Animal Medical Services FAQs
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Why do you check my dog’s weight every time he/she comes in for a visit?
We keep track of your pet’s weight just like your doctor’s office keeps track of your height and weight each time you visit. Having an accurate and current measurement of your pet’s weight will help us ensure that we prescribe the right dose of preventives, medications, and any needed anesthetics. It can also help us notice any early clues to health concerns. In addition, a regular weigh-in can help you track and manage your pet’s weight.
Why can’t my pet see the same veterinarian/veterinary technician each time we visit?
We make every effort to accommodate our clients’ requests. However, there may be circumstances that prevent a certain veterinary team member from being available during your pet’s visit. Scheduling conflicts, farm calls, emergency situations, and vacation schedules all play a role in their availability. Please feel free to ask for a specific veterinarian or veterinary technician when you schedule your appointment, and we will do what we can facilitate your request. However, please be understanding if we can’t. All of our team members are highly skilled professionals who look forward to your pet’s visit.
Why is my veterinarian referring my pet to a specialist?
Our veterinarians make every effort to stay current and skilled in many aspects of animal health, providing comprehensive care for your pet. However, board-certified specialists have extensive experience and training in a particular area of veterinary medicine or surgery. And specialty clinics and university-affiliated referral centers have specialized equipment to perform procedures that are not routinely undertaken by general practitioners.
Be assured that when we refer a patient to another hospital, we continue to stay involved with his or her care, consulting with the treating specialist and often providing any needed follow-up care and rehabilitation.
I think something’s wrong with my pet. Can I call you and have a veterinarian give me a diagnosis over the phone?
Is it OK to call with questions about my pet’s health?
Unless it is an emergency situation, allow 24 hours for the nurse or doctor to return your call.
My pet needs to come in for a regular exam/minor procedure, but I don’t have time to wait at the hospital the whole time. Can I drop my pet off and pick him/her back up later in the day?
I think my pet ate something that’s making him/her sick, and he/she has lost consciousness/is having seizures/trouble breathing. What should I do?
During normal business hours, bring your pet in immediately. Call us right before you leave or while you’re on your way to help us prepare for the situation.
I think my pet ate something that could be poisonous, but he/she seems fine. What should I do?
Don’t panic, but call us right away. If it’s outside our normal business hours, call our emergency line at (276) 236-1315. If your pet is not showing any adverse symptoms, you can also call the ASPCA poison control helpline at 888-426-4435. You may be charged a consultation fee.
If it is recommended that you induce vomiting to get material out of your pet’s stomach, we may recommend using Hydrogen Peroxide. This is something you should keep in your pet “first aid kit”.
Why does it cost so much to provide veterinary care for my pet?
Thanks to advances in veterinary medicine, pets are living longer, which means you may be spending more over the lifetime of your pet. However, in general, the annual cost of caring for a pet hasn’t increased much over the past several decades. (Consider how much the costs of many professional services, such as human healthcare, have risen over that same period!) Certain advanced procedures may come at a higher cost, but as the owner, you decide what care you want to provide your pet. Overall, veterinary care is a terrific value for pet owners.
It may seem like you’re paying more for your pet’s care than for your own, but that perception may stem from the fact that you’re paying the entire cost of a service or procedure, rather than a percentage or set fee determined by an insurance company. If you want to save money on your pet’s care, there are several pet insurance plans available. These plans may cover or help keep costs down for many routine veterinary services, prescriptions, medical conditions, and diseases. (See our page on Trupanion Pet Insurance) We also offer a third-party healthcare line of credit, known as Carecredit, as an option.
I’ve found a clinic that’s offering prices well below what other clinics are charging for veterinary care. Is this a good option if I don’t have much money to spend on my pet?
If my pet’s problem doesn’t get better, can I get a refund for his/her veterinary care?
Unfortunately, we can’t offer refunds for veterinary care. Our fees cover the cost of examining, testing, diagnosing, and treating your pet.
