1319 Archdale Drive
Charlotte, NC 28217

704-552-2333

Veterinary Health Care Frequently Asked Questions

What vaccinations does my dog/cat really need?

Your veterinarian will determine which vaccinations are appropriate for your dog or cat, based on individual factors, such as lifestyle and health status. Veterinarians commonly recommend the core vaccines for dogs including rabies, distemper, parvovirus, and Bordetella (infectious bronchitis). Additional vaccines such as Lyme Disease and Corona Virus are recommended based on your dog’s lifestyle and health status. For cats the core recommendation is to vaccinate against rabies and panleukopenia (feline distemper). Additional vaccines for cats, such as feline leukemia virus (FeLV), feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV),and Feline corona virus (FIP) are recommended based on lifestyle and health status.

Many of these diseases can be fatal to your pet. Preventing them is far easier and less expensive than treatment. If you would like more information on vaccines, feel free to ask us.

I’ve been late several times when giving my pet a heartworm preventive. Should I be concerned?

Unfortunately, if you were late or missed a dose even once, your pet could have become infected if he or she was exposed during that time. Call your veterinarian, and explain the situation. Depending on how many doses have been late, they may recommend that you have your pet tested for heartworm infection, then put your pet on a regular preventive schedule. You should also have your pet retested in seven months, as recommended by the American Heartworm Society. (For heartworms to be detected, they need to be five to seven months old.)

Why should I bring my pet in for regular veterinary visits when he/she is healthy?

When you consider the cost of prevention versus the cost of treating a disease or condition, you’ll find that treatment is often far more expensive. For example, parvovirus treatment can frequently cost 10 times more than a single parvovirus vaccination. When you keep your pet up-to-date on preventive care, you’ll know that your pet won’t have to suffer from a condition that could have been prevented or treated.

What should I expect during my pet’s wellness exam?

During your pet’s wellness exam, the veterinarian will take your pet’s history and perform a thorough physical examination. He will also give your pet appropriate vaccinations and perform a diagnostic workup, which may include blood, fecal, and urine tests to check for parasites and underlying diseases. He will prescribe preventives and may recommend dental work or other follow-up care. The specific services provided during the exam will vary depending on your pet’s age. You can help by letting us know if you’ve noticed any unusual behavior or physical changes in your pet.

You will receive a write up of your pet’s exam findings and any further recommendations.

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?

Never give your pet medication intended for people unless your veterinarian has prescribed it. Most over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), can have serious, potentially fatal consequences if a pet ingests them.

A variety of pain medications are available for dogs and cats. We can help you determine which one will fit your budget and help alleviate your pet’s pain.

My cat doesn’t go outside. Why should I put him/her on a heartworm/flea/tick preventive?

Just because your cat doesn’t venture outdoors doesn’t mean outdoor parasites can’t get inside. Mosquitoes transmit heartworm disease, and as you probably know, mosquitoes always seem to find a way to get inside your home. Plus, fleas and ticks can both hitch a ride on clothing, so every time you come back into the house, you could potentially be bringing these parasites in with you.

Although you can’t always protect your pet from coming in contact with these bloodsucking insects, you can help protect him or her from the diseases they can transmit. We are happy to discuss the benefits of preventives with you.

Why does my dog/cat need to have a blood test before starting heartworm medication?

Your pet should be tested for heartworm infection before he or she is placed on a preventive to avoid any harmful or possibly fatal complications. For instance, if a heartworm-infected dog is started on a monthly preventive, immature heartworms (called microfilariae) can die suddenly, causing a serious, shock-type reaction. In addition, preventives won’t kill adult heartworms, so an infected dog needs to be started on a treatment plan.

Why do some veterinary hospitals charge such different prices for the same procedure(s)?

Each veterinary hospital sets its own fees. These fees are largely based on expenses, such as salaries, utilities, and rent, that all vary from one area to another. However, the services that are covered under the same procedure or treatment may also differ from clinic to clinic. Medications, medical techniques and products, anesthetics, and equipment can all affect the cost of services.

Why does it cost so much to provide veterinary care for my pet?

The fees you pay for veterinary services take into consideration a number of factors, including the expenses involved in maintaining the hospital and equipment and the costs to compensate your veterinarian and veterinary team for their professional services. When someone decides to adopt a pet, he or she needs to be prepared to include annual veterinary care in the overall cost of owning the 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 for veterinary care you’re paying the entire cost of a service or procedure, rather than a percentage or set fee determined by an insurance company in the human healthcare system. 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. Most veterinary plans require you to pay the costs at the time of service and file a claim for reimbursement.

Our hospital also accepts Care Credit to help finance veterinary costs so pets may receive the care they need and clients may spread the cost over 6 to 12 months without interest. We also will help you schedule wellness care over several months without charging a wellness exam at each visit. You pay one wellness exam a year and may break up your heartworm test, fecal test, and vaccinations into several visits to spread out the cost. Through our online store, you may have one dose of your monthly heartworm and flea preventative automatically delivered to your home and charged to your credit card monthly without shipping charges.