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pDVM FAQ – BluePearl Pet Hospital in North Dallas

How does the process work to see a specialist?

Send us your patient’s medical records along with our referral form and we’ll call the client to set up an appointment based on the urgency level you indicate. If you are unsure how quickly a patient needs to be seen, please call and ask to speak with one of our doctors, or if emergent, please don’t hesitate to utilize our 24/7 ECC (Emergency + Critical Care) service.

Do I have to fill out a referral form?

YES. This information is vital to help us contact the client, as well as indicate your requests (which service, urgency, etc.). We also double-check your contact information to ensure accuracy and this form reminds you of things we need (lab data, x-rays) to ensure the appointment goes smoothly for your client and patient.

Who do I send the case to – the internist, criticalist or ER?

Internists work with the internal body systems when there are chronic symptoms in the areas of infection, cancer, immune-mediated or endocrine disease, liver or kidney issues and more. Internal Medicine emphasizes non- to minimally-invasive diagnostics and treatment techniques, including ultrasound, endoscopy and laparoscopy.

Criticalists handle patients that have become injured or suddenly develop an acute, life-threatening disease. In many cases, after the initial emergency treatment, a patient may require days of close monitoring and life support in ICU before recovery. Criticalists are dedicated to treating life-threatening conditions in the areas of trauma, respiratory distress, blood transfusions, shock, specialized nutritional support, ventilator therapy, emergency surgery and more.

Our experienced emergency care doctors are available when an acute issue arises that you cannot treat or are not available to treat. They are available 24/7 and help stabilize patients prior to transfer to one of our specialty services (if needed). They are also an integral part of our commitment to our patients, as they help us deliver compassionate care around the clock!

What is involved in a neurological exam?

The neurologic exam is a tool to help confirm and localize nervous system injury. Evaluating all components of the exam, including appearance/symmetry, gait abnormalities, cranial nerve dysfunction, abnormal sensation and abnormal reflexes, can help localize disease and assist in creating a differential diagnosis list and diagnostic plan.

There are six main categories involved in a complete Neurologic exam:

  • Mentation can be determined by observing how the patient interacts with the owner and the environment.
  • Posture and gait are assessed by watching the patient walk and looking for signs of ataxia, paresis or plegia.
  • Cranial nerve evaluation involves a series of tests to determine the functionality of the 12 cranial nerves. These tests include Facial Symmetry, Facial Sensation, Facial Expression, Ocular Position, Ocular Nystagmus, Menace Response, Pupillary Light Reflex and Gag Reflex. Proprioception evaluates the awareness of the position of the body independent of vision. These tests may involve “paw placing” and ‘hopping” to determine sensory deficits or motor system abnormalities.
  • Proprioception evaluates the awareness of the position of the body independent of vision. These tests may involve “paw placing” or “hopping” to determine sensory deficits or motor system abnormalities.
  • Spinal reflexes do not involve conscious awareness of the stimulation. They are an evaluation of peripheral nerve function and local spinal cord segments using a scale of 0 – 4, with 0 describing absent reflex and 4 indicating clonic activity (continuous repetitive response to a mild stimulus).
  • Sensory/pain perception does involve conscious awareness of sensation. Palpation is used to evaluate the vertebral spine, lumbosacral junction and tail base, as well as movement of the head and neck to determine the range of motion and cervical pain. Pinching the toes is also used to evaluate superficial and deep pain sensation.

What is the average wait time to schedule an appointment with a specialist?

The average wait time varies, depending on the urgency of the case and our current caseload. If your patient needs to be seen on an urgent or emergency basis, please call our office directly to speak with one of our specialists or emergency doctors.

How long is the initial visit with a specialist?

A specialty initial consult is scheduled for 45-60 minutes. This consists of not only the exam but a comprehensive review of patient records and discussions with the doctor about potential diagnoses and diagnostics options.

Do you have a specialist over the weekend?

No, except for our combined 24/7 ECC (Emergency + Critical Care) service, we currently do not offer routine specialty services on the weekend, but we do have a criticalist available seven days a week. In addition, a specialist will be contacted if our experienced ER doctors or criticalist deem it necessary. We always have an on-call specialist available for emergencies which allows us the opportunity to provide a collaborative team approach.

How late can one of your specialists take an emergency?

Emergency times will vary depending on the day and caseload for the doctor, but most emergencies after 4:00 will go through our ER department and then may transfer over to one of our specialists. To help us help your more critically ill patients, the referring doctor must speak to the specialty doctor in ER prior to sending a client to our hospital.

How can I help my clients better prepare for an emergency?

If you believe in what we’re doing, and know that we can help your patients, please consider listing us as your after-hours partners in care. We would love to be on your marketing material, door signage, answering machine or website as your preferred location for emergency services.

In addition, we believe it is important to encourage pet parents to plan for an emergency before it happens. Too often, we are faced with tough choices about our pets when we are least prepared to make them. To that end, we provide pre-registration for pet owners which enables them to map out their needs and desires calmly and decisively in advance of a visit to an emergency facility. The information gathered enables boarding facilities, pet sitters and anyone else in charge of a pet to act knowingly on the client’s behalf in the event of an emergency. There is no charge or fee for pre-registration; it is simply a constructive way for a client to channel their wishes for pets.

Will I get a call from the doctor after the exam?

If you request it on our referral form, then in most cases yes. Otherwise, our specialists know you are very busy too, and we hate to interrupt your appointments, so we will send you (either via FAX or email, whichever you indicate on your referral form) a detailed SOAP every night for every hospitalized patient and a comprehensive discharge summary for all outpatients/discharged patients within 48 hours (in most cases). This comprehensive summary is also emailed to the client or a copy is given to them at discharge.

Do you have payment plans?

We accept Care Credit. We also accept all major credit cards and you can send Paytrace payment links to family members or friends so they can assist with payment (www.carecredit.com).

How often do you send referring doctors patient-update-reports? How are they sent – via fax or email?

Patient-update-reports are sent directly after a patient’s visit. For a hospitalized patient, reports are sent every day that the patient is hospitalized. We either email or fax depending on the referring facility’s preference.