Review of the Ann Arbor Animal Hospital

The Five W’s

Who: Anyone may walk into the Ann Arbor Animal Hospital during business hours for emergency or routine care. If your pet has an emergency, calling ahead is wise so that the staff may prepare a room and equipment.

What: The Ann Arbor Animal Hospital treats cats, dogs, small animals and exotics.

Where: The Ann Arbor Animal Hospital is located at 2150 West Liberty in Ann Arbor, just past Stadium. During rush hour and on University of Michigan game days, I recommend avoiding Stadium unless you absolutely must take it. Otherwise, you risk being stuck in your car with a howling pet, waiting for traffic to creep forward.

When: Monday through Friday until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. They also provide 24-hour emergency care. Call them at (734) 662-4474.

Why: Finding quality veterinary care can be a matter of life or death for your beloved pet. You wouldn’t take your child to a sub-standard pediatrician, so why settle for less than the best for Fluffy? Knowing where to go before your pet has an emergency is something every caring pet owner needs to figure out. The Ann Arbor Animal Hospital has never given anything less than the highest quality emergency and routine medical care to my pets, and I recommend it highly, knowing with confidence your animals will be treated in kind.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, I’d like to relate my personal experiences with the Ann Arbor Animal Hospital so that you’ll see why I’ve come to trust the Ann Arbor Animal Hospital over the years.

Proactive Treatment

Ben, my first cat, came from a shelter about six years ago. Like most shelter cats, he needed shots and parasite treatment right away, so I made an appointment with a local veterinarian I’d heard good things about. Despite the high recommendation, I felt the vet I saw didn’t care too much about my cat, as I was treated abruptly and Ben was barely looked at before we were out the door.

Like many shelter cats, Ben had contracted a respiratory infection behind bars, but the veterinarian chose to vaccinate my cat anyway, claiming that he was just a bit sniffly and the shots “probably” wouldn’t hurt him. Most cat owners know that vaccinations make cats lethargic and not-so-great feeling for a day or two afterward and can exacerbate a pre-existing illness, but I trusted this vet knew what she was doing. I was told to call back if Ben’s breathing became more labored or he stopped eating.

I didn’t think anything was seriously wrong when Ben seemed sicker after his shots, but a few days later, he could hardly breathe, barely moved, and refused food. I did what any concerned pet owner would do-I called my vet. Despite what I considered a medical emergency transpiring before my horrified eyes, the veterinarian’s receptionist informed me coldly that I couldn’t just bring in my cat; I had to have an appointment. Would I consider bringing Ben in next Tuesday?

When I insisted my cat be seen right away, the receptionist suggested I take Ben to the Ann Arbor Animal Hospital, because they have walk-in hours. I crammed Ben into his carrier and drove to my new vet.

At the Ann Arbor Animal Hospital, I was received warmly by the veterinarian’s assistant and asked many questions about Ben’s short medical history. When the vet came into the room, she took one look at Ben and decided he needed an intravenous saline drip right away.

Ben was diagnosed with life-threatening pneumonia, and would need intravenous rehydration at least one more time. The busy vet took the time to teach me how to feed Ben special food with a syringe three times a day, and taught me how to give Ben his medication. The next few days would be crucial to Ben’s survival, and she wanted to make sure I knew how to care for him as best I could.

The next day, I was woken at nine a.m. by a phone call from the Ann Arbor Animal Hospital. They wanted to make sure Ben had made it through the night and see if I had any more questions about his care. When I returned the following day for another saline drip, I was only charged for the treatment and not the office visit. The office staff called me several more times to see how Ben was doing, and I felt like my cat’s health was just important to the Ann Arbor Animal Hospital as it was to me.

Today, Ben is a strong and healthy adult cat, thanks to the proactive treatment approach of the Ann Arbor Animal Hospital.

Kindness of Staff

The kindness of the Ann Arbor Animal Hospital staff goes well beyond phone calls made during times of sickness. No matter what cat I take, or what animal waits in the lobby, the staff makes sure to call all pets by their names. Not only that, but it’s common for staff to take time out during exams and receiving patients to pet the animals and remark on their unique beauty. Jars of kitty and doggie treats are placed on the counters in the examining rooms so you can comfort your pet with a reward. You know your pets are special, unique and precious, but it feels good to know your veterinary clinic thinks so, too.

For seniors and those without means to pay for treatment, the Ann Arbor Animal Hospital has a fund to help pets in need get the medical care they deserve. Should you want to contribute to this fund, you may make a donation at the desk.

Adoption and Rehabilitation

The Ann Arbor Animal Hospital usually has several cats and kittens being held for adoption. If you are considering a new pet or you go during a slow time, you can play with the cats up for adoption in the large waiting area. The animals are well housed in large cages full of toys and well cared for by staff.

The staff is exceptionally committed to helping animals find homes. I used to live in a neighborhood where people dumped their unwanted cats, probably because the apartment complex was next door to a nature preserve. Of the abandoned cats I’ve picked up and fostered, those that needed medical attention all went to the Ann Arbor Animal Hospital. Once, the receptionist who checked me in immediately adopted the little orange kitten I found howling in a bush the night before!

No matter what stray cat I’ve taken to the Ann Arbor Animal Hospital, the attending veterinarian always asks what I plan to do when I explain I’ve rescued the cat and will keep it with me until it has a home. I’ve been given plenty of good advice on placing cats with friends, and I have no doubt they would consider housing an animal I couldn’t foster if they had space available.

Emergencies

The Ann Arbor Animal Hospital is well equipped to handle emergencies of the most serious nature. Although I thankfully haven’t needed to make use of their emergency services yet, I’ve been in the waiting room quite a few times when animals have been brought in bleeding or burned. For serious injuries, staff will come to your vehicle with an animal stretcher to take your pet immediately back to the operating room. If need be, all the veterinarians on staff at the time will work on the emergency procedure. The drawback to this is sometimes the wait gets a little longer, but it’s worth it to know how they would treat your beloved pet should you be the one with the life-threatening situation. Should an emergency occur and the wait become longer, the staff is quick to inform you of the delay and will give you a new estimated wait time and reschedule your appointment if necessary.

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