Hospital FAQs


Why was I referred to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital?

In most cases, your veterinarian referred your animal to our hospital in order to pursue a diagnosis or treatment that was not available at your local clinic.

The University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital is the most comprehensive veterinary facility in the state of Illinois. People from across the country bring animal patients to our hospital for expertise and treatment that are not available elsewhere. More than 80 veterinarians—including boarded specialists in more than 15 fields, specialists in residency training programs, and intern veterinarians—oversee the care of around 25,000 animal patients each year.

How much will our visit to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital cost?

Although specialized veterinary care can be expensive, we are here to offer options and support your treatment goals for your beloved animal. You will be given an estimated range of the costs at the time of the initial examination and diagnosis, and you may direct the level of care that best meets your patient’s needs and your budget.

You are welcome to call us to find out what the initial appointment fee is for a specific service area. For the most current cost estimates for a specific procedure or diagnostic process that your animal may need, please ask your referring veterinarian to contact the referral coordinator at our hospital. We are best able to anticipate these costs when we can speak directly with your primary care provider about your animal’s condition.

Note: To help our clients manage unexpected veterinary bills, we accept payment through the CareCredit program, a company that allows you to finance the cost of veterinary or other health care through convenient monthly payments. You can apply to CareCredit for instant credit decisions.

Since the university is part of a state institution, isn’t the care free or discounted to animal owners?

The Veterinary Teaching Hospital does not receive funds from the state of Illinois to cover the cost of care for our patients. The hospital is a self-supporting entity and must charge for the expertise, technology, medication, and other services provided. Expenses related to teaching veterinary students are budgeted through the college and are kept separate from the costs associated with delivering patient care, which are charged back to owners.

How long will our visit to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital last?

As a teaching hospital, we educate the next generation of veterinarians and veterinary specialists as a core part of our mission. In most cases, veterinary students, interns, and/or residents will be part of your care team, and your visit will take longer than it otherwise would as faculty experts provide opportunities for students to take patient histories and present diagnostic differentials. A licensed veterinarian will be directing your patient’s care at all times.

Will students be practicing their skills on our animal?

In most cases, veterinary students will be part of your animal’s care team. If your animal is hospitalized, a veterinary student will be assigned as your main point of communication. Many clients are very appreciative of the role that veterinary students play at our hospital.

Nevertheless, a licensed veterinarian will be overseeing your patient’s care at all times and will ensure that only qualified personnel deliver direct patient care.

As part of a research university, will you be performing experiments on my animal?

No. Your animal will never have a procedure performed that is not within the standard of care for the problem presented or that is not approved in advance by you.

As part of a world-renowned research campus, the Veterinary Teaching Hospital participates in groundbreaking discoveries that improve not only animal health but human health. Occasionally our doctors offer clinical trials that make new treatment approaches available to patients whose condition meets specific criteria. Animals are enrolled in clinical trials only with the written permission of the owner. Often some portion of the cost of care is waived in these trials.