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Frequently Asked Questions

What fees can my clients expect to pay to the OVC HSC?

OVC HSC rates are typically comparable to those charged in a private referral practice. We accept payment by cash, certified cheque (personal cheques cannot be accepted), credit card (VISA, Master Card) or direct debit. If hospitalization is needed, a deposit of one half (Companion Animal Referrals) or one quarter (Large Animal Clinic) of the estimated charge is required at the time of hospitalization. The remaining balance is due at the time of discharge.

Who will provide services to clients I refer?

A team of faculty, residents, interns, veterinary technicians, agricultural assistants, animal care attendants and veterinary students provides All OVC HSC services. As a teaching hospital, student involvement with cases is heavy. Please advise your clients that they should plan to spend a minimum of 60 – 90 minutes at the OVC HSC for each appointment, and longer if outpatient imaging services or laboratory data are needed.

How can I assist my client with my referral to the OVC HSC?

Provide a Patient Referral Form to your client. This form explains our services and procedures. Inform your client that additional tests and lab work may be performed to take a special view, follow progression, or to look for changes. Clients prepared in this way are seldom as anxious about repeat tests. Please send any pertinent lab reports and radiographs with your client. Please note: the referral request form should be faxed to the HSC no sooner than one week prior to the appointment.

How will I be informed about the diagnostic and treatment results of my referral to the OVC HSC?

We make two levels of communication commitment to fellow veterinarians. When you have made a professional referral, we will call you within 24 hours of the patients arrival, update you when required, and later send you a written summary of all visits.

We have learned that without written referral, some cases may not be properly linked to the referring veterinarian. When appointments are made without a professional referral, we ask clients for the name of their regular veterinarian, ensuring you will receive written information on the visit if your client lists you as their regular veterinarian. This communication is designed to provide for optimal ongoing medical care, and is a courtesy to fellow veterinarians

How Can I Facilitate an Emergency/Urgent Referral?

Upon confirmation with our Emergency Service that we are able to accept your patient, please note the following:

  • Pertinent medical history including relevant test results and radiographs must be sent to
  • Our completed Emergency Referral Intake form signed by your client must be sent to
  • Please inform us of your patient’s estimated time of arrival
  • Same day diagnostic imaging is not guaranteed, (ultrasound, CT, MRI)

OVC HSC Decision to Divert

On occasion, when our resources are reaching a critical capacity, we will be prioritizing intake and selecting new admissions to our Emergency/Triage Referral Service accordingly.  Patients needing tertiary care wherein the technology or expertise to diagnose and care for the patient is only available at OVC (e.g., ventilation or dialysis) and current patients of our Specialty Services that are having acute exacerbations of a problem and need to be reassessed will receive priority status.  Patients that are likely to require care or a resource that is currently at or over capacity (eg, ultrasound) will likely be diverted to other facilities that are able to provide that care.  If the patient that you are attempting to refer falls into the latter category, and the patient is stable enough to stay with your practice, then we are happy to provide advice and guidance to you about how to care for that patient until such time as our intake limitations improve or referral elsewhere is required. We can also provide alternative resources or services that may be able to accept your referral.  If there are other things we can do to support your needs, please don’t hesitate to ask.