Thank you for putting your trust in the staff of Animal Emergency Center (AEC). Please know that AEC is fully staffed 24/7, which means we are always here to address your pet’s needs and that they are never alone. We will do everything we can to provide the best possible care during your pet’s stay. This also means providing open lines of communication about your pet’s progress and potential changes to their treatment plan.
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) you may have regarding your pet’s visit:
You can complete a patient information form at checkin.AEC.vet before you head to our hospital, while you are en route, or after you have arrived. You MUST call to notify us once you are physically onsite.
Our emergency examination and doctor consultation fee is $116. Any recommended diagnostics, treatments or medications are additional. We will review all your options so that you can make a fully informed decision about the care your pet receives.
We do charge a slightly higher fee for overnight and holiday hours ($124 after midnight until 6am, and $130 on New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas). We do this because we pay our employees extra wages at those times to enable year round coverage.
Payment is due at the time of service. We highly encourage use of a credit card over cash/check due to COVID limitations (if you pay with cash we are unable to make change and will instead mail you a check for any difference).
AEC utilizes CareCredit and ScratchPay as our Payment Plan Partners. You can apply online anytime before or during your visit to explore your financing options through either provider. They have a variety of payment plan options available (plans vary, but typically include some low or no interest plan options). Please choose the link that corresponds to your AEC location:
|AEC Novi||AEC Rochester|
|AEC Novi||AEC Rochester|
Our patient intake staff will ask you many questions to help make an initial assessment of your pet's condition and attempt to guide you, but we don't have the resources available to have anyone out in the parking lot attempting to look at or triage cases. You are always welcome to call with questions, but please understand that due to the current volume of cases our availability is limited and we may need to take a message or have someone call you back later.
In most situations if something has you worried, your instincts as a pet owner are probably very good and we will recommend that you bring your pet in to be seen. If there is a problem than you are in the right place to have your pet receive the care it needs, and if there isn't a problem than you will have the assurance of the doctor's examination and any recommendations they can offer.
When a technician becomes available, they will call you and ask some additional questions about your pet's history and explain our process for bringing your pet into the hospital vestibule. Please do not bring any personal belongings (toys, blanket, etc.) in with your pet. We will have you take your leash with you when you leave the hospital vestibule. If your pet is in a carrier, we will provide a temporary pet carrier and ask that you transfer them into it and return with your carrier to your vehicle.
Once your pet is in our treatment area the technician will take their vital signs. If your pet is stable they may need to wait for a doctor to become available; the technician will monitor your pet. Once a doctor is ready they will perform a physical examination and then contact you by phone to discuss their findings and identify recommended diagnostics or treatments before proceeding.
Today many regular veterinarians are open, but they may have reduced hours, reduced staff or backlogged appointment availability. Cases they would normally see are instead coming to emergency hospitals like ours. Also, even if someone can see their regular veterinarian, if there is a complicated procedure then many veterinarians are simply sending those cases out to emergency hospitals rather than try to do them in-house.
Our staff has been working with all hands on deck 24/7 since the pandemic began. Sometimes we have been short handed when staff members have been unavailable due to self-quarantine, but overall we have been adding doctors and technicians at both of our hospital locations and are typically staffed on a daily basis with the same resource level we normally would have only used for a busy holiday (when all regular veterinarians are closed).
We are truly sorry that you have to wait, but we don't have any control over the number of cases coming to see us, and we are doing all we can to help those in need. While some emergency hospitals have just closed their doors when it gets too busy, AEC has remained open. We believe that we need to be here and be open for that critical case that may have no other place to go.
Checking in early does not change your position because you aren't entered in the queue until we have confirmed you are here. A benefit of checking in early is that we will see that you are coming (which helps us plan internally) and also, since your information is already entered you can be placed in the queue immediately after you arrive vs. someone that arrives but then still has to fill out the online form and check-in.
