/FAQs

FAQs

Our hospital is open Monday – Friday 7:00am to 7:00pm and Saturday 7:00am to 1:00pm. Drop offs can be made as early as 7:00am for your convenience. Our hospital is closed on Sunday.

We can obtain records from most veterinarians with just a simple phone call requesting records be faxed or emailed. Some veterinarians require written consent to transfer records; others require payment for each photocopied page and request that the records be picked up. Please call our office and request that your records be transferred and we will assist you.

Yes, in order to keep our doctor on schedule, you must call our office to set up an appointment. To better facilitate patient flow, we request that clients arrive a few minutes prior to their appointments. This allows our reception staff to update your personal information and check your pet in.

If you or your pet is new to us, we’d appreciate you arriving ten to fifteen minutes prior to your scheduled appointment. This allows for the time you need to fill out the necessary paperwork associated with your pet’s visit and the time we need to enter it into our computers. You can also print out our client and pet information sheets from this web site to expedite your check in process.

We do take emergencies during the day, so please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need your pet seen on short notice. Emergencies will be seen immediately and prioritized to create as little disruption to scheduled appointments as possible.

Cash, Check, CareCredit, American Express, Discover Card, MasterCard and Visa.

We perform surgeries every day, Monday through Friday.

Admissions for standard small animal surgeries such as spays, neuters and declaws as well as for dentistry should be done prior to 9:00 AM the day of surgery. Arrangements can be made to have your pet dropped off the night before as well.

Admitting times for non-routine surgeries should be discussed with your pet’s doctor or another staff member as these may vary depending on the surgery. Certainly, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

When dropping off your pet for surgery, please plan on spending ten to fifteen minutes filling out pre-surgical paperwork and admitting your pet. While we recognize that this may be somewhat inconvenient, it is very important that we have the information that we request at this time to insure the safety and proper care of your pet. If you would like, we can fax or e-mail most of this paperwork to you to further expedite your pet’s check-in.

For routine surgical procedures, such as spays, neuters, declaws, dentistry and mass removals, your pet should not be given access to food for twelve hours prior to surgery. We recommend taking your pet’s food away by 10:00 PM the night before surgery if you are bringing it in the day of the procedure. It’s okay for them to have water at any time. If your pet is admitted the night before surgery, we’ll see to it that food is withheld appropriately.

Most routine surgeries may go home the day the surgery is performed, more complex surgeries will require hospitalization overnight or for multiple days, depending on the type of procedure and the severity of the animal’s condition. Your doctor will explain the length of stay prior to surgery.

Our staff will keep you updated on the surgery and your pet’s condition.

Our staff will contact you to schedule a discharge appointment that fits into our schedule and is convenient for you. At that time, we’ll go over the procedure, discharge instructions and medications.

If your pet’s procedure required external sutures or stapling, these are usually removed 10-14 days following the procedure. A future appointment for this will be scheduled at the time of your pet’s discharge.

Pre-anesthetic blood screening varies by the age of your pet, and tests the organ functions, blood counts and clotting function of your pet. The pre-anesthetic blood screening is important for any pet undergoing surgery and done to assure safety during surgery and the ability to heal following surgery.

Spaying or neutering your pets can greatly reduce their risk of developing many types of cancer later in life. Although commonly referred to as a “spay” this surgery is actually a complete ovariohysterectomy, (the removal of both ovaries and the uterus). Spayed dogs are much lower at risk for ovarian cancers and cysts, mammary gland tumors, and uterine infections (called a pyometra) which can be a life threatening condition. Neutering is the removal of both testicles. Neutered males are less susceptible to prostate disease and testicular cancers. It may also decrease or even eliminate unwanted behaviors such as aggression or running off. Unless your pet will be bred, spaying or neutering is highly recommended.

A dog’s season or heat cycle can last about 21 days. A cat, however, is completely different from a dog. They go in and out of heat all year round until they are either bred or spayed. If you do not intend to breed your pet, it is best to spay your pet to help avoid the risk of developing mammary cancer. A dog is pregnant for about 63 days and a cat for 61 days.

