1319 Archdale Drive
Charlotte, NC 28217

704-552-2333

Veterinary Health Care Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my pet need dental care?

Dental health is just as important for dogs and cats as it is for people. Bacteria and food debris accumulate around the teeth and, if left unchecked, will lead to deterioration of the soft tissue and bone surrounding the teeth. This decay can result in irreversible periodontal disease, tooth loss, and expensive oral surgery. Bacteria can also cause serious, potentially fatal infections in your pet’s kidneys, liver, lungs, and heart.

Unless your pet just ate something fishy, stinky breath isn’t normal. Having a veterinarian evaluate your pet’s teeth regularly and clean them as needed will help prevent dental disease and any related problems.

How can my puppy/kitten have worms? How was he/she exposed?

Almost all puppies are born with intestinal parasites, which are passed from mother to pup during pregnancy. Although kittens are not infected when they’re born, they can become infected through their mother’s milk. Puppies can also become infected while they’re nursing.

Puppies and kittens should both be given a series of dewormings. We can give you a schedule of dewormings and vaccines needed and an estimate of the cost based on your puppy’s or kitten’s age.

Why does heartworm treatment cost so much?

For the safety and protection of all clients, patients, and veterinary team members, we ask that all pets be on a leash or in a carrier when they arrive at our animal 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.

Many factors affect the cost associated with treating heartworm infection, including diagnostic testing, hospitalization, medication, and office visits. Preventing heartworm disease is much less expensive, which is why most veterinarians recommend that you keep your pet on heartworm prevention year-round. For most dogs, you can buy 8 to 10 years of prevention for the cost of treating your dog once for heartworms.

What education does a veterinarian need?

Most veterinary degrees require eight years of study at the university level, including a four year pre-veterinary undergraduate education and four years in a veterinary medicine program. Veterinary students usually spend 4,000 hours or more in classroom, laboratory, and clinical study.

To stay current with veterinary medicine, techniques, and technology, practicing veterinarians are required to attend continuing education symposiums, seminars, and courses every year.

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. 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.

Can I get health insurance for my pet? If so, what’s covered?

Several companies offer health insurance for dogs and cats (and other pets). These plans have premiums and deductibles, just like human health insurance plans. The premiums and deductibles vary based on the level of coverage you select. Many routine veterinary services, such as office visits and diagnostic testing, are covered, as well as prescriptions, procedures, and surgeries for a wide variety of diseases and conditions. However, there are restrictions and limits, as well as certain guidelines to follow; including making sure your pet receives regular preventive care.

Unlike human insurance, these plans require you to pay for veterinary services at the time they are delivered and then you file a claim to be reimbursed. Our animal hospital will try to help you with the forms but we are unable to hold charges until the insurance pays or file the insurance for you.

Why is veterinary care for my pet(s) so expensive? Sometimes I believe I’m spending more on my pet’s health care than on my own!

Relatively speaking, veterinary care is a great value! The cost of veterinary care has risen very little over the last 20 to 30 years, especially when compared to the cost of human health care or almost any other services.

Veterinary service fees are a reflection of the costs of maintaining suitable facilities, equipment and support personnel to provide the level of care that is expected in animal medicine today. Remember, too, the original cost of the animal has no bearing on the cost of services delivered. Annual veterinary service care is a cost that should be factored in to the decision to own a pet.

My pet is injured/sick, and he/she needs to see a veterinarian. However, I can’t afford the office visit, much less treatment. What can I do?

Our hospital accepts Care Credit so that you may pay your bill over 6 to 12 months' interest-free. The application may be filled out at our office or you can do it at home before you come. The link is on our website. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide care unless we receive payment. We try to keep our prices as low as possible, however, our costs are very high for medical supplies, the facility, and the staff to provide care for our patients, therefore we cannot afford to provide free services.

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.

Does my pet have to get a rabies vaccination?

North Carolina requires all dogs and cats 12 weeks and older to have a current rabies vaccination. The first time a pet is vaccinated for rabies, the vaccine is good for 1 year. All rabies vaccines after that are good for 3 years. You will receive a tag for your pet’s collar and a certificate as proof of vaccination when your pet gets the rabies vaccine. In Charlotte, each pet must be licensed These laws help protect both pets and people from this deadly disease. Because of rabies laws, control and prevention programs, and pet owners’ cooperation, domesticated pets in North America rarely become infected with this disease. By keeping your pet up-to-date on his or her rabies vaccination, not only are you protecting your pet, but you’re also helping to eradicate rabies from the pet population in your community.