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Veterinary Specialty Hospital - San Diego

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When Your Pet is a Patient

What to Expect When Your Pet Is A Patient


Patients are normally referred to Veterinary Specialty Hospital by their family veterinarian. Typically, your family veterinarian will send VSH a referral form. The form will describe your pet’s problem and identify the appropriate specialty department to see your pet.

Prior to your initial visit we recommend that you download and complete the Client Registration Form. Please bring it to your appointment. Or fill out and submit the online form.

To schedule your appointment for your initial visit, call (858) 875-7500. If you have questions about your appointment only, you can also contact us here. If you have any concerns regarding your pet, please contact us directly.

On the day of your initial visit:

  1. Be sure to bring all relevant information including the Client Registration Form if you have printed it, the Referral Form filled out by your veterinarian, x-rays, blood test results, and diet or medication information that your pet is taking.

  2. Please arrive 20 minutes early to complete information for your pet medical record.

  3. Please have your pet controlled on a leash or in a carrier.

  4. In cases of surgery or major procedures, and as directed, please do not feed your pet for 12 hours prior to your appointment (except for very young animals, animals with diabetes, or when directed otherwise). However, you may give water.

  5. Continue your pet’s normal medication schedule and bring all medications with you.

  6. If you are unable to keep your appointment, please give us a 24-hour notice. We will be happy to reschedule.

After you check in with the receptionist, the doctor and technician will meet with you and your pet to perform a physical exam, obtain a complete medical history, and evaluate your pet’s condition. The doctor may also perform additional examinations or diagnostics in one of our diagnostic areas.

At this point, our team will put together an assessment of your pet’s treatment options, plans, and costs. The doctor and technicians will discuss this assessment with you, and together you will agree to a treatment plan for your pet.

Cost Estimates

When you set your appointment, you will receive an explanation of initial exam fees. The need for additional testing and treatments may not be known prior to the examination, so it may not be possible to estimate all of the costs in advance. Once the doctor examines your pet, you will receive an assessment of your pet’s treatment options, plans, and estimated cost.

Payment Policy

Payment is required at the time services are provided. Cash, check, debit card, MasterCard, Visa, and Discover Card are accepted forms of payment. Care Credit, Wells Fargo Health Advantage and Scratchpay are other payment options.

Payment in full, in the amount of the high end of the treatment plan will be required if your pet is staying at the hospital for evaluation or treatment.

Prescription Refills

Our prescription refill process makes it easy for you to get your pet’s medicine. We refill prescriptions 7 days a week, Monday-Sunday, 8:00 am-5:00 pm. Requests may be made 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Requests made outside of our pharmacy hours will be reviewed the next business day. Please allow 2 business days for refill processing. You can submit your request on our Prescription Refill Form here.

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Going the Extra Mile

When they're with us, they're part of our family.

Our teams will go beyond the call of duty in making sure patients are comfortable and feeling loved while away from home.Follow us on social media for patient stories, updates, and team highlights!

Ask us about sharing your pet's medical journey on social media to spread awareness, positivity, and education to all.