Appointments are by referral only. Please contact your family veterinarian to facilitate a referral to our internal medicine service. A referral can be for a consultation only, consultation with diagnostics, or an outpatient abdominal ultrasound.
- Dr. Peterson is a board-certified internal medicine specialist. Please refer to the bio and offered internal medicine services for more information. In a nutshell, she takes care of the sick patients, leaving the annual wellness examinations, vaccinations, and new puppy and kitten examinations to your family veterinarian. In many instances, your family veterinarian will also care for your sick pet however when they feel it is in the pet’s best interest for additional diagnostics and a second opinion, their care is referred to a specialist.
Before the appointment
- If you have not filled out the Owner Information Sheet and the Pet History Sheet before your appointment, please arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time. It is important to answer all of the questions to be best of your ability, even if your pet’s records are available for review. This will ensure we have your pet’s history, both from your perspective and your family veterinarian’s.
- Initial consultation has 60 minutes allocated for the appointment. Arriving 15 minutes early, if you need to fill out the Owner Information Sheet and the Pet History Sheet, or on time, if you have already done so, will allow us to utilize the full 60 minutes to focus on your pet’s health.
- If you’re are running late, please call 724-591-8393 to alert us of the situation and your anticipated arrival time. We will make every effort to still see your pet that day however, it may require waiting until there is time available. We can also give you the option of rescheduling if waiting is not an option.
During the appointment
- A nurse will review your pet’s history as well as any other concerns you may have. If your pet has been referred for a specific diagnostic, such as an abdominal ultrasound, with your approval and a provided estimate, this may be performed before the doctor speaking with you. The doctor will create and discuss a diagnostic and treatment plan specifically for your pet.
- We recognized the collaboration and understanding necessary to help your pet. No diagnostics will be performed or treatments instituted without your approval. There will always be fluidity to the treatment and diagnostic plan. The focus needs to remain both on what is in the best interest of your pet as well as what you, as their caretaker, want for them.
- If possible, diagnostics will be performed on the day of the consultation on an outpatient basis. This may require your pet to remain with us throughout the day. If it is not possible to schedule a same-day diagnostic, either due to our procedure availability or your scheduling availability, we will work with you to determine other scheduling options.
Following the appointment
- If diagnostic results are pending, treatment recommendations may be delayed until those results are available. We will contact you with the results, make recommendations regarding treatment, additional diagnostics, and/ or when to schedule a follow-up with us.
- If a treatment plan has been established during the consultation, then recommendations will be made regarding when and how to follow up with us. This may be repeating lab work in a few weeks, a status update call, or a telemedicine update (availability to be determined).
- We will continue to work with you and your family veterinarian to care for your pet’s ongoing health care needs.
Safe Haven Veterinary Hospital is committed to being part of your pet’s continued care. Internal Medicine patients often have comorbidities and/or refractory diseases that are complicated to manage effectively. Interpreting lab results and making recommendations are both time-consuming and critical to a successful treatment outcome. We can be part of your pet’s healthcare team in one of two ways.
- We are happy to collaborate with your family veterinarian for follow-up care and diagnostics. The attending doctor will review the diagnostics performed by your family veterinarian and any additional information provided. If requested, the attending veterinarian will then provide recommendations to your family veterinarian. Please allow up to 72 hours for this response. Your family veterinarian can review this information and then relay their final decision regarding therapy recommendations and changes directly to you.
- Follow-up appointments can be scheduled at Safe Haven. The attending doctor will review the diagnostics, history, medication list, and response to therapy. You will be contacted with the results, a detailed summary, any therapy changes, when the next follow-up appointment should be scheduled, and what diagnostics will be performed during the next appointment.
Follow-up appointments can be scheduled as either a recheck appointment or a nurse appointment
- A recheck appointment is a scheduled ½ appointment with the attending veterinarian. If your pet is not responding as expected to the treatment plan, your pet is ill or if your pet is doing well but is due for an annual examination, a recheck appointment should be scheduled.
- A nurse appointment is a scheduled ½ hour appointment with a nurse. The attending veterinarian will oversee the appointment in the treatment area however the nursing staff will facilitate the entire visit. A nurse appointment should be scheduled for routine follow-up visits.