Oncology Client Information

Our team of veterinary specialists and technicians are committed to providing excellent care for your animal companion. We understand you are faced with challenging decisions when you come to our specialty hospital. Our team will work with you to provide information on all the options for your animal companionís care and encourage you to ask questions. Our team is here to help you,but ultimately you are free to choose the option that is best for you, your animal companion and your family.  

What to Expect at Initial Oncology Appointment

During this initial consult, a clinician will obtain the patientís history and conduct a systematic physical examination of your pet. The goals of the initial consult are to answer the following three questions:

1) What is the cancer?

2)Where is the cancer located on/in the body?

3)Is the cancer malignant?

To help answer these questions, the clinician may confer with other oncologists, our radiation oncologist, radiologists and surgeons regarding recommendations for further work-up and treatments. Some further testing that may be required includes blood work, fine-needle aspirates, thoracic radiographs, abdominal ultrasound, and more. As a result, it is recommended that your pet is fasted the night prior to the initial consult.

Thank you for choosing the Animal Cancer Center (ACC) of the Ontario Veterinary College Health Sciences Centre (OVC HSC). Please see below a list of commonly asked questions and answers.

Parking

Check in

How does the appointment process work?

My pet is scheduled to see the radiation and/or surgical oncologist.  Will he/she have surgery/radiation on the same day as his/her initial consultation?

How does payment work? Do I have to leave a deposit?

What happens once my pet is admitted?

If Iím bringing my pet to a teaching hospital, does this mean they will be receiving their care from students?

Can I visit my pet if they are hospitalized?

Will my veterinarian be aware of the results of the tests performed?

My pet is going to require recheck appointments, what does this involve?


Parking: 

Metered parking is available in front of the hospital. (See the HSC News and Events page for current information about parking.)

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Check in:

Please arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment. You will be checked in at the front desk and our veterinarians will be notified that you have arrived. We strive to see you and your pet at your scheduled appointment time.  Occasionally emergencies or other urgent issues with other patients may delay your appointment.  We appreciate your patience if this occurs.

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How does the appointment process work?

When choosing the OVC Animal Cancer Centre your pet will have the opportunity to interact with a team that may include not only a specialist but also a student veterinarian, intern or resident. Depending on the nature of your petís condition, he/she will be evaluated by a medical oncologist, radiation oncologist and/or surgical oncologist to ensure a comprehensive evaluation and the best possible care for your pet.

During their visit, your pet may also benefit from the expertise of the other specialties available at the OVC Health Sciences Centre in addition to the care provided from the residents, interns, students and technicians.  

As part of your appointment you will meet with a final year veterinary student, intern and/or resident.  In most cases, you will be greeted first by the student who will take you into a consultation room, take a history and examine your pet. This step is an important part of the learning process for the final year students who are soon to be new veterinarians.  Please note that the student veterinarian will not provide any information on their findings or prognosis until they have consulted with a veterinarian. The student veterinarian will then take your pet to an examination area to consult with an intern or resident and supervising faculty member. 

Following evaluation and consultation with the specialist, the student veterinarian and clinician (intern/resident) will return to clarify any important history and discuss examination findings and recommendations for further diagnostic workup. These diagnostic tests can sometimes be performed on the day of your appointment or your pet may need to be admitted overnight or return for further workup the following day. Availability of certain diagnostics is variable and cannot be guaranteed on the day of your appointment unless previously arranged.

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My pet is scheduled to see the radiation and/or surgical oncologist.  Will he/she have surgery/radiation on the same day as his/her initial consultation?

In most cases surgery and radiation will not be performed on the same day as the initial consultation. We will discuss the recommended procedure with you in detail and, in most cases, additional diagnostic tests are required prior to surgery or radiation.

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How does payment work? Do I have to leave a deposit?

The clinician responsible for your pet will discuss all recommended diagnostics and will go through an estimate for your petís care. This estimate will be a range because certain elements of your pets stay, such as the surgery time and postoperative hospitalization requirements will vary.  You will be required to leave deposit of 50% of the estimate. The remainder of the balance will be due at the time of discharge. Accepted payment methods include cash, debit, Visa, MasterCard.

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What happens once my pet is admitted?

Once your pet is admitted to hospital they will be placed in a large kennel or run and provided with blankets, food, water and frequent walks.  If your pet is admitted to hospital, you will be called twice daily with updates on your petís condition.

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If Iím bringing my pet to a teaching hospital, does this mean they will be receiving their care from students?

Final year veterinary students will be caring for your pet under the supervision of technicians, interns, residents, and specialists. Interns and residents are well-trained veterinarians who are pursuing further training. Similar to your family veterinarian, interns and residents are graduates of a veterinary college. Interns are veterinarians who are pursuing an additional year of training to apply for specialty residency positions or who wish to advance their skills as family veterinarians. Residents are veterinarians who have completed at least one internship and who are pursuing specialization and board certification.

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Can I visit my pet if they are hospitalized?

Yes.

Visits can be scheduled with your treatment team. The number and length of visits will be based on your petís condition.

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Will my veterinarian be aware of the results of the tests performed?

Yes. We work closely with your referring veterinarian to provide the best care possible for your pet. Your referring veterinarian will be updated by phone with preliminary test results and treatment plans. They will also receive a referral letter which is a summary of your petís history, the diagnosis where appropriate, tests and recommended treatment.

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My pet is going to require recheck appointments, what does this involve?

Depending on your petís condition, recheck visit(s) may be necessary, and may be performed at the OVC Animal Cancer Center or with your family veterinarian depending on the nature of the condition. The schedule of rechecks, as well as any cost estimates for rechecks performed at the OVC ACC can be discussed prior to your pet being discharged from the hospital.  If you choose to pursue some or all of the rechecks with your family veterinarian, members of the OVC ACC are available to discuss any results of tests performed with you and/or your family veterinarian.

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Thank you for entrusting us with the care of your pet. We will do our very best to ensure that you and your pet have a positive experience at the Ontario Veterinary Clinic Health Sciences Center Animal Cancer Center.