Q. How often should my pet have an exam, bloodwork and a heartworm test?
A. We recommend that your pet have bi-annual (twice per year) preventative care exams. It’s important to remember that pets age much faster than we do, so a thorough physical exam twice a year is crucial to maintaining the health of your pet.
We also recommend that your animal have a fecal sample analyzed and a deworming when they come in for their preventative care exams. Pets can become infected with intestinal parasites while they are outside, but even our indoor pets are at risk because of the dirt and bacteria we track in on our shoes and clothes. Bringing a new animal into the home can also bring unwanted intestinal parasites, and since some intestinal parasites are zoonotic—meaning they can be transmitted to humans—pairing your pet’s fecal exam with a prophylactic deworming provides extra protection for your entire family.
Finally, annual preventative care bloodwork gives us yet another tool to more closely monitor the health of your pet. The physical exam is only a single component of a thorough preventative care visit and often provides only a small amount of information since our pets cannot tell us if they feel sick or are in pain. Annual bloodwork not only gives us a snapshot of how your animal’s internal organs are functioning, but also allows us to monitor trends over time and screen for early disease progression. Our preventative care blood panels also include a Canine 4DX test (heartworm, Lyme, anaplasmosis, and ehrlichiosis) or a Feline Triple test (heartworm, FIV, FeLV) to screen for some common infectious diseases. A current 4DX or Feline Triple is required for your pet to be on heartworm prevention and will help ensure your pet is as healthy as possible.
Q. What if my pet has an after-hours emergency?
A. In case of an after-hours emergency, we refer all clients to Animal Emergency Hospital and Urgent Care. They are open 24 hours a day / 7 days a week / 365 days a year, including holidays. Their phone number is (919) 781-5145 and they are located at 409 Vick Avenue, Raleigh, NC 27612.
Q. Why does my pet need a dental procedure?
A. The condition of your pet’s teeth and gums directly affects your pet’s health in a major way! If your pet is over three, chances are he or she has some symptoms of periodontal (dental disease). Left untreated, it can result in gum infections, tooth loss, pain, and difficulty eating. Eventually bacteria can make its way through the bloodstream to other internal organs, and it’s believed that as much as 80% of heart, kidney, and liver disease in pets begins with periodontal disease.
Q. What financing options do you offer, or is payment expected at the time of service?
A. Payment is required at the time of service. However, we do accept, and highly recommend, Care Credit to all our clients! Care Credit is a healthcare credit card that can be used as soon as you are approved. If charges exceed $200, then your account can be paid off within 6 months with no interest. Click here for more information or to apply.
Q. At what age should I have my pet spayed or neutered?
A. We recommend spaying or neutering your pets at 5 months of age. Spaying before the first heat cycle drastically reduces the risk of mammary and ovarian cancers. Neutering males eliminates unwanted behavior associated with secondary sex characteristics (marking, roaming, aggression, etc.) and eliminates the possibility of testicular and prostate tumors.
Q. How long should I wait to bring my pet in if I notice a change in behavior?
A. If you notice any change in your pet’s behavior, you should bring your pet in as soon as possible to be evaluated by one of our doctors. Behavioral changes requiring immediate attention include (but are not limited to): vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, inappropriate urination/defecation, increased thirst, decreased appetite, frequent urination, limping, confusion, excessive vocalization, and decrease or increase in self-grooming (in cats).