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AAHA Accreditation


AAHA-Accredited Hospitals: Champions for Excellent Care

Did you know that accreditation for animal hospitals is voluntary? Surprising, isn’t it? Nearly 60 percent of pet owners believe that their pet’s veterinary hospital is accredited when it is not. In actuality, only 12-15% of animal hospitals have gone through the accreditation evaluation process by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). We are proud to call ourselves an AAHA-accredited hospital.

In the United States, all human hospitals that serve people with Medicare must be accredited through an accrediting body; they undergo regular reviews and quality checks to ensure they meet standards of quality for every aspect of medical care. However, not all animal hospitals choose to pursue the AAHA-accreditation process since it is not required by law. When it comes to pet health care, accreditation is voluntary. The accreditation process is rigorous and time-consuming, and not every veterinary hospital wants to go through the lengthy process.

Accreditation by AAHA means that an animal hospital has been evaluated on approximately 900 standards of veterinary excellence. To maintain their accreditation, hospitals undergo a rigorous review by veterinary experts every three years. State and provincial regulations can vary widely – in fact, some states don’t routinely inspect hospitals, only going in for an inspection when a complaint is filed by a pet owner. AAHA accreditation is considered the standard for veterinary excellence, and does not vary between states or provinces (AAHA accredits hospitals in both the U.S. and Canada).

We are an AAHA-accredited veterinary hospital. That means we hold ourselves to a higher standard. Pets are our passion. And keeping them healthy is our #1 priority. Here, we strive to deliver excellent care for pets. Because your pets deserve nothing less.

Learn more about AAHA accreditation and why our accreditation is important to you and your pet. Visit aaha.org/petowner.

 

 

The Difference Between Low Cost Spay/Neuters and Regular Clinics May Surprise You


by CAROLYN KARRH DVM , Feb. 2016

Below are snippets of a good article outlining the differences between low-cost clinics and full-service hospitals.  See complete article here.

 February 23, 2016 – Originally published on http://www.peacelovepaws.org/#!THE-DIFFERENCE/c1l9s/1

 

“For Pet Lovers:

 

I lost a patient this past weekend. I don’t know why and I will likely never know, as the owners of the dog decided not to have a necropsy to find out. They blame me, however. This would not be the first time I’ve been blamed for the death of an animal (nor will it be the last), and though I can’t be certain, there are likely some that I was responsible for, directly or indirectly—-unintentionally, of course. I recall during my senior year of vet school telling a classmate that I was terrified of losing a patient or accidentally killing a pet. A nearby faculty member, typing quietly on her computer, overheard me, and without moving or turning her head, said gently, in a conversational tone, “You will.” …

I don’t want to imply that low-cost facilities provide sub-standard care (though people often assume this)—perhaps there are some, but typically this is not the case. In fact, spay/neuter clinics often have very experienced veterinarians who work quickly in surgery, often lowering many anesthetic risks that might be seen in places where pets are under anesthesia longer. In addition to managing my own non-profit organization for pets of the homeless community, I work in two other places—in a low-cost spay/neuter clinic run by a local shelter, and in a high-end, AAHA accredited, full-service veterinary hospital…

 

The difference between low-cost clinics and full-service hospitals:

Low-cost clinics do not typically require or offer bloodwork before surgery. One main reason for this is because most young, healthy animals do not have any underlying metabolic issues. But there are always exceptions. If the clinic provides a bloodwork option, your cost will go up. But if you decline the bloodwork or if the clinic doesn’t offer it, if your pet has an underlying medical issue (liver or kidney disease, bleeding disorder, etc.), the vet and staff will not know and the risk for surgical and post-op complications will go up. Or your pet may die. Bloodwork helps your vet and staff know what risks are present, what anesthetic drugs to use and/or whether your pet can even safely have surgery.

 

Low-cost clinics do not usually place an IV catheter or give intravenous fluids to your pet during surgery. One of the reasons for this is that most high-volume spay/neuter veterinarians are able to perform surgery in a fraction of the time of many others (often less than 5-10 minutes), simply due to experience. But why might an IV catheter and fluids be important? Fluids provide assistance with blood pressure stability and perfusion to organs. If your pet has trouble with blood pressure, decreased perfusion to important organs may cause them to fail, typically not seen for days or weeks after your pet goes home. Most young, healthy animals will not have this problem and typically the surgery is quick, but not always. If your hospital provides this, your cost will go up.

