Animal Emergency & Specialty Care

Client FAQs

Here are a few common questions that you may have about our practice:

What is a veterinary specialist?

A board certified veterinary specialist is a veterinarian with advanced education and training in a specific discipline of veterinary medicine.  His or her knowledge and skill in this area is evaluated and recognized by a specialty organization (college) sanctioned by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Over the past 15 years there has been tremendous growth in the volume of new information and procedures available within the veterinary field.  As a result, it is virtually impossible for any one veterinarian to be completely versed in every medical discipline.

As in human medicine, this reality has led to the development of advanced training programs in specialized areas. Until recently, only human medical facilities and university veterinary hospitals provided many of the services offered by AESC.

To become a specialist, a student must complete four years of veterinary school.  Next, he or she must subsequently complete a one-year internship in small animal medicine and surgery, followed by a three-year residency training program in their elected discipline at an accredited School of Veterinary Medicine.  Successful completion of written and practical examination by a Board of Examiners, approval of case reports, and the publication of a research article in veterinary literature are also required.

When successfully completed, the individual is referred to as a diplomate in one of the 14 specialty colleges.  Specialists can now be found in veterinary colleges, industry practices, and private practices throughout the world. They perform research, teach, and provide specialized veterinary care.

Can Animal Emergency & Specialty Center be my regular veterinarian?
The relationship between a specialty veterinarian and a family veterinarian is important.  Specialists are an extension of your family veterinarian, not a replacement.  We take cases that are beyond the scope of the family vet to help your pet and then transfer care back to the family veterinarian.  We encourage all of our clients to return to their family veterinarian after their pets have recovered under our care.

How do you communicate with my family veterinarian?
After the initial consultation, if we need further medical history in order to help us make a diagnosis, we will call your family veterinarian for a consultation.  Whether we call for further information or not, we send a letter to your family veterinarian with information regarding the diagnosis and proposed treatment of your pet.  After your pet undergoes a procedure, we follow-up with your family veterinarian once more with a letter outlining how the procedure went and the recommended discharge instructions for a healthy recovery.

How do you communicate with me when my pet is under your care?
After dropping your pet off with us, we call you immediately after the procedure is complete to fill you in on the details of the prognosis.  We continue to stay in communication with updates throughout the period that your pet is under our care.  You can, of course, always feel free to call us at 720-842-5050 to check in at any time.

What kinds of situations qualify as an emergency for my pet?

If your animal exhibits any abnormal activity or behavior, please consult with your veterinarian when (s)he is available. Learn more details about our emergency services and for a detailed list of symptoms that require immediate medical attention.

What are your payment policies?
Our payment policies slightly differ depending on the AESC service.  Learn more about our payment policies.

Can I visit my pet when (s)he is under your care?
We understand that it can be stressful when for your pet and your family during your pet’s hospitalization.  Your presence can often improve your pet’s recovery and give your family peace of mind; therefore we encourage you to visit during your pet’s stay with us.  Learn more about our visiting hours.

What do I need to know about caring for my pet when we go home?
Post-procedure care varies depending on what kind of procedure your pet has.  Learn more about pre/post-surgical care.

Why does my pet need to be shaved for surgery?
In order to perform a successful, sterile procedure, it is necessary for us to shave your pet for surgery.  We shave as minimally as possible, and the amount shaved will vary depending upon the surgery.  For most procedures, we will shave an area for an IV catheter, areas for monitoring equipment, and areas for the incision site.  Please ask your nurse for specifics on your pet’s surgery.