Not all health problems have a straightforward solution. Some may be chronic, requiring a long-term management plan; others may be more difficult to diagnose or may involve several causes. A cure may not always be possible, and treatment may be ongoing. Before you get frustrated when a medical issue is not resolving, please talk with us. If the treatment is difficult, we can often suggest different forms of medication that suit you and your pet better. We can also offer alternative therapies, such as eastern medical treatments. We want to help in any way we can. Our veterinary team will do everything they can to find answers and continue to help your pet.
Patient Home Care FAQs
My pet has the same thing wrong that he/she was just treated for. Can the veterinarian just prescribe the same medication that he/she did the last time?
If the diagnosis is the same as the previous, we still strive to try to get at the root cause of your pet’s problem. By just prescribing medication over and over, we may be missing the chance to treat the underlying illness.
Can’t I just give my dog/cat a Tylenol or Advil to help with pain, rather than paying for more costly veterinary pain medication?
A variety of pain medications are available for dogs and cats. Your veterinarian can help you determine which one will fit your budget and help alleviate your pet’s pain.
Pet Behavior FAQs
My pet won’t stop chewing/digging/barking/scratching/spraying. Where can I find help?
Certain behaviors can be extremely frustrating and difficult to overcome. We offer behavior counseling and can recommend obedience training. Call our clinic to set up a behavior assessment.
I have a hard time controlling my pet in the lobby. Can I make arrangements so I can take him/her into the exam room right away when I arrive?
We are happy to make arrangements to help make your visit as smooth and convenient as possible. When you call to schedule your appointment, please let us know that you would prefer to wait in an exam room.
My pet is a handful. Can I pay my bill ahead of time or in the exam room so I don’t have to wait in the lobby after the exam is over?
We are happy to make arrangements to help make your visit as smooth and convenient as possible. When you call to schedule your appointment, please let us know that you would like to be billed in advance. We typically ask for a credit card and will send you a receipt at your request. Depending on what services or procedures we have provided your pet, we may need to add additional fees to your bill. We will contact you to let you know if this is the case.
My pet is really well trained. Does he/she need to be on a leash/in a carrier when we visit the hospital?
For the safety and protection of all clients, patients, and veterinary team members, we require all pets to be on a leash or in a carrier when they arrive at our hospital. They must continue to be restrained while they are in the reception area and while traveling to and from the exam rooms. Your veterinarian or veterinary technician will let you know when it’s OK to let your pet off leash or out of his or her carrier.
There is often a lot going on at our hospital. Combine that with the unfamiliar surroundings and new animals, and any pet—even one that is well trained—might become uneasy or overly excited. We want you and your pet to stay safe and have as pleasant an experience as possible every time you visit our hospital, so we ask all our clients to respect our policy.
Veterinarian Education FAQs
What is a veterinarian?
Put simply, a veterinarian is a doctor who studies animal health; prevents, diagnoses, and treats diseases and health issues in animals; and helps protect the welfare of animals and people. The schooling period for veterinarians is 8 years, like human medical doctors.
Veterinarians are knowledgeable and well educated on many aspects of animal care and fulfill a range of roles across the private and public sectors. You can find veterinarians working at small animal clinics, emergency and specialty hospitals, universities, research facilities, pet food and drug manufacturing companies, and government organizations.
What is a veterinary technician?
A veterinary technician is trained to assist veterinarians in caring for pets. These professionals perform many of the same tasks that a nurse would for a doctor. Veterinary technicians have received extensive training, either in accredited programs or on the job. Responsibilities vary among clinics, but the basic duties remain the same.
For instance, technicians collect patient samples, perform lab tests, assist during patient exams and dental cleanings, and take x-rays. Senior techs also train and mentor other staff members. Some technicians work in research facilities or for manufacturers.
What education does a veterinarian need?
To stay current with veterinary medicine, techniques, and technology, practicing veterinarians read scientific journals and attend continuing education symposiums, seminars, and courses.
How hard is it to get into a veterinary program?
Getting into veterinary school is extremely competitive. Because veterinary programs have a limited number of positions to fill, not all students who apply get in. Those who hope to become a veterinarian must have high grades in their pre-veterinary studies. In addition, any real-world experience or additional years of college may be beneficial.
See the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Career Center for more information about veterinary colleges.