-rays have likely been recommended to ensure that your pet has successfully healed and is ready to resume 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.

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My pet was seen by my family veterinarian, why is it necessary to pay for an additional exam?

State law prevents a veterinarian from prescribing medication, diagnosing, or treating a patient for whom he/she has not performed a physical exam.

Even though your family veterinarian performed a physical exam, made a diagnosis, and suggested a treatment plan for you pet, our veterinarians are legally required to perform a physical exam on your pet.

By law, our doctors cannot perform the treatments suggested by your family veterinarian without this exam.

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Why was my invoice under/over the estimate?

The care plan for your pet is simply an estimate of the treatment costs, it cannot allow for every possible scenario.

WestVet estimates are intentionally broad and are provided as a courtesy to help you plan for the most likely range on the final invoice. If finances are a concern, please ask a client care specialist for daily updates on your account balance.

In addition, we can provide assistance with applying for financing with one of our third-party financial providers.

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Why doesn’t WestVet accept 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 and patients, 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.

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Why is an initial payment required before a procedure?

Unlike many human hospitals, WestVet is a privately owned hospital. In order to be properly prepared to provide advanced veterinary and specialty treatments for your pet, we require that an initial payment is collected towards your pet’s care.

A detailed 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 or treatment we offer; please be aware that if you do decline any treatments, legally, we are required to have you 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.

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Why was I asked to schedule an appointment for a visit or release of my pet?

We schedule family visits to ensure that our nursing staff can accommodate your visit at a time that will not interrupt the treatment schedule of patients in our hospital.

While hospitalized, your pet has a very specific treatment schedule outlined by our veterinary specialists and emergency doctors. It is important for your pet’s optimal recovery that all treatments are performed in a timely manner.

Regarding your pet's release from our hospital, we respect your time and know that you may have questions as you prepare to bring your pet home. To ensure that we can give you our full attention, properly address your questions and concerns, and provide all necessary materials and/or medications, an appointment for your pet's release remains the best option.

While preparing a patient for discharge, our nursing staff ensures that all treatments have been completed, home-care instructions have been typed, medications have been dispensed, and elizabethan collars (e-collars) have been fitted before releasing your pet.

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Why shouldn’t I feed my pet the morning before surgery?

The anesthesia given to your pet is similar to the anesthesia given during a human procedure or surgery. Upon waking from a surgical procedure, one possible side effect is mild nausea in your pet.  It is better for your pet’s comfort to ensure the stomach is empty when undergoing anesthesia.

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Is there insurance available for pets?

Yes! We highly advise that pet owners carry health insurance for each pet in their family, just as you maintain insurance for yourself and family members. Pet insurance can help ease the financial burden when the unexpected happens or an advanced illness requires specialty veterinary treatment.

There are numerous options available with a wide variety of monthly premiums. 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.

Pets Best Insurance is a Boise-based company which offers excellent coverage for your pet. You are eligible for a discount by utilziing the link found HERE.

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