Frequently Asked Questions

Patients having surgery performed must be dropped off the night before the procedure is performed. VMSG staff must ensure that the appropriate labwork has been completed and that the results have arrived at the facility. This ensures that the appropriate anesthetic protocols can be created specifically for your pet. Some labwork may be drawn the night before the surgery to allow enough time for results to return the next morning. Current and accurate labwork is critical for the VMSG doctors to ensure that all necessary precautions are taken to allow for the safest possible anesthetic experience for your pet. In addition, it is important for pets to become acclimated to their environment prior to surgery. Admitting patients the night before a surgical event gives the VMSG staff time to monitor your pet for normal urination, bowel movements, and to ensure that food intake is limited appropriately prior to anesthesia. Most importantly, the comfort of your pet is of utmost concern to us. Pain control is most effective when medications are started before a surgical procedure. In some cases, up to twelve hours may be required to achieve adequate levels of a pain relief medication in a patient’s system.

VMSG has detailed crate confinement information available to you. Be sure that you are fully aware of all of the restrictions specific to your pet to ensure the best possible surgical outcome for your pet.

Because of various pain medications that may be used for the comfort of your pet, it is not unusual for patients to become constipated post-operatively. If constipation persists for longer than 5 days, please contact our office. Adding Metamucil® or canned pumpkin to the diet when your pets first get home may help prevent constipation.

Additionally, some patients may not urinate for the first twenty-four hours. Do not worry; just keep walking them to the designated urination spot. They can’t hold it forever.

In order to make an appointment you must call our clinic in Ventura during normal business hours. Unless it is an emergency, we request that you obtain a referral from your regular veterinarian and that he or she provide us with background information concerning the animal and the suspected problem.

There are many medical and surgical problems that are best treated through visits to a regular general practice veterinarian. Our clinic is a resource available to the general practitioners. Our principal services are in those areas that are highly specialized and for which your regular veterinarian may not have specialized training or current specific knowledge.

When in doubt, first visit your regular veterinarian and then request a referral if the case warrants a consultation with a specialist.

In order to provide you and your pet with an unhurried visit and comprehensive consultation with the doctor, please leave home or work early and allow plenty of time to reach our clinic. Do not assume that the freeway traffic will be clear.

We normally are fully booked for each business day. If you are late for your appointment, we may not be able to accommodate you until another day and may therefore ask you to reschedule your visit. Therefore, if you are going to be late by more than 10 minutes, please call us as soon as possible so that we may advise you of whether or not your late arrival can be accommodated.

Please note: Your appointment time is reserved exclusively for you and your pet. If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, please call us as soon as possible, so that we may help another patient in your pet’s place. If you are calling after-hours, please call our main number and follow the voice mail instructions to leave us a message, or to cancel an appointment.

Our staff will be pleased to discuss our examination and visit fees with you over the phone when you call us. Legally, and in order to provide you with accurate information, we cannot provide you with medical information, diagnoses, or treatment options unless a complete medical examination of your pet is first performed. In the event that further diagnostic or treatment is necessary, you will be provided with a comprehensive printed estimate for the services offered.

An estimate of expected charges is provided to each client at the time of the initial consultation. Fees are assessed only for services provided and do not include prepayments for future visits, recheck examinations, or post-operative follow-up. Since this is a private veterinary facility, payment is required at the time services are rendered. For client convenience, payment may be made in the form of cash, check, Mastercard, Visa, Discover, or American Express credit cards. VMSG does accept Care Credit.

VMSG recommends that you refill all prescriptions through your primary care veterinarian should your doctor be unable to dispense your refill. Please not the following: Your pet must be examined on a periodic basis to determine your pet’s continued need for the prescribed drug(s). Usually, this means that your pet must be examined a minimum of once per year. However, for some medications (such as antibiotics and chemotherapeutics), your pet may need to be reexamined more frequently than every 12 months. As defined by Section 2033 of Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations, and effective February 3, 1996:

Prescribing, dispensing, or furnishing a drug without establishing a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship with the patient and its owner, constitutes unprofessional conduct. A drug shall not be prescribed for a duration which is inconsistent with the animal’s medical condition or type of drug prescribed. In no event shall the duration exceed more that one year from the date that the veterinarian has examined the animal and prescribed such drug, unless the veterinarian has conducted a subsequent examination of the patient to determine the patient’s need for the prescribed drug.”

Please note that if you are on vacation and are not in the state of California, we cannot call a prescription refill into a non-California pharmacy. If you are out-of-state and you need a prescription refill, you will have to visit a veterinarian or veterinary specialist in that state in order to be able to obtain medication(s). Please plan ahead accordingly.

We do not make any recommendations regarding your selection of a general practice veterinarian. However, if you are one of our patients and you do NOT already have a regular veterinarian, we may provide you with a list of referring veterinarians that have clinics in your ZIP code area.

We have numerous client handouts that are disease/problem specific. At the time of your appointment, we can provide you with a copy of the appropriate handout(s) to assist you in learning more about a particular disease/problem.

Your pet’s regular veterinarian has referred your pet to us because they know that your pet will be evaluated and treated by highly trained specialists and thus receive the highest level of care. Our “board certified” staff specialists are Diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care and American College of Veterinary Radiology. This means that following the four years of veterinary training and attainment of a degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, they have been through an additional four years of intensive specialized training at an accredited institution. In addition to the accredited training, the demonstration of meaningful contributions to veterinary science and satisfactory completion of a comprehensive three part examination is required to be “board certified.”

Our office hours are 9am-6pm. The specialists’ hours are by appointment only. A staff doctor and technical staff are on duty twenty-four hours a day to monitor and treat our hospitalized patients. These doctors are also available to handle any emergency calls you may have after regular office hours. Should emergency specialist consultation or treatment be required, specialists are on-call twenty-four hours a day.

Appointments for examination and consultation with the surgeon or internist can be made by calling 805.339.2290. To be thorough and complete, the initial visit with the specialist may require 2-3 hours. Patients must be fasted (food withheld) the day of the initial visit. Water should not be withheld. Copies of the patient’s medical records, radiographs, electrocardiogram (EKG), and blood work should be brought for the examination. If your pet has been receiving any medication, bring the medication at the time of the initial consultation. Patients must be currently immunized and free of parasites.

For maximum patient safety, a complete blood screen is routinely performed on all patients scheduled for anesthetic procedures at Veterinary Medical and Surgical Group. Often this blood and urine screen may have been performed by your pet’s family pet practitioner prior to referral. All anesthetized patients are closely monitored with state-of-the-art monitors. Anesthetic risk is further minimized by the use of the safest anesthetic agents and protocols. We believe the added cost of these agents is well worth the added safety that a much loved member of the family deserves.

Optimal patient care is best achieved by the high standards of care and high staff to patient ratio that VMSG provides. Special attention is paid to the control and management of pain in all our patients. The latest pain relief medications and protocols are used in patients to control pain from debilitating conditions and to control pain during and after surgery.