Keep in mind that priority is first determined by case severity. If there is a life threatening case or an urgent, time sensitive case, we will see those patients as quickly as possibly. If your pet is stable and already here waiting, we will see the life threatening or urgent case ahead of you, even though you have been waiting longer. We know this can be very frustrating, but we are all part of a community of pet lovers, and we can help each other by being patient.
Please consider the following:
a) In addition to AEC's 24/7 emergency service, there are also a few specialists that work at our hospital location on certain days of the week. Veterinary Cardiology Consultants, Veterinary Vision of Rochester and Animal Behavior Consultants all see cases by appointment, so it is quite possible that you may have observed a patient going into the building to be seen by a specialist rather than for an emergency visit.
b) Some seniors or other individuals either do not have a smart phone with internet access or are otherwise unable to complete an online form. Those cases will not appear in our digital queue, so it is possible that you observed someone coming in for an emergency visit after completing an "old school" paper check-in form or after providing their information over the phone.
c) You may have seen an "urgent" or "critical" emergency case being brought in ahead of other stable patients. As noted on your check-in acknowledgement, and as shown on our 'Current Cases' queue page, we will sequence patients based on the severity of their clinical signs.
e.g. We would likely see a vomiting and dehydrated dog ahead of a dog with a broken toenail - but if all patients are stable than we will see cases in order of arrival. When we have an "urgent" case (a case that is unstable or whose condition would worsen if left untreated) or a "critical" case (a case that is life threatening if left untreated) than we will bring those cases in ahead of other stable patients (even though you have been waiting longer).
We hope everyone can understand that if their pet was the one that needed immediate care, than they would be the one being treated first (but hopefully you don't find your pet in that situation).
A technician or other staff member will communicate with you to report results of diagnostic testing, call after the completion of any surgical procedure, or if there are any significant changes to your pet’s overall condition.
Please limit the number of family members that call for updates. We need to focus our attention on your pet and the other patients in our care. We request that you designate one family representative to communicate with our staff.
Depending on the specific treatment plan for your pet, we may ask you to bring in a small supply of your pet’s regular diet. Note that AEC will not feed a RAW diet while your pet is in our care as it can pose safety concerns to our other patients and staff.
Therefore, if your pet is in stable condition and you want to take a short break and get some food or use a restroom, that is fine, but please keep an eye on the caseload queue. If you do leave it would be helpful to send us a quick text message just to let us know you are leaving and when you have returned.
If your pet is nearing the top 1 to 3 spots of the queue than you may be called in soon, so please return to the parking lot so you are here when the technician calls you. If you aren't physically onsite when we call, we will take the next available case. However, you will remain the next case to be seen when you do get back.
If your pet has been brought into the hospital, whether you stay nearby or decide to leave, please keep your phone line open and ringer on to receive communications from the doctor or other staff.
Instead, clients are able to use a public restroom available at most neighboring eatery's and/or gas stations.
Alternately, clients do have the use of a Porta Potty in the parking lot area. The Rochester hospital location has a Porta Potty available in the upper parking lot (up the steps to the lot where the Rochester farmers market is normally held). The Novi hospital location Porta Potty is located in the parking lot near the back of the building, just past the brick/fenced in dog walk area.
For the time being, for the safety of both our clients and employees the entire hospital is maintained as a "safe zone" with screened entry for essential workers and no general public access. Even when we allow someone into our hospital for a pet euthanasia, they are only allowed use of an examination room and are prohibited from using the restroom.
You can leave a voice message with me directly anytime at 248-654-5130, or call 248-348-1788 during daytime hours and let the receptionist know you would like to leave me a message. Please allow me 1-2 days to respond (in case I am working a shift / overnight as a doctor at the time you leave your message). Please also let me know a preferred time to reach you.
These are trying times, but Animal Emergency Center is a "Healing Environment" and we do expect everyone to treat each other with kindness and respect. We have a zero tolerance policy for any type of aggression directed towards anyone, under any circumstance. Any use of abusive language, verbal or sexual harassment, threats of harm or physical assault, or destruction of property may result in removal from the premises and/or prosecution.