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Oncology Referral

Case Profile The oncology service seeks referrals of patients with previously diagnosed or suspected neoplasia.

Diagnostic procedures performed by the oncology service include surgical biopsy, ultrasound guided biopsy, and cytological sample collection.  Patients requiring surgical, medical (chemotherapy), or radiation therapy are also treated by the oncology service.

Consultations are provided to the other clinical services of the Small Animal Teaching Hospital.

Making a Referral

Referring veterinarians should contact us at 334-844-4690 for available appointments or use the online referral form provided. If a timely appointment is not available, special arrangements can sometimes be made on a case by case basis at the discretion of the attending clinician.  In such cases, an attending clinician will contact the referring veterinarian by telephone to discuss the case and possible arrangements.

Referring an Emergency Case ASAP

An attending clinician will attempt to accommodate same day emergency referrals of genuine medical emergencies either through the oncology service or through the emergency/critical care service.

Referring veterinarians should contact the appointment desk and indicate that a same day referral is requested.  You will be put in contact with an attending clinician as soon as possible.
What about work completed prior to referral?

Recent blood work (within last week), 3 view chest radiographs, other imaging modality reports or films, and cytology or histopathology reports should accompany referral of patients with previously diagnosed neoplasia. Unfortunately, ultrasound and CT scans must often be repeated due to the dynamic nature of ultrasound imaging and the need for specialized positioning and landmarks for CT radiation treatment planning. Sometimes ultrasounds and CT scans are best delayed until the patient can be seen by our service to avoid duplication of costly tests.

For all referral cases, a completed referral form and case summary should accompany the referral. An on-line referral form is available at the bottom of this page for convenience.

In most cases, it is desirable to have owners withhold food on the morning of appointment day, but water up until admission is fine.
Important Owner Information About Referral

Generally, a diagnostic work-up is performed over a two to three day period and typical costs range from $600 to $1500, depending on the tests required and scheduling through the various services within the hospital. We cannot guarantee that all tests can be performed the same day, even if we attempt to schedule tests when an initial appointment is made, since emergency cases may require triage and postponement of patients with less immediately life-threatening issues.

Surgical oncology patients are usually scheduled through the oncology service, but the surgeon is only available certain weekdays. Surgeries may be scheduled the next week after initial diagnostics are completed. Other surgeries may be coordinated through our Soft Tissue Surgery service.

Owners wishing to pursue chemotherapy through the oncology service will be asked to schedule outpatient appointments on Monday-Friday mornings.  Outpatient chemotherapy visits are usually completed within 4 to 6 hours.

Full-course radiation therapy occurs on Mondays-Fridays for 16-18 consecutive treatments.  Outpatient scheduling (2 to 4 hours per visit) or hospitalization options are available for radiation therapy patients. Costs for a full course of radiation therapy range between $4000 and $4500 depending on the number of treatments recommended and the number of hospitalization days.  Shorter courses (daily for a few days or weekly for a few treatments) are sometimes utilized for palliation (pain control without eradicating the tumor) at a cost of around $1500. Sedation is required for radiation treatments.

**Complete Your Referral Online**

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