 

Low-cost clinics have limited staffing and cannot provide constant attention to your pet before, during and after surgery. There are often only one or two veterinary technicians or assistants on staff during a typical surgery day, and they are commonly multi-tasking. The most consistent time we see complications or accidental death is right after surgery, in recovery—this is true for any hospital or clinic. If your pet is not directly monitored by a technician at all times, if they have any difficulty in surgery or recovery, it is possible that a minute or two (or more) may go by without this difficulty being noticed. This is not intentional, of course—it has to do with the number of staff available. If a hospital provides constant nursing care and monitoring for your pet, your cost will go up.

Low-cost clinics do not routinely monitor CO2 levels, ECG, blood pressure and constant body temperature for your pet during surgery. A pulse-oximeter is usually the only monitoring device present, revealing heart rate and oxygen perfusion in the blood, which are important. But other vital signs can be important too. Hypothermia can make recovery long and difficult, ECG readings help determine any heart abnormalities, abnormal CO2 levels can be deadly, and I’ve already explained what low blood pressure can do. Again, the the most common reason for not monitoring these things is that the surgery is often less than 5-10 minutes, so significant changes are unlikely in young, healthy animals. If your hospital provides these other monitoring devices, the equipment costs money and the trained/certified staff member must be paid to be there, use them and know how to manage any complications….so your cost goes up.

Low-cost clinics do not provide a full, comprehensive physical exam and vet consultation for your pet before surgery. Exams are limited due to the number of surgeries that must be performed in a day. You do not have an opportunity to discuss your pet’s health and concerns with a vet before the surgery is performed. There may be an area on your drop-off sheet where you can write your concerns, however you likely never see or meet your veterinarian. If your hospital provides time and an opportunity for a comprehensive exam and discussion with your vet, that’s right, your cost goes up.

 

Low-cost clinics are not the best option for higher-risk pets: large and giant breed dogs, senior pets, brachycephalic breeds (those with flat/smashed faces), obese, in-heat, pregnant and aggressive dogs and cats, those with a history of medical issues, etc. Low-cost clinics are not typically set up to handle emergencies if they arise or hospitalize animals overnight for additional care if necessary. They lack the proper equipment, training, staffing and time to handle anything outside of a normal, healthy patient surgery and recovery. If your hospital is set up for this, your cost will go up.

So, you see where the costs are cut? …”


 

For full article.

 

 

News


WE ARE HAPPY TO ANNOUNCE THAT WE ARE NOW A… 

YES! We are officially the first veterinary hospital in North Florida to become a Fear Free Certified Practice, and the only one in St. Johns County.  All of our staff, from Dr. Nieves, our Patient Care Coordinator, our Certified Veterinary Technician, to our Hospital Director, is a Fear Free Certified Professionals.

What does this all mean to you and your pet?

A trip to the vet shouldn’t be an experience that fills your pet with fear. In fact, the last thing we want is for your pet to fear the one place that is fully committed to ensuring they live a happy and healthy life! Our mission is to make coming to the vet a happy and stress-free experience for the whole family and we do this through a series of steps-from your home to the car to your visit and your trip home again.

We think the Fear Free certification program says it best: “Fear Free visits eliminate fear, anxiety and stress, and create an experience that is better and safer for all involved, including pets, owners and veterinary health care teams.”

Here are a few things we are dedicated to for a Fear Free Visit:

  • Reducing or removing anxiety triggers that can cause pets to become fearful at home, in transport or at the hospital.
  • Helping clients deliver calm pets to our hospital.
  • Enhancing the quality of medicine in our practice.
  • Improving safety for our amazing veterinary team.

We’re happy to answer any questions!

