HOURS: Monday-Friday 8:30 AM-6:00 PM and Saturday 8:30 AM - 5:00PM.
PVSEC's Internal Medicine department provides specialty care, diagnostics and management of medical diseases in dogs and cats. Since moving to the new Camp Horne Road location, the Internal Medicine department (founded in 2004 and formerly known as Veterinary Medical Specialists of Pittsburgh) has expanded its staffing and scope.
PVSEC Internal Medicine offers a wide range of referral-based services. Our primary diagnostic tool is the knowledge and expertise our doctors possess from advanced training and extensive experience with a wide variety of critical, complicated and chronic diseases. We attempt to provide both a diagnosis and treatment as quickly and efficiently as possible. As a result, early referral of non-routine cases often saves both money and precious time. Our goal is to improve and extend your pet's quality of life.
The act of referring a patient to a specialist demonstrates your veterinarian's concern for your pet's health. Patients are referred for advanced therapy or diagnostics unavailable to your veterinarian or for an experienced second opinion on difficult or unusual cases. Due to the complexity of our cases, prompt communication and a cooperative relationship with referring veterinarians is crucial. The specialist, referring veterinarian, and owner must work as a team to provide the best care available.
The Internal Medicine department welcomes patients by referral from your primary care veterinarian, or via transfer or referral from the emergency and other specialty services within PVSEC.
New patient appointments are seen Monday-Friday, with most initial appointments taking place in the morning. These appointments typically last one-hour to allow complete review of existing medical records, thorough patient evaluation, and discussion of diagnostic and therapeutic options, including a written estimate. Delays can be minimized by faxing all records and results to PVSEC Internal Medicine in advance, and by bringing all x-rays, medications and prescription diets to your appointment. For your convenience, forms may be downloaded and completed in advance:
Whenever possible, diagnostic procedures are performed the same day. To facilitate diagnostic testing at the initial exam:
- Food should be withheld after midnight the evening prior to the appointment unless the patient is diabetic or very young. Water should be provided to all medicine patients at all times.
- Patients that are diabetic or less than six months old should receive food, insulin and any medications as usual
- Medications should be administered as directed unless the referring veterinarian indicates otherwise.
- Owners should call PVSEC (412-366-3400) with any questions regarding fasting instructions.
Patients generally spend the entire day with the Internal Medicine department and return home that evening. If overnight hospitalization is required, PVSEC will make every effort to keep your pet comfortable. Bedding and hiding places for cats are provided, cats are given litter boxes, and all patients receive food and water if their medical condition allows. Ambulatory dogs are walked every four hours. Doctors and technicians are present on-site at all times, 24-hours a day.
When your pet is ready to return home, a doctor or technician will call to schedule an appointment for your pet's discharge. This is an opportunity to review discharge instructions, medications and answer any questions. In most cases, a trained veterinary technician will discuss discharge information. If you have additional questions or concerns after reviewing discharge instructions, the doctor will address them in-person or when pending test results return. Your referring veterinarian will receive a written case summary at the time of discharge.
When possible, patients are returned to their primary care veterinarian for long-term follow-up care. Referring veterinarians are welcome to consult with the Internal Medicine department regarding follow-up care; however, concerns regarding prompt care and patient safety dictate that we cannot provide owners or referring veterinarians with treatment recommendations for patients that are not directly under our care. If your veterinarian is not comfortable managing your pet's follow-up care (e.g. immunosuppressive medications or chemotherapy), this should be performed through the Internal Medicine department.
Monday-Friday 12:00-2:00 PM and 5:00-6:30 PM; weekend mornings by arrangement.
Owners are asked to call to schedule a time to visit their hospitalized pet to minimize waiting. Unless otherwise arranged, the doctor may not be available to discuss the case during the visit. Please refrain from touching other animals while visiting to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and possibility of personal injury.
A doctor will call with a medical update once daily, unless arranged otherwise. Calls may be made as late as 8:00 or 9:00 PM to allow our doctors to place priority on patient care. We realize it is difficult to wait for information regarding your pet. Rest assured that we will call immediately in the event of an emergency or change in medical status requiring significant decisions. A technician is available to provide basic inpatient updates to owners calling between 10:00 AM and 12:00 PM. Communication is greatly expedited and simplified by the designation of one family member as a contact person. Owners are asked to leave all appropriate phone numbers with the receptionists.
We will call you with test results and the doctor's recommendations (e.g. medications or rechecks) as they become available. Please note that repeated calls to check on results require that we remove the patient file from the results bin, causing delays. A veterinary technician will contact you if your pet's results are normal or indicate minor abnormalities. This expedites communication of results and allows our doctors to report critical results more efficiently. If questions or concerns remain after reviewing results with a technician, a doctor can call back to address them. Your referring veterinarian will receive all test results and any additional recommendations after they have been discussed with you.
Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center is a unique veterinary hospital. There are fewer than 30 hospitals like us in the country. Because we are open 24 hours a day and provide specialized services in addition to emergency services, our fees for the care given and procedures performed may be higher than a normal veterinary visit.
And that's why we make sure you are given an estimate during your initial visit. When you are dealing with a sick pet, the last thing you need is a surprise on your vet bill.
A deposit equal to the low end of the estimate is required for pets needing hospitalization. As we gather diagnostic information and assess response to treatment, we may find that your pet requires additional hospitalization and care. Our policy is to call the owners of all hospitalized patients once a day to inform them of the current charges. Estimates are updated when the charges start to exceed the high end of the initial estimate. We encourage you to ask questions so that you feel comfortable.
Pet owners may ask us for estimates to treat and diagnose their pet over the phone. Please understand that we are unable to give you an accurate estimate without first examining your pet at our facility. We feel that one of the most valuable services we can offer to you is the initial consultation with one of our veterinarians. The doctor will review the history with you, look over any prior medical records including laboratory work and radiographs, perform a complete physical examination and sometimes even consult with other specialists in the hospital. During the consultation we also want to determine your wishes and goals. We believe that this process is the best way to give you the most accurate information about your pets medical condition, the prognosis, options for care, and the costs associated with treatment.
Complete payment is due when your pet is discharged. We accept MasterCard, Visa, Discover, American Express and personal checks. If one of these payment options is not preferable, third party financing through Care Credit is available.
If you are interested in this option please visit the Care Credit Website to fill out an application. Type in our hospital name (Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center) and our phone number (412-366-3400) when it asks for your doctor's information. We accept two different plans from Care Credit so that you can make the best decision for your current financial position.