Below are some FAQs that cover basic questions you may have about our practice and what happens when you come to our facility with your pet. CARE is the pet equivalent of a human medical center.
Q. What is CARE?
A. Charlotte Animal Referral & Emergency (CARE) is a state-of-the-art emergency and specialty hospital devoted to the health of your pet. Emergency care is available 24/7, 365 days a year. Our highly trained specialists work closely with your referring veterinarian to diagnose and treat disease. Specialty services include cardiology, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology and surgery. CARE does not focus on primary care for your pet such as vaccinations. Whether you are coming to us on referral for a specialized service or in an emergency, our focus is on providing the most comprehensive care with an unsurpassed level of compassion and expertise.
Q. Where is CARE?
A. We are centrally located just south of uptown Charlotte, convenient to uptown, NoDa, SouthPark, Myers Park, Plaza Midwood and Cotswold. Our address is 3726 Latrobe Drive, near the intersection of Monroe and North Wendover roads. See map.
Q. What type of pets does CARE treat?
A. Primarily dogs and cats. Other species may be treated in special cases. We are happy to talk with you about your needs on an individual basis. Please have your primary care veterinarian call us to schedule an appointment or consultation.
Q. What information about my pet should I bring on my visit?
A. A list of medications your pet is taking, and any information from recent veterinary visits.
Q. What happens after I arrive with my pet?
A. If you are coming for an appointment with one of our specialists, a Client Services Representative will greet you and get your pet checked in. The patient’s information will be verified, and the specialty service notified of your arrival. If you are coming in an emergency, your pet will be triaged and will be seen as soon as possible depending on what other emergencies are in the hospital. In all cases, your comfort is important to us. There are separate waiting areas for dogs and cats. Our lobby offers free Wi-Fi, concessions and large-screen TVs, all with your convenience in mind.
Q. How long will my visit take?
A. While every appointment is different, a visit with a specialist generally takes about two hours. It could take longer, however, depending on if any procedures will be performed the same day or your pet needs to see multiple specialists. We do our best to provide you with a timeline, with a goal of determining the best possible treatment plan for your pet. In most cases, this is provided after the doctor has examined your pet. For emergency visits, it is impossible to predict. It depends on a number of factors, including the nature of your pet’s emergency and our caseload at the time you arrive. Just as with emergency rooms for people, the most critical patients are seen first.
Q. What tests are CARE able to run?
A. Digital X-ray, Ultrasound, MRI, CT Scan and Endoscopy. Also, various lab tests are conducted in-house.
Q. How will my primary care veterinarian be involved in the care of my pet?
A. Your primary care veterinarian will be updated throughout the course of your pet’s treatment.
Q. Where will my pet be kept during his or her stay?
A. Animals are kept in climate-controlled spaces customized to maximize comfort and minimize stress. Our Intensive Care Unit is staffed with a doctor and nurses 24 hours a day. A typical hospital stay ranges from two to six days. Our priority is for your pet to be as comfortable as possible during his hospitalization.
Q. May I visit if my pet needs to be hospitalized?
A. Yes! If your pet is in ICU, you may visit for 10 minutes each hour. Visitation is not permitted between midnight and 8 a.m. If your pet is not in ICU, you may spend more time visiting. Some owners enjoy taking their pets for walks on the grounds. Our primary concern is the well-being of your pet, so keep in mind that each case is different.
Q. How do I know if it is time to euthanize my pet?
A. That can be a very difficult decision. The kindest thing any pet owner can do is to give an animal a home full of love and attention. However sometimes when pet is very ill and suffering, the kindest thing we can do is to let that pet go with as much grace as possible. To help guide pet owners through this emotionally trying decision, please see our article on euthanasia.
Q. Will my visit to CARE cost more than a visit to my primary vet?
A. While each case is unique, and handled on an individual basis, our goal is always the same: To provide the best possible treatment for your pet, with the highest level of compassion and customer service. Recognizing that a diagnosis for your pet may require advanced tests, we will keep you fully informed every step of the way prior to testing and treatment. We will go over our recommendations, risks associated with each option, and the pricing involved. At every step of the way, you are encouraged to ask questions to help you make the best possible decision for your pet.
Q. How am I billed?
A. After an initial evaluation, you will be provided with a treatment estimate. Clients will be asked to pay the low end of the estimated services prior to the beginning of treatment and the balance will be due when your pet is ready to go home. We accept cash, checks and major credit cards. CareCredit® is available to qualified individuals. This is a healthcare credit card that extends special financing offers to help you meet your veterinary needs.