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Capital District Veterinary Referral Hospital

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When Your Pet is a Patient

What follows below is a short guide for what you can expect while your pet is an inpatient at our hospital. If you have any questions, or concerns, please don’t hesitate to ask.

What to Expect When your Pet has been Admitted

Specialty Consults and Appointments

Patients are normally referred to Capital District by their family veterinarian. Typically, your primary care veterinarian will send us a referral form. The form will describe your pet’s problem and identify the appropriate specialty department to see your pet.

To schedule your appointment for your initial visit, call (518) 785-1094. If you have questions about your appointment only, you can also contact us here.

Upon arrival, you will check in with our client care specialists. While you wait you can relax in one of several waiting areas. Please ask our team members if you need help finding a good spot for you and your pet. A technician will collect you from the waiting area and bring you to the exam room to begin the appointment by getting a full history and taking vitals.

If Your Pet is Admitted to the Hospital

Prior to admission, you will receive information from the medical team about your pet’s specific condition and/or treatment plan.  This may include changes in feeding schedules or medications. Please ask if anything remains unclear following this conversation. Our team’s goal is to ensure that all of your questions are answered. We will always go through an itemized treatment plan with you.


During your pet’s hospitalization, our medical team will call at regular intervals with updates on your pet’s condition. Please be sure to provide our Client Care Specialists with your preferred telephone numbers if you haven’t done so already.  Our commitment to you and your pet is to provide the highest standards of medical care and personal service possible.

During Your Pet’s Hospitalization:


You will receive a call twice daily with an update on your pet’s condition.

  • The morning call will be between the hours of 6 am and 11 am

  • The evening call will be between the hours of 3 pm and 7 pm

  • We will also call if there are significant changes in your pet’s status. You may call for information about your pet at other times, but please understand that you may not be able to talk to a member of your medical team directly.  If you are asked to leave a voicemail, a team member will return that call in a timely manner.

  • In an effort to streamline all communications, we ask that you designate one family member for all medical updates, and ask that he or she relay information to the rest of your family.

    • We treat each patient’s medical condition as confidential. You can be assured that we will not discuss your pet’s condition with anyone but you or the person you have designated on the patient information sheet, nor will we be able to discuss the condition of another patient with you. We will however keep your family veterinarian updated of your pet’s condition.

When Your Pet is Ready to Leave the Hospital

Please be prepared to spend up to one hour during the discharge process for your pet. It is important that enough time is available to review important information regarding your pet’s care and that you have time to ask any questions.

Once your doctor feels that your pet is well enough to be sent home, a member of our medical team will contact you. At this time they will discuss:

  • Your pet’s current medical condition

  • Briefly review the discharge instructions and discuss any rechecks that may need to occur

  • Update you on your balance

  • Schedule a discharge appointment


When you arrive for your discharge appointment, and prior to meeting with a member of your pet’s medical team, you will be given a copy of your pet’s discharge instructions for your review. If questions arise, now is a great time to note them down.

Your pet’s technician or doctor will then take you to a quiet area and review this material with you. You will receive any necessary medications for your pet and discuss instructions for administering. The doctor or technician will review the current treatment plan, and discuss home and follow up care with you.

A lot of information is conveyed during this conversation and in order to reduce distractions, we prefer to have this conversation without your pet in the room. This gives us the opportunity to focus on answering your questions, but also allows you to (later) have some dedicated time for reuniting with your pet. Both of these processes are extremely important, and we respect your relationship with your pet enough to ensure that reunion is also free of distractions.

Once you feel comfortable with the at home instructions, you will be taken to a member of our client care team to complete the financial part of your discharge and to schedule any recheck appointments that may be required. During this time, the technician or doctor will leave to retrieve your pet.

  • Please do not hesitate to ask if you require any assistance getting your pet into your vehicle. We are here to help.

  • Our policy is to remove all bandages related to IV catheters or blood draws from your pet prior to leaving the hospital; however, in some cases, it may be necessary to leave a bandage on until they get home. The medical staff will instruct you on removal of the bandage.

  • If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask before you leave.

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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 to make sure patients are comfortable and feel loved while away from home. Follow us on social media for patient stories, updates, and team highlights!

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