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Selecting an Animal Hospital for Your Furry Friend

Updated on July 9, 2015

When your furry family member is sick or injured, you want them to have the best care possible. You don’t want to suddenly be trying to find an animal hospital, and hoping that the vet knows what they are doing and that your pet will like them. No, just as you would want your human family to be comfortable with a doctor, you want a vet that your pet likes.

This means that you don’t want to wait until the emergency to find a place to go. Rather, you need to take the time to establish a rapport with your area animal hospital in advance. Most veterinary clinics and hospitals are open to you, along with your pet, visiting their facility simply to see what it is like. When you do this, you will want to check out a variety of things along the way. These aspects include the following:

  1. The equipment – Be sure that it is up to date, so ask about things such as how they take blood pressure, if they use a packed cell volume approach (this measures red blood cell count without needing to send a blood sample to a lab), and if they have a pulse oximeter to monitor the animal’s oxygen (old equipment requires human read x-rays; new equipment uses automatic processors and are more efficient). These are more recent approaches to animal care, and are better than the older methods.
  2. Find out the procedure for bringing in a specialist, should the hospital not have someone on hand who can effectively treat your pet’s ailments.
  3. What modern anesthetic techniques/practices do you use? Today, vets typically use Isoflurane and Sevoflurance; do not go to a vet that uses Halothane, as this is no longer deemed safe. In addition, any patient under anesthesia should have an IV catheter and be intubated (placement of a trachea ensuring oxygen levels are adequate) when under anesthesia. As you talk about the animal hospital’s anesthesia practice be sure you discuss:
  • How they monitor patients when they are under anesthesia? Ideally, it is better if there is someone whose sole responsibility is to monitor the equipment.
  • What type of monitoring equipment is used?
  • Who does the monitoring?

4. Is the hospital an AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) accredited? These hospitals/veterinary practices must meet specific standards and guidelines regarding facilities, equipment, patient care and staffing.

5. How many vets practice at the facility? Find out if some have specific areas of expertise or if others have more current training.

Choosing animal hospital prior to there being an emergency will give you peace of mind should you find yourself needing their help. No one wants to think about his or her furry family member being injured or sick, but should it happen, you want to know they will be well cared for and comfortable. The Excelsior Animal Hospital in Minnetonka, MN is one of the many options to consider for your pet.

Many websites provide additional information on the topic of animal hospitals. One such site worth visiting is

Janet Slagell independently authors articles for, Inc. for search engine marketing. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those solely of the author, and not of any other person, company or organization. No guarantee or warranty, express or implied, is made regarding the accuracy, fitness, or use of the content herein.


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