Thank you for putting your trust in Smith Ridge Integrative Veterinary Center and for allowing us the privilege of working with you and your pet towards enriching the life and wellbeing of both of you. Following is a guide to assist you in understanding the process of our three day IVC Therapy.
Once you’ve discussed this therapy and your veterinarian prescribes IVC treatment, you will receive an estimate generalized to your dog/cat’s diagnosis. If you have any questions about what different items on the estimate are, please ask as we want to be transparent and address all concerns ahead of time.
Note that you will schedule three consecutive days of IVC. You will drop off and pick up your pet each day, as well as have a discharge appointment scheduled with your veterinarian on day 3.
What to Bring or not to Bring (Please label your belongings)
- Things that will make your pet feel more at home, such as a favorite small blanket, a t-shirt that smells like you, and/or a comforting toy.
- Foods, Medications, and Supplements that will be needed during the time they will be in our care.
- E-Collar and Boot (if provided to you at last visit)
- Please do NOT bring large bulky bedding/blankets or beds
You can give breakfast and medications/supplements as you normally would prior to drop off.
Drop off for IVC is at 8:30am.
When you arrive, you will sign your pet into the hospital with the front desk. You will be signing the estimate that was sent to you, as well as answering some routine medical questions regarding the treatment of your pet in the event of an emergency. You will also pay a deposit at this time. The remainder will be due upon completion of the treatment on Day 3. In addition, you will weigh your pet on the scale in the waiting area so that it can be entered into your pet’s medical chart.
A Veterinary Technician/Assistant will come out to greet you and your pet. Please give them an update on how your pet has been since you last talked to your Veterinarian, as well as ask any questions that you may have. Veterinary Technicians/Assistants do not have the education or authority that your Veterinarian has; however, they will try to answer any questions you have. If they do not have an answer, they may have the Veterinarian address it at your discharge appointment.
Your pet will then be brought into the treatment area where the therapy intake process begins. Vitals will be taken and blood drawn for any bloodwork needed. Your pet’s accommodations will be chosen based on their weight. Each animal receives a yoga mat or bed and a towel/blanket. Bowls filled with Crystal Rock water are also available, unless otherwise advised by the doctor. Cats will be accommodated with a litter box and a hide box (if needed). Patient accommodations are all stationed so that your patient will be unable to see other patients in their accommodations. These are also stationed so that the staff has optimal views of the patient during their stay.
Once bloodwork is run, we will place an IV catheter in your pet. This is hopefully only on day one, but sometimes they have to be replaced throughout their hospital stay. The Veterinary Technicians will always try to place their catheter in the front leg but sometimes the back leg will be used. The Technicians will also have to shave at least one spot on your dog/cat’s leg (this is done to prevent infection while the catheter is wrapped). If your pet is here for several days, their leg will be fully wrapped to keep the catheter protected and to keep the leg from swelling.
Each patient receives a specific "recipe" for fluids by their doctor. These fluids can include, but are not limited to, Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B-complex, Adrenal Cortex, and DMSO. Normally the fluids are given over a 6-8-hour drip, but this is also dependent on your animal’s inidual recipe.
The intake process (approximately 30 minutes) along with the 6-8 hour drip therapy is why we ask for you and your patient to be here early in the morning. This gives optimal time to receive all the treatments they will need.
Your dog or cat will be given an e-collar. This is to discourage them from biting and licking the catheter. We try our best to give each animal a softer e-collar but sometimes they require a plastic hard e-collar.
During your pet’s stay, your animal will be taken to the bathroom every two hours, unless otherwise advised. Due to the fluids your dog is receiving they will likely urinate more. If they have any bathroom habits that might be helpful please let us know.
Due to pets being as inidual as humans, therapy time varies. A specific pick up time is known mid afternoon. Calls are welcomed throughout the day for you to check in on how your pet is doing and a call mid afternoon would be an ideal time to get an update as well as a pick up time.
Once you pick up—night care of catheter and patient
Overnight your animal can eat their normal meal(s). Unless otherwise instructed by your doctor, your pet can also get all the supplements and medication required overnight and in the morning.
Please note due to the IVC therapy, your pet will drink more and urinate more.
Your dog will be sent home with a boot to place over their catheter/catheter wrap. This is to prevent the area from getting wet during their time outside. It is best to take this off after coming back inside. If the wrap does get wet you will unfortunately accrue an additional charge for a re-wrap of the bandage the following day. As your cat should not be able to go outside during the time their catheter is in; they would not need to go home with a boot.
You will be sent home with the e-collar provided. If you are watching your animal closely, the e-collar may be removed, but please replace it before leaving them alone. Please note that if left alone, your animal has the capability to fully or partially remove their catheter. If this does happen a trip to the ER might be a necessity.
Day 2 and 3
Drop off will still be 8:30 am (please let us know if timing is an issue as we will try to accommodate)
Be sure to give the veterinary technician/assistant an update on how your pet did overnight. This update will help the doctor develop the patient’s inidualized treatment plan for the day. For example:
- Did your patient vomiting
- Was there diarrhea episodes
- Did your patient refuse to eat
- How your pet acted overnight - normal or unusual behavior
- What medications/supplements were given
Your pet will again have vitals taken upon arrival, and depending on their health, have bloodwork taken again. Your patient’s technician will then check that their catheter is still working correctly and your pet can begin their fluid therapy.
Note that sometimes a catheter does not work which causes a delay. Sometimes a patient’s vein can become "blown", this is when it ruptures or gets punctured causing fluids to leak outside of the vein. In most cases this is due to abnormally fragile veins or due to high volumes of fluids. In most cases, this is not dangerous but it can sometimes be uncomfortable to the patient. There is a possibility of a fluid filled area on the animal’s leg which will dissipate over a few hours or a few days. We do our best to monitor that this is not happening throughout the animal’s stay, but if it does happen, the catheter will need to be replaced.
Nervous or anxious dogs: If your dog becomes too nervous or anxious during their stay, we will inform you. The best option may be for you to come and sit with your animal.
Day 3 / Discharge Appointment
On your third day of IVC therapy you will have a discharge appointment scheduled with your veterinarian. It can be by phone in the afternoon or in person around pick up time. Your veterinarian will go over their medical observations of your patient’s overall therapy and treatment experience. They will also answer any questions you have at that time and discuss the medical plan moving forward.
As always, we welcome you to call with updates on how your pet is doing post therapy...good and bad. We are here to support you. Call us at 914-533-6066 with any questions at any time. Enriching life and wellbeing is our mission. Thank you for being such an amazing owner and for trusting us to help you with providing gold standard integrative medical care to your pet.