Frequently Asked Questions
What Should I Bring to My Pet’s First Appointment?
Bring any previous medical records, current medications (in the bottles), and a fresh stool sample (that has been collected within the last 12 hours). We also ask that you arrive with your pet on a leash or in a carrier for the safety and protection of your pet, as well as others.
If at all possible, please send your pet’s medical records to us in advance by email or fax.
When Should I Arrive for My Pet’s Appointment?
Plan to arrive 10-15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time. This will allow us time to get your pet checked in, complete any necessary paperwork, and get vital signs and patient history. Due to scheduling restrictions, if you are late for your pet’s appointment, we will need to reschedule or admit your pet. Missed appointments do incur a fee.
Are You Accepting New Clients and Patients?
Yes, we are! However, please know that we are currently scheduling new pet appointments 3-4 weeks in advance.
Why Do You Require a Deposit to Book a New Client/Patient Appointment?
We do require all new clients to pay a deposit at the time of scheduling their pet’s appointment. As long as you show up on time, your deposit will go toward the exam fee!
What are Your Cancellation and Rescheduling Policies?
We require 24-hour notice for rescheduling or cancellations. This will give us adequate time to schedule another pet that needs to be seen.
Missed appointments incur a fee and will result in the loss of any deposits. A new deposit will be required to book future appointments.
What Payment Options Do You Offer?
We accept cash, checks, and debit or credit card. We also offer financing options through Care Credit and ScratchPay to those who qualify. You can apply at www.carecredit.com or
To keep the costs of our services as low as possible, and to focus on our patients needs and customer service, we do not offer billing. Services must be paid for in full at the time they are provided.
What Should I Expect at My Pet’s Wellness Visit?
During your pet’s wellness exam, a technician will obtain vital signs and patient history, and your veterinarian will perform a thorough physical examination. They will also discuss recommended vaccinations, as well as routine testing, which may include bloodwork, fecal or urine testing. Your veterinarian will prescribe flea, tick, heartworm, and intestinal parasite preventatives, as well as recommend any needed dental work or other follow-up care. The specific recommendations can vary depending on the pet’s age, or any known medical conditions.
Do You Really Need to Examine My Pet Yearly?
Definitely! The purpose of the annual exam is to detect any medical problems that may be developing. Early detection and treatment of diseases like arthritis, kidney disease, thyroid disease, etc. will give your pet the best chance for a positive outcome and a longer, happier, healthier life! For this same reason, we recommend that all pets 7 years or older are examined every 6 months instead of every year. Annual exams are also required for us to prescribe medications and prescription foods.
Why Does My Dog Need a Yearly Heartworm Test?
Even if your dog is on heartworm preventative, there is always the possibility that he or she may not have swallowed a dose, a dose may have been missed, or, in very rare cases, the heartworm prevention may not have been 100% effective in your dog. Additionally, our heartworm test also checks for three tick-borne diseases (Lyme, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasma).
Do You Offer Scheduled Appointments?
Yes, we feel strongly that this allows us to better serve you and your pet by minimizing the time you spend at our office, especially for routine care appointments. Please be advised that while we schedule sick care appointments, it is possible that we may ask you to leave your pet with us if he/she needs diagnostic services or therapeutic procedures. Please let a reception team member know of any signs of illness or medical/behavioral concerns that your pet needs addressed in addition to wellness/routine care so that we can appropriately schedule your appointment with the doctor.
Do You See Walk-Ins and Emergencies?
We do not offer walk-in appointments. However, we do offer urgent care services and ask that you call our office as soon as possible for us to determine how we can help you in getting your pet seen. It is possible that we will ask you to bring your pet in and leave them with us (for the day or potentially overnight), so that we can examine them, and develop a treatment plan. Urgent care fees do apply.
We do see emergency patients during the day, and these cases are attended to first. Therefore, if your pet is in stable condition, you will be asked to wait in our lobby. If you feel you’re your pet requires emergent attention, please contact our office immediately to determine the best course of action. Emergency care fees do apply.
Patients needing emergency services at the end of the day will be referred directly to the ER for more prompt assessment and stabilization. If your pet requires emergent attention after hours, please contact the Tri-State Animal ER (Ceredo, WV) or the Kanawha Valley Veterinary Emergency Hospital (South Charleston, WV).
Can My Pet See the Same Veterinarian Each Visit?
We make every effort to keep your pet with the same vet for every visit. However, there may be times when a specific veterinarian is unavailable for your pet’s visit such as scheduling conflicts, emergency situations, and vacation schedules.
How Do I Refill My Pet’s Medications? Do You Have an Online Pharmacy?
If you prefer to fill your pet’s medication here at the hospital, we ask that you give us at least a 24-hour notice that a refill is needed, and we will call you as soon as the medication is filled and ready for pickup.
