If you’ve ever driven along I-39 between Mosinee and Wausau you’ve probably seen us off of the highway. My guess is you’ve probably had thoughts along the lines of, “is that place even open?” or, “I never see any cars there.” Well, if you’re driving that road on a Monday through Thursday, between the hours of 8 am and 6 pm, we aren’t. During the week our hours are 6pm until 8am, and then you can catch us open 24 hours on weekends and holidays. We offer these hours, not only so your regular veterinarians can get a decent night sleep, but also because, situations don’t always arise during typical business hours.
When we think about Urgent Care on the human side of medicine we know that there are doctors and nurses who are working those graveyard shifts so that they can be there when we need them. You can think of us a lot of the same way. Whether it be vomiting at 3:15am, or diarrhea at 8p, we are here for you. Whether it is an allergic reaction at 5am, or an ear infection at 10pm, we are here for you. Now, obviously there are many more situations that can classify as emergency. What qualifies as an emergency situation is not up to us. No matter how big, no matter how small, our staff is available for you to call. Ok, did not expect to throw in a poem, but you get the idea. If you have concerns about your pet we are happy to help.
Now, when you pick up the phone and call us, there are a couple of things that you can expect from us. First things first, you will hear the lovely voice of a member of our Support Team, and amazingly enough, even at 4:30am they can be cheery. (Check out our current support staff http://www.pawhealthnetwork.com/our-team/ )They will ask a series of questions to get a brief history over the phone, and then they will likely offer an exam. What they will not do, is fix your pet over the phone. Without a physical exam there are too many things that could go wrong, and inadvertently harming your pet is absolutely something we do not want to do. Before hanging up the phone we will make sure you know how to find us, even though you already know where we are because you’ve seen us off the interstate, and then we will await your arrival.
When you walk into our facility you will be greeted by a member of our Support Team and we will get to work right away. While you are filling out paperwork we will borrow your pet to our treatment area to get a weight and a set of vitals. What? I don’t get to be with my pet while this is happening? Our answer for that is no, and we do this for a couple of reasons. The first one being that often times we have multiple patients in our facility and our treatment area is one big room. With multiple patients in house it is safer for you, as well as your pet, if you wait up front. The second reason being your animals can sense when you are stressed. Rightfully so, it’s 2:45am, you have to work at 8:00am, and your best friend is not feeling well, who wouldn’t be stressed? Your pet’s reaction to your stress can artificially increase their heart rate, amongst other things, that can affect the veterinarian’s physical exam. One of the last reasons for borrowing your pet to our treatment area is that all of our supplies are readily available there. If something happens and we need to act fast, we have the ability to do so. You can rest assured that even though your pet is out of your sight they are being cared for by a trained and compassionate staff.
Once the veterinarian has completed their physical exam they will consult with you about options for diagnostics as well as treatments. As far as diagnostics go, there is very little that we won’t be able to take care of during your visit. Lab work, X-rays, Ultrasounds, oh my! All that can be done in house without the need for a referral. Do we still refer? Sometimes, but we will do as much as we can during your visit with us. Our veterinarians will work with you to develop a course of action specific to your pet. This can range anywhere from sending home medications, hospitalizing for observation and treatment, to maybe the need for surgery.
Whatever course we end up taking, know that we are taking that course with you. Bet you didn’t know you that we consider you a member of our team as well. Actually, you are the most important member. Without you we wouldn’t be able to notice the clinical signs, we wouldn’t be able to get a decent history, and we wouldn’t be able to administer the medications from home. We are all in this together with one common interest; your pet’s health. And don’t worry, when you leave our facility you won’t have to call your regular veterinarian on Monday morning and explain everything that happened. We’ll take care of all of that for you when we send them the notes about your visit. So, at noon, if you have a question about one of the medications we sent home, you can always follow up with them.
To close out our not so short biography we really just want you to know that there is some place for you to go at 11pm, 3am, 5:30am, Christmas, Labor Day, etc. We hope it’s a while before we need to meet you, but if that day comes, we will embrace it and work through it together. So, next time you’re driving along I-39, seeing zero cars in the parking lot, know that we are not out of business. We are resting, so that when that 6 o’clock hour hits, we can hit the ground running.