1319 Archdale Drive
Charlotte, NC 28217

704-552-2333

Veterinary Health Care Frequently Asked Questions

My pet needs to have surgery. Should I be worried about the anesthesia?

Modern anesthesia is generally quite safe. We perform a physical examination and run blood tests before all procedures requiring general anesthesia to make sure your pet doesn’t have any hidden health issues. In addition, a skilled veterinary technician will be monitoring your pet’s vital signs during the procedure, to ensure your pet’s safety or to catch and treat any potential concerns as quickly as possible.

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. Pets can have a wide variety of behavioral issues, from simple housetraining problems to severe anxiety and aggression issues. At our animal clinic we are well qualified and experienced in diagnosing and addressing behavior problems. Our approach combines skills from veterinary clinical medicine, behavioral medicine, and pet training. We can evaluate your pet for medical problems that mimic behavioral problems and help you with medical treatments and behavioral training for your pet. We can also recommend professionals to assist you with training in your home.

What toys/accessories are appropriate for my pet?

With all the options out there, sometimes it’s hard to figure out what’s safe. We recommend toys based on your pet’s age, breed, needs, and interests.

Why can’t a veterinarian give my pet a diagnosis over the phone? I can’t afford to come in to the clinic every time my pet has something minor wrong.

It is illegal and unethical for a veterinarian to prescribe medication for your pet over the phone. Without a physical examination, the veterinarian cannot diagnose and treat your pet properly.

Veterinarians appreciate observant owners and want to hear their description of the pet’s symptoms. However, many diseases have the same symptoms but require different treatment. To determine the cause of the symptoms and ensure the best outcome, veterinarians need to examine the pet in person and sometimes perform diagnostic testing. Treating a pet for the wrong disease will cost more in the end and could be harmful or even deadly to your pet.

I just got a new puppy/kitten. How much will veterinary care cost during the first year? And how much should I expect to spend annually after that?

Puppies and kittens generally have the same health requirements: an initial veterinary visit that includes a physical exam, vaccinations, and tests for parasites. Follow-up visits include the rest of the puppy/kitten series of vaccinations, as well as treatment and preventives for parasites. We will be happy to give you a schedule of needed veterinary services and an estimate of costs at your first visit.

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?

Even though your pet may be showing the same symptoms as he or she did the last time, the problem may be different. Many diseases have similar symptoms, and your veterinarian needs to examine your pet to ensure that he or she correctly diagnoses the cause.

I recently lost my pet, and I’m having trouble dealing with the loss. Where can I find help?

Losing a pet can be extremely upsetting and hard to move beyond. We have such a close bond with our pets, so letting go is never easy. We recommend the pet grief support group that meets the second Thursday of each month from 7:00pm-8:30pm at Seigle Avenue Presbyterian Church in Charlotte. The website www.petgriefsupportgroup.com has more information.

Which pet food should I feed my dog/cat?

The answer is different for each pet, although many commercially available foods are fine to feed healthy dogs and cats. You can look for a nutritional adequacy statement from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), as well as the words “complete and balanced.” Pets’ nutritional needs do change, depending on their life stage and health. Your veterinarian can recommend a pet food, as well as give you advice on deciphering ingredient lists and determining how much to feed your pet.

I’ve seen a lot of information about supplements and nutraceuticals. How do I know what my pet needs?

Supplements, and nutraceuticals in particular, are becoming very popular with pet owners. Your veterinarian can help you weed out confusing and conflicting information and advise you on any supplements your pet might benefit from.

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 are responsible for patient care, they 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.