Utilizing CareLink

 

CareLink is our animal transportation service, conveying patients from your hospital to The Animal Ultrasound Clinic. We have established protocols and procedures to ensure that service is prompt, safe, and reliable.


Scheduling
CareLink service may be arranged by telephone and by sending us a completed Fax Referral Form. When scheduling, please advise us of critical situations so that we may staff and equip the van appropriately.

On the afternoon before an appointment, we will telephone to confirm a scheduled pickup. If you have not heard from us by 5:00 PM, please call us.

Animals are picked up and returned to your hospital within normal hours, usually between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM. Please have the animals in the hospital and ready for transportation at the opening time of your designation. The animals will be returned to your hospital before closing time. If an unexpected event delays the van, we will notify you immediately and confirm alternate arrangements.

If the animal or the owner has special needs, and if schedules permit, animals may be picked up and returned to their owner’s homes. An additional charge will be applied.

Please release the animals to the drivers and technicians without delay. Often, animals from a previous hospital stop are waiting in the van. Drivers are instructed to continue their route after waiting a maximum of 10 minutes. This is necessary to ensure safe conduct of the pets already in the van. Please prepare your patients' radiographs, Fax Referral Form (if not already faxed), and labwork for travel in advance of the van's arrival.

Due to last-minute scheduling of animals that may be quite ill, the van may arrive some time after you open. While owners are welcome to meet our staff and to escort their pets to the van, please do not promise the owner a specific pick-up or drop-off time.

Please send along all medications to be administered while the animal is in our care.

Patients on fluids: To ensure that an IV catheter remains usable, IV fluids should be discontinued and catheters should be flushed with heparinized saline and capped. Leave fluid therapy instructions with the driver or technician or call the clinic. It is most efficient to write on tape affixed to the fluid bag the time at which you would like specific amounts administered. Alternatively, you can leave your fluid therapy instructions on the Fax Referral Form.

Owners are encouraged to provide a day bag for their pet, including food, toys, blankets, etc. Please label these with the patient’s and owner’s names.

Please note that fasting is not necessary or desirable, unless an anesthetic procedure is anticipated. Because of the secure environment the van provides, motion sickness occurs extremely rarely.

Due to limited space, it is not possible to transport owners via CareLink. Owners may call our office for a progress report any time that their pet is in our care. You may to leave our number with your clients for this purpose.

Critical patients: Animals that require close supervision or continual monitoring may also be transported by CareLink van. Please advise us of the animal’s needs so we may appropriately staff (e.g., add personnel) and equip the van prior to its departure. ICU care by a Certified Veterinary Technician is possible.
 
 
Fees
There is a minimal charge for routine CareLink transportation within most of our service area. See the CareLink section in your Fee Schedule for the specific charges.

A cancellation fee may apply when a scheduled pickup is cancelled after 5 PM the day before the appointment. We suggest that you obtain a deposit from the owner if you suspect an unpredictable situation.

For the animals arriving via CareLink van, the daycare for the pet is included in the transportation fee.

CareLink transportation is available to other clinics and facilities. Please call us if you have patients who need to be transported to clinics other than our own.

Please advise the driver or technician of any potential problems an animal may present, such as dyspnea, aggression, unknown rabies vaccination status, or the need to be frequently monitored.

If travel appears to be risky for an animal, the driver or technician may discuss the case with a doctor prior to accepting the animal.

Cats and small mammals are accepted only in secure carriers. Cardboard carriers are inadequate. The van does have a limited number of carriers available.

Vans are air conditioned and well heated and are outfitted with emergency equipment and oxygen.

The drivers and technicians are trained professionals and have specific emergency protocols to follow, including the administration of emergency medication and knowledge of the location and fastest course to every veterinary hospital on their route. They are in contact with our office at all times.
 

Upper respiratory infections: For the health of the other animals in the van, it is not possible to transport animals with upper respiratory infections by routine CareLink can service. Please call for STAT service or arrange for someone to bring the pet to the clinic.

Flea and tick infestations: For the health of the other animals in the van, animals with flea or tick infestation must be sprayed prior to being transported by CareLink van service.