Every time we answer the phone we say “Mission Veterinary Hospital”, but what does that mean?
What is a veterinary hospital? What is a small animal practice? And even more confusingly, what is the difference between a veterinary hospital, a veterinary clinic, a specialty practice, and an animal emergency hospital?
Let’s get you used to the lingo!
A veterinary hospital and veterinary clinic mean the same thing. There is no set of guidelines that mean you have to be called a clinic, not a hospital and vice versa. We chose (way back in the day) to call ourselves a hospital because it describes what we do more accurately than the word clinic.
Simple as that.
A small animal practice is one that sees primarily dogs and cats, some will see pocket pets as well as exotics or wildlife, but that depends on the veterinarian working. A specialty hospital is a place where specialist veterinarians practice. We are very fortunate in the Fraser Valley to have wonderful options within driving distance. Specialist veterinarians go to school for even longer than most veterinarians, and are highly trained in a specific field such as surgery, internal medicine and oncology, dermatology, dentistry and even emergency medicine and critical care. Just like human specialists, they require referrals and work closely with both the patient’s family and the referring veterinarian to find the best option for your pet. A veterinary emergency hospital is a facility that is either open 24/7, or open after hours. You can take your pet there if something happens overnight when we (or your regular veterinarians) aren’t open. They don’t do routine things like administering vaccines, but instead they see animals in distress from toxicity, trauma or other emergency events. Sometimes we will refer patients to the emergency clinic for monitoring overnight if they are really sick. That way we know a qualified veterinary staff member is watching your pet all night while they recover and assisting them in any way they can.
So back to what we said in the beginning. What does “Mission Veterinary Hospital” mean?
Think of us like your dentist, general practitioner and surgeon all rolled into one. We do routine procedures, such as health and wellness exams and minor procedures like ear cleans, and we refer patients to specialists, just like your GP. We also do dentistry, bot cleanings and tooth extractions, just like your dentist. We take radio-graphs
(x-rays) collect blood and other samples, and perform lab testing just like a human laboratory would. We perform surgeries from routine neuters, to much more complicated abdominal surgeries, much like a human hospital. We also perform physiotherapy and rehabilitation as well a patient counselling.