News Releases, College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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News from the
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Illinois
3225 Vet. Med. Basic Sciences Bldg.
2001 S. Lincoln Ave.
Urbana, IL 61802
May 19, 2011

Release on
Contact: Chris Beuoy

Veterinary Hospital Launches Pre-registration Program for ER Care

URBANA - There is no 9-1-1 for animals. When emergencies happen, what is an owner to do?

To help owners be prepared to act when their animal needs urgent care, the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital is offering a pre-registration program designed to provide peace of mind. The program facilitates emergency visits to the hospital's ER, which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and has the area's most extensive capabilities and resources to treat animals.

The free "Good Human" Emergency Pre-registration program rewards good owners, just like those owners reward their good pets, horses, and so on.

To participate, owners go to and complete a short form to pre-register each animal they may need to bring for emergency treatment. By registering before a problem arises, owners avoid the additional stress of completing paperwork during an already stressful emergency visit.

Pre-registrants are also "treated" to a $13 savings per animal, because the hospital is able to waive the standard $13 new patient registration fee when the records are entered during off hours and before the patient needs to be seen.

Each household that joins the program will receive two key tags that can be scanned at the hospital's reception desk on arrival to immediately pull up the correct client data. Clients may use the key tags for any visit to the hospital, even if not for an emergency. The registration process is complete when the client receives the key tag in the mail, which may take up to seven business days.

Anyone can join the program. If an animal has already been seen at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital and a patient record already exists, the owner will receive the key tag for fast check-in. However, the new patient registration fee cannot be refunded for existing patients.

Area veterinarians can participate in the program too. By registering their clinic, they help ensure that, whenever one of their patients is seen for emergency care, communications from the hospital's ER service are delivered to the patient's primary care veterinarian in the manner of their preference.

The hospital's small animal emergency service is staffed by two board-certified emergency and critical-care specialists, and at least one veterinarian and one specially trained technician are always on the premises to receive emergencies. The hospital's ER is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for the smallest or largest of animal emergencies. Caregivers on the ER service have received training to respond to emergencies in pet birds, snakes, lizards, rabbits, and other exotics.

The hospital's equine service also has a veterinarian board certified in emergency and critical care and receives emergency cases at any time of day.

Emergency care for large and small animals at the University of Illinois is supported by state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging modalities and anesthesia closely prescribed and administered to meet the needs of a wide range of animal species.

A new small animal critical care service was recently established at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. When animal patients require hospitalization for ongoing treatment and their medical concerns do not fall neatly within the scope of other service areas, such as internal medicine or surgery, this new service allows continuity of care overseen by the critical care specialists. This service also provides round-the-clock nursing and supervision for patients that are critically ill. (Click here for more information about the ER/critical care service.)

The small animal emergency fee at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital is $85 and includes a complete exam, blood pressure, ECG, pulse oximetry, and diagnostic and therapeutic treatment recommendations.

For more information about this program, go to or call 217.333.5300.