Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine

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Appointment Delays

Student instruction and emergencies can cause delays in the appointment schedule.  The hospital provides seven different specialties concurrently.  On a given day, one service may receive clients on schedule, while another may fall behind.  Thus, someone who arrives after you could be seen (by another service) before you.  We do our best to remain on schedule, but emergencies cannot be predicted and must take precedence. 



Various maps and driving directions are available at the link below: 

Driving Directions and Maps


Do I need an appointment?

All non-emergency cases are scheduled by appointment with the appropriate specialty service (referral needed), or with our community practice (wellness care, vaccines, etc.). 

Patients from beyond a 30-mile local practice area and those under the care of other veterinarians must have a referral from their veterinarian in advance.  Referral assures transfer of test results and knowledge of treatment between your veterinarian and those at Auburn, and provides continuity in postoperative care at home.  The appointment desk (334/844-4690) is open from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

To protect your pet from infectious disease, all dogs and cats admitted to the hospital should be vaccinated prior to referral.  If vaccinations are not current, boosters will be given.


Pet Loss and Grief

The bond that we form with animals can be very deep and fulfilling, and the loss of a beloved animal can have an impact on us that is as great, or even greater, than the loss of a family member or friend. This bond is what makes our interactions with animals rich and rewarding, but also what makes the grief process so complicated. The grief can seem to come in waves, may be brought on more intensely by a sight or sound that sparks your memory, and may seem overwhelming at times.

Although everyone experiences the stages of grief, grieving is always a very personal process. Some people take longer than others to come to terms with denial, anger, guilt, and depression, and each loss is different. If you understand that these are normal reactions, you will be better prepared to cope with your feelings and to help others face theirs. Family and friends should be reassured that sorrow and grief are normal and natural responses to death.

Just as everyone may grieve differently, people may choose to honor their pet's life in a number of ways. One person may prefer a memorial service or funeral for their pet, while another may prefer a symbol of remembrance, such as a paw print cast in plaster or stone or a lock of hair from a horse's mane or tail. Whatever you choose to honor your pet and your life together is as personal as your grieving process.

Allow yourself time to grieve and heal, and be thankful that your life was made that much better by sharing it with your beloved pet.




Complex small animal cases will be referred to a specialty service within our hospital by the family veterinarian. Before scheduling your appointment, please make sure that your family veterinarian has referred the case to our hospital and sent all necessary test results/medical history to the referral coordinator. 

If you wish to make an appointment with our community practice (wellness exams, vaccines, etc.), no referral is needed. Appointments can be made by calling 334-844-4690. 

Large animal cases do not require a referral. Appointments can be made by calling 334-844-4990. 


What is a microchip?

A microchip is a small, electronic chip enclosed in a glass cylinder that is about the same size as a grain of rice. The microchip itself does not have a battery—it is activated by a scanner that is passed over the area, and the radio waves put out by the scanner activate the chip. The chip transmits the identification number to the scanner, which displays the number on the screen.



What is a veterinary specialist?

A veterinary specialist is a veterinarian who has completed additional training in a specific area of veterinary medicine and has passed an examination that evaluates their knowledge and skills in that specialty area. Currently, there are 21 AVMA-recognized veterinary specialty organizations comprising 40 distinct specialties. Veterinarians can be specialists in behavior, ophthalmology (eye diseases), internal medicine, surgery, dentistry and many more areas. The specialty organizations are referred to as "colleges," but they're not schools or universities.

The specialist's expertise complements that of your veterinarian. You may be referred to a veterinary specialist if diagnosing or treating your pet's health problem requires specialized equipment and/or expertise that your veterinarian does not have. 

It's critical that you, your veterinarian and the veterinary specialist communicate and work together to provide the best care for your pet.



Who will be treating my animal?

You patient care team team is led by faculty clinicians and comprised of residents, interns, registered veterinary technicians, veterinary assistants, client services staff, and senior veterinary students. 

Veterinary students will generally record the medical history and perform a physical examination on your animal before you meet the attending veterinarian, who may repeat the physical examination and request additional information. 

Your primary care or family veterinarian is key in teaming with our staff as partners in the care of your animal. Your primary veterinarian is often the first line of defense in recognizing or diagnosing changes in your animal health, and can provide important medical history, diagnostic results and an overall description of your animal's health before arrival to our hospital.  We communicate with them before, during and after your pet’s visit or hospitalization at Auburn's Veterinary Teaching Hospital. 


Why does my pet need a wellness exam?

Veterinarians recommend regular wellness exams for the same reason your physician and dentist recommend them – if you can detect a problem in its early stages, it's more likely to be treated and resolved with less expense, less difficulty and better success.

As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Vaccinations, heartworm prevention and routine deworming are important components of wellness care and can prevent diseases that are not only life-threatening, but very expensive to treat.


Why spay or neuter?

Every year, millions of unwanted dogs and cats, including puppies and kittens, are needlessly euthanized. The good news is that every pet owner can help make a difference. By having your dog or cat surgically sterilized so it cannot reproduce, you will do your part to prevent the birth of unwanted puppies and kittens and can enhance your pet's health and quality of life.

Spaying and neutering not only prevent unwanted litters and may reduce many behavioral problems associated with the mating instinct (e.g, marking territory, humping, roaming), but also reduce or eliminate the risk of conditions such as testicular cancer, prostatic hyperplasia, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer and uterine infection. Reducing roaming may lower the risks of your dog being hit by a car, fighting, or biting people or other dogs.

Spaying and neutering are major surgical procedures and are the most common surgeries performed by veterinarians on cats and dogs. Your pet is given a thorough physical examination to ensure that it is in good health prior to the procedure. General anesthesia is administered during the surgery and efforts, including provision of pain-relieving medications, are usually made to minimize pain. You will need to keep your pet calm and quiet for a few days after surgery as the incision heals.

Like any surgical procedure, sterilization is associated with some anesthetic and surgical risk, but the overall incidence of complications is very low. Because changes in concentrations of reproductive hormones may affect your pet's risk of developing certain diseases and conditions in the future, your veterinarian will advise you on both the benefits and risks of the sterilization procedure.

Consult with your veterinarian about the most appropriate time to spay or neuter your pet based upon its breed, age and physical condition.



Auburn University | College of Veterinary Medicine | Auburn, Alabama 36849 | (334) 844-4546
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