A Day In The Life Of A Veterinary Clinic

veterinary clinicThis article is for all those aspiring veterinarians or for inquiring minds that want to know what it’s like to work at a veterinary clinic.  Dr. Anna Coffin will reveal her daily schedule at Guthrie Pet Hospital.  Every veterinary clinic will be a little different in their scheduling, but we all do the same things. 

Veterinary Clinic Types:

  1. Small veterinary clinic:  dogs and cats and usually some exotic pets.
  2. Mixed veterinary clinic:  dogs, cats, horses, cows, goats, sheep and usually some exotic pets.
  3. Exotic veterinary clinic:  exotic animals only, which include birds, reptiles, and pocket pets
  4. Referral veterinary clinic:   Specialty clinics with board certified veterinarians. These doctors only see patients in their specialty.  Specialization includes surgery, ophthalmology, oncology, internal medicine, and much


Here at Guthrie Pet Hospital, our day begins before opening our doors at 7:30 am.  We arrive early to walk and feed dogs and cats boarding or hospitalized.  Dr. Coffin exams all hospitalized patients and performs their morning treatments.

From 7:30 am – 9:00 pm we welcome clients for grooming, boarding, and surgery for the day.  All surgery patients receive a pre-anesthetic screening which includes checking their weight, pain medication, examination by the doctor, and blood work to detect any problems that might cause complications with anesthesia.

From 9:00 am – 12:00 pm we perform all of our surgical procedures for the day.  Surgical cases vary from spays and neuters, mass removal, and dental cleanings just to name a few of the most common.

After surgeries, Dr. Coffin will examine and treat all patients that are here for grooming, boarding or day admission.  There are many days that time does not allow for a full hour lunch and some days there is no time at all before our 1:00 pm appointments begin.

From 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm we see patients by appointment for office examinations every 15-30 minutes depending on the reason for their visit.  Examinations include a full comprehensive (head to tail) physical exam from Dr. Coffin.  Many patients are seen for wellness checks which include vaccines, deworming and routine blood testing.  Other patients are present for some illness.  Sick patients may need further diagnostic work such as blood work or radiographs, which we try and perform during the office visit.

Some sick patients need to be hospitalized and treated after their office exam, which is done in between seeing other clients that have a scheduled appointment.

From 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm we discharge surgery patients that are going home for the day.  Staff members or Dr. Coffin review instructions for at home care for your pet.  We also examine and treat all our hospitalized patients for the evening.

Our doors close at 6:00 pm but the work doesn’t stop there.  We must clean the clinic, walk and care for patients that are boarding and process end of the day and balance daily finances.  Dr. Coffin remains on call 24 hours a day.  Our answering service will screen calls and text, Dr. Coffin, any after-hours emergencies.  Dr. Coffin contacts the client and discusses the case over the phone to determine if they need to be seen.  It’s common to get several calls every night.  If Dr. Coffin has any critically ill patients hospitalized, she will check on them throughout the evening. If you have any concerns about your pet, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are always here to help.

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