We also have an online pharmacy (VetSource) which can be accessed through our website. If you prefer to refill your pet’s medications through VetSource, we recommend that you place your refill order 10-14 days prior to running out of medication to allow for processing and shipping times. You will find that our online pharmacy is priced competitively with other online pharmacies and when you buy from VetSource, you get the same quality and guarantees for medications just like you would if you purchased them directly from the hospital.
Why Does My Pet Need to Be Leashed or In a Carrier?
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 at all times while they are at the hospital. This starts the moment you exit the vehicle, as they are waiting in our reception area, and while traveling to/from the examination rooms. Your veterinarian or veterinary technician will let you know when it is OK to let your pet off leash or out of their carrier.
There are often a lot of noises, new animals, and people in our hospital at any given time. Even the best trained pet can become uneasy or overly excited while here. We want you and your pet to have as pleasant an experience as possible every time you visit our facility, so we ask all clients to respect this policy.
If you have a hard time controlling your pet in the lobby, please let us know. You are welcome to wait with your pet in the car, or we can try to take your pet immediately to an examination room when you arrive. We are happy to work with you to make your visit as smooth and convenient as possible.
Feel free to leave your pet in your vehicle and walk (or call) inside to let us know if you need a leash or carrier for your visit. We are happy to help you keep your pet safe!
What is Pre-Anesthetic Bloodwork? Is it really necessary and important?
Preoperative bloodwork provides our veterinarians with an overview of your pet’s internal health before placing him/her under anesthesia. This allows us to evaluate for evidence of anemia, dehydration, infections, liver/kidney disease, electrolyte disorders, etc. All of these things can greatly impact your pet’s ability to process the anesthesia properly. So yes, pre-anesthetic bloodwork is very important, and while it is elective for some procedures, there are other procedures or conditions that may require us to perform bloodwork prior to anesthesia.
What Do You Do to Help Ensure Patient Safety During Anesthesia and Surgery?
Our veterinary team takes every precaution so that your pet can receive the highest quality care. We always recommend (and sometimes require) pre-anesthetic bloodwork to evaluate internal health before anesthesia. Your pet will receive a physical examination prior to anesthesia, and we will check pre-anesthetic vital signs for any abnormalities.
Your pet will receive an IV catheter, so we can easily administer anesthetic medications, and in the rare event of an emergency, this will allow us to rapidly administer emergency medications. They will be intubated to secure your pet’s airway and allow us to maintain your pet on low levels of gas anesthesia as well as provide oxygen. During surgery, a veterinary technician will continually monitor your pet’s condition with state-of-the-art monitoring equipment.
All patients are given the appropriate pain medications while in our care and are sent home with pain medications as well. This allows us to ensure your pet is as comfortable as possible, for a smooth surgical procedure, and a comfortable recovery as well.
Can You Diagnose and Treat My Pet Over the Phone?
No. A physical exam is critical for the vet to gather information needed to diagnose your pet. Sometimes the exam alone is not enough, and your pet may need tests, such as bloodwork, urinalysis, or X-rays.
Can I Be With My Pet for Testing?
No. Please understand, that in order for us to provide the safest environment for you, your pet, and our staff testing and sometimes exams need to be performed in regulated areas of the hospital, where we have the appropriate equipment, space, and safety measures in place.
You Examined My Pet and They Aren’t Better. What Can I Do?
Please call us right away. Sometimes we may need to try more than one treatment approach or medication to find the correct solution or best treatment for your pet. Please let us know if something we recommended or prescribed is not helping, we want to work with you to find the right treatment for your pet.
My Pet Needs to Stay for Testing. How Will I Know When I Can Pick Them Up?
After we’ve completed testing, a member of our team will contact you to provide an update and set up a time for you to pick up your pet. If we have the results, we will review them with you when you pick up your pet. If we have to send samples to an outside lab for results, we will call you to discuss the results after the veterinarian has had time to review the results & make a treatment plan.
Can I Visit My Surgical or Hospitalized Pet?
We don’t typically recommend visiting your hospitalized since it can over-stimulate your pet and disrupt their recovery. Our hospital sometimes will make exceptions to this policy if your pet is going to be hospitalized following surgery or for treatment for a few days. Visitation hours vary and are scheduled with the nursing staff.
My Pet is Hospitalized. What Should I Expect?
If your pet is going to stay overnight, a member of their healthcare team will contact you that evening before close of business to provide an update on your pet. Additionally, we do have a technician here overnight until 2 am to monitor your pet and perform any overnight treatments needed.
The next day following hospitalization you should expect to receive an update from our office by 11:00 am, regarding any overnight changes and ongoing medical care needed. A member of our veterinary team will discuss any recommendations for further testing, treatments, and/or they will schedule a discharge appointment. Discharge appointments are necessary to review medication directions and to prepare you for the recovery process including rehabilitation instructions, exercise restrictions, etc.