Oak Tree Animal Hospital

7102 North Armenia Avenue
Tampa, FL 33604


Have you ever wondered what the difference between an animal hospital and an animal clinic is?

For this discussion and simplicity, veterinary hospital and animal hospital are the same, as are veterinary clinic and animal clinic. The key is “hospital” versus “clinic”.Oak Tree Animal Hospital in Tampa FL 33604

The distinction between veterinary hospital and veterinary clinic is getting more blurred. You have probably heard or read, “we are a full-service animal hospital in Tampa FL”. There are many Tampa animal hospitals that will use “full service” in their description. So what does that mean. Maybe the following will help in distinguishing between those that are an animal hospital in Tampa and those thath are a Tampa animal clinic.

Many people simply think that the big difference is the size of the facility, but there is a lot more to it than that.

On the whole, animal hospitals tend to be larger and have more room to keep pets overnight or longer. An animal hospital also has the capability of hospitalization and the facilities to care for animals in more extensive ways.

In-house laboratory tests, radiology, especially digital radiology today, laser surgery, laser therapy, oxygen therapy, electrocardiograms, ultrasound, specialty surgeries and other modalities are more commonly seen in a veterinary or animal hospital. A fully stocked pharmacy is also another feature of an animal hospital. Animal hospitals also tend to have more veterinarians on staff and support staff.

Now veterinary or animal clinics have the capability to do complete examinations, make a diagnosis and provide adequate treatment for most cases. However, as a rule an animal clinic usually only performs minor surgeries and usually does not provide or offer hospitalization. They tend to have a smaller number of veterinarian staff members, maybe one or two vets, and less support staff also.

A veterinary or animal clinic tends to treat the more basic problems and will refer the more difficult cases including those, needing major diagnostics, more complicated surgery or hospitalization. The clinics tend to have smaller facilities, because they are geared for more outpatient type cases. Much of the laboratory work and specialized treatments will be referred out.

In Australia the distinction between an animal hospital and an animal clinic is taken to another level. Veterinary practices in Australia actually have to apply to become an animal or veterinary hospital.

So how can a veterinary practice become a veterinary hospital? Well there is more to it than just calling yourself one.

A veterinary practice can apply to become a hospital through the Veterinary Board of South Australia that conducts a rigorous inspection in order to make sure that the practice is up to scratch. Some of the things that the Board looks for are:


The prospective hospital must meet many requirements inside and outside to pass the certification process. There must be designated rooms for a surgical theatre, an X ray room, a reception area and even the size of the public toilet and its accessibility is specifically prescribed. The assessment makes sure that the future hospitals are noise insulated and even the sewer system must meet certain requirements. The size of the cages, ventilation and internal lighting are also regulated.

Staff (vets, nurses) and levels of staffing

All vets and nurses must undertake further studies and training in order to keep their knowledge and skills up to date. They must keep written records and the records are examined randomly when the accreditation process is done. A registered nursing certificate must be present at the facility during operating hours to make sure that quality health care is always provided.

Record keeping

Vet hospitals must have accurate health records of all their patients and they must be of a high standard.

The equipment must be of high quality, up to date and well maintained.

A veterinary library must be existent, up to date and of good quality.


A pharmacy must be present at the facility and stock a range of pharmaceuticals consistent with a good standard of practice. All hospitals are accredited for a certain period of time only and they have to go through the certification process on a regular basis to make sure the standards are maintained and constantly improved.

Hopefully the information above helps sort any questions one may have about the difference between an animal hospital and animal clinic. Tampa animal hospitals or Tampa animal clinics, does it really matter? It all depends on each person’s situation, the pet’s condition, what needs to be done and many other factors.

Oak Tree Animal Hospital in Tampa is a full service animal hospital serving northwest Tampa FL. Oak Tree Animal Hospital is an affordable veterinary hospital with quality and professional veterinary care.

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Oak Tree Animal Hospital

7102 North Armenia Avenue
Tampa FL 33604 USA

(813) 935-2080


  • Monday: 8:30 am - 6:00 pm
  • Tuesday: 8:30 am - 6:00 pm
  • Wednesday: 8:30 am - 6:00 pm
  • Thursday: 8:30 am - 6:00 pm
  • Friday: 8:30 am - 6:00 pm
  • Saturday: 9:00 am - 1:00 am
  • Sunday: Closed