You can find more info on our website: https://delmarvethospital.com/fear-free/

CHECK US OUT! THIS IS WHAT WE DO…

FEAR FREE – Not only does it help you practice better medicine, look out for pets emotional well-being, build team culture, increase bottom lines, create a safer workplace, and provide master class customer service…but the simple experience of watching patients leave your practice happy and feeling like their friend again will remind you why you went into this profession in the first place ❤️

Fear Free Veterinary Visits: Practice Like You've Always Dreamed

Fear Free – Not only does it help you practice better medicine, look out for pets emotional wellbeing, build team culture, increase bottom lines, create a safer workplace, and provide master class customer service…but the simple experience of watching patients leave your practice happy and feeling like their friend again will remind you why you went into this profession in the first place ❤️

Posted by Fear Free Pets on Saturday, September 1, 2018

Are you familiar with our Wellness Plans? Yes! Pet care made easy!

A Healthy Pet is a Happy Pet

To make sure your pet is receiving necessary preventative services, enroll your dog or cat in Del Mar’s Wellness Plan. Wellness plans are tailored to address the needs of individual pets at each life stage and designed to save you money by offering an affordable monthly cost for office exams, preventative care and vaccinations.

For more information about out Wellness Plans, visit https://delmarvethospital.com/wellness-preventive-care/ , or give us a call at (904) 717-0777.


NEW Services!

  • Class IV Cold Laser Therapy (for Small & Large Animal). Multiple session packages are available. For more information, click HERE.
  • Full Grooming on Tuesdays and Thursdays by appointment only. Appointments starting as early as 9:00 am.
  • In-Home Pet Euthanasia. For more information, click HERE
  • Monthly Puppy Power Classes with a Fear Free Certified professional trainer.

In NOVEMBER, we celebrate:

Courtesy of avma.org &  aaha.org 

  • ASPCA’s Adopt a Senior Pet Month
  • National Pet Cancer Awareness Month
  • National Pet Diabetes Month
  • Manatee Awareness Month
  • National Cook for your Pet Day (November 1st)
  • One Health Day (November 3)
  • Daylight Savings time ends = +1 hr of sleep (November 3)
  • National Stress Awareness Day (November 6)
  • Veteran’s Day (November 11)
  • World Kindness Day & Caregiver Appreciation Day (November 13)
  • Universal Children’s Day (November 20th)
  • World Hello Day (November 21)
  • Thanksgiving Day (November 28)

 

Del Mar Veterinary Hospital recognizes the following six (6) holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. We might be open some of these days, so always give us a call to confirm if we would be able to assist you.  


YES! We are AAHA Accredited because we only want the best for you.

AAHA Accreditation  –  Our hospital was evaluated on approximately 900 rigorous veterinary standards of excellence. Thanks to our amazing team, we are proud to be among the top  AAHA-Accredited hospitals in the United States and Canada.  

AAHA-accredited hospitals are recognized among the finest in the industry, and are consistently at the forefront of advanced veterinary medicine. The Standards of Accreditation are continuously reviewed and updated to keep our accredited practices on the cutting edge of veterinary excellence. AAHA standards address patient care and pain management, surgery, pharmacy, laboratory, exam facilities, medical records, cleanliness, emergency services, dental care, diagnostic imaging, anesthesiology, and continuing education. 

For more information about our AAHA Accreditation, click HERE. To watch a video on what makes a veterinary practice AAHA Accredited, click HERE

 

About Us


Doc & Melissa

Del Mar Veterinary Hospital is proud to serve St. Augustine and surrounding areas. Our fully dedicated Fear-Free approach allows us to provide the highest level of veterinary medicine along with friendly, compassionate service. We believe in treating every patient as if they were our own pet, and giving them the same loving attention and care. We are a group of highly trained, experienced animal lovers who are devoted to giving our patients the best care possible.
 
What also sets Del Mar apart? We are a full service hospital accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). Accreditation by AAHA means, that an animal hospital has been evaluated on approximately 900 standards of veterinary excellence. To maintain their accreditation, hospitals undergo a voluntary but rigorous review by veterinary experts every three years. That means we hold ourselves to a higher standard. Pets are our passion. And keeping them healthy is our #1 priority. Here, we strive to deliver excellent care for pets, the Fear Free way. Because your pets deserve nothing less. Hope we see you soon!
 
If you have any questions about how we can care for your pet, please don’t hesitate to call us at (904) 717-0777, or email us at contact@delmarvethospital.com. Thank you!

We also have staff that can communicate in Spanish (Hablamos español).

 

Click HERE to meet OUR TEAM

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