What to Expect

Referral Patients

Your general practice veterinarian may refer you and your pets to NSVSC for a variety of reasons. Typically, you will have a consult with the appropriate specialist, who will work with you and your regular vet to devise a diagnostic and treatment plan.

Depending on the complexity of the case, you may return to NSVSC for follow-up appointments, or you may be directed back to your regular vet. In any case, your regular vet will receive both verbal and written reports detailing clinical findings, procedures, diagnosis and treatment recommendations. Where appropriate, additional information of interest will be provided – useful references, comparisons with similar conditions in humans, prognoses, etc.

Emergency Patients

When presenting to the emergency service, an initial assessment and/or brief examination of your pet will be performed by a veterinarian or experienced nurse to determine whether or not your pet is in a stable condition. Pets determined to be stable may remain with you until a veterinarian is available for a full consult. Less stable or critical pets will be taken immediately to the treatment area of the hospital (which is closed to anyone other than staff) for further evaluation and urgent treatment. The veterinarian will consult with you as soon as they have assessed your pet.

Blood Donor Program

Your Pet Could Be a Hero!


Your dog or cat can provide life-saving assistance to another pet that is sick or injured. Due to the nature of cases we see, the demand for blood products is always high. Unlike for humans, dogs and cats do not have a blood bank. We rely on the help of willing canine and feline volunteers to help those animals in need. Give your pet the chance to be a hero!


There are benefits to being a blood donor, such as free laboratory tests to ensure the pet’s health status and the safety of the blood for donation, a complete physical exam, and a gift of gratitude for you and your furry friend.



Our furry heroes must have certain physical and temperamental characteristics to be considered for the blood donor program. These include:


  • Good disposition and able to tolerate venipuncture and restraint
  • Weigh at least 22kg (dogs) or 4.5kg (cats)
  • Never have received a blood transfusion
  • Ideally 1-8 years of age
  • Current vaccination status
  • On heartworm preventative
  • Should not be taking any medications that could pose a problem for the recipient
  • Be of good general health


If your pet meets the above criteria, an examination and comprehensive blood tests will be performed to ensure suitability.


To enroll your pet in NSVSC’s blood donor program, or for more information, submit the form below and one of our nurses will be in touch.


Links to educational resources