It is better to wait until your pet has gone through her heat cycle before she is spayed. The blood vessels that lead to the ovaries and uterus are inflamed during her heat cycle and this puts your pet at more of a risk during surgery. A female may be spayed if she is in the early stages of pregnancy, but it is also more of a risk to the animal and you should discuss this with our veterinarian before making an appointment to have your pet spayed.

When a cat sprays, he is exhibiting the male tendency to mark his territory with urine. Neutering decreases his male hormones and makes him much less likely to exhibit this undesirable trait (although neutering does not guarantee that he will stop spraying).

For female dogs and cats, we generally recommend waiting until your pet is approximately 6 months of age to try to avoid any urinary incontinence issues from spaying or neutering them too young. In smaller dog breeds, we recommend spaying before the first heat cycle. For large dog breeds we spay shortly after their first heat cycle, to reduce the incidence of joint and cruciate injuries. You should discuss this with our veterinarians to formulate a plan that works best for your pet.

For male dogs, we generally wait until they achieve their secondary sex characteristics at approximately 12 months of age, depending on its breed. Generally male cats should be neutered before they start spraying (marking territory) which can be as young as 4 – 6 months of age.

Bad breath, inflamed gums, plaque and tartar buildup, and loose teeth are all of great concern when it comes to the health of your pet’s mouth. If you notice any of these signs, please bring your pet in for a dental checkup or schedule a dental cleaning. If your pet’s teeth are not in need of a cleaning at the time of the checkup, we can give you recommendations to help maintain your pet’s overall mouth health such as helpful treats/toys, teeth brushing, and other pet safe dental products.

Every pet has unique medical needs, so you should discuss an ongoing healthcare plan for your animal with our veterinarians. Some conditions require more frequent visits than others.  However, we generally recommend bringing a healthy pet in at least once a year for a wellness visit. These visits ensure that he or she is up-to-date on his or her vaccinations and that the pet is growing or functioning as well as they should.
 
As pets get older, more frequent twice yearly visits are recommended. Remember, pets age at a much faster rate than we do. With periodic preventative visits we can detect the early onset of certain diseases.

Yes. South Florida is a tropical area and heartworm disease remains a threat all year long. Heartworm disease is very easy to prevent but very difficult and even life threatening to treat. We require testing your adult dog for heartworm disease before starting on the preventative. Puppies are started as early as eleven weeks, with no testing required. We require a heartworm test annually to continue prescribing the heartworm preventative. You will administer heartworm preventative monthly throughout the year. If you miss a dose or doses of heartworm preventative, please consult with us immediately.

Generally, dogs should be vaccinated against rabies at 16-17 weeks of age, again one year later, and then every three years after that.  Distemper/parvo combo shots should be given at eight, eleven, fourteen, and 16-17 weeks of age, boostered one year later, and then as needed to maintain immunity.

For Lyme vaccine, the first vaccination will be given as a series of two injections three weeks apart, and once yearly thereafter.

Your dog may have special needs, so it is important that you and our veterinarian construct a vaccine schedule that’s appropriate for you.

In general, cats should be vaccinated against rabies at 16-17 weeks of age, boostered one year later, and repeated annually thereafter.

Feline distemper shots should be given at eight, eleven, fourteen and 16-17 weeks of age, followed by a booster one year later and repeated every three years. 

For the feline leukemia vaccine, the first vaccination will be given as a series of two injections at eleven and fourteen weeks, boostered one year later, then given once every two years thereafter for indoor-outdoor cats.
These are merely guidelines, so it’s important that you and our veterinarians create a personalized vaccination schedule for your cat based on his or her needs.

Yes, we do board as long as your pet is a patient at our hospital. Please call in advance when possible to ensure that we are able to board your pets on the dates you need.

We ask that you bring your pet’s food he or she is currently eating, and whatever medications or supplements he or she may be taking. This will ensure your pet’s diet and medication regimen will be kept consistent. We will provide bedding and toys while they are staying with us.

There could be several reasons that your pet is scooting on the ground. Your pet may need its anal gland expressed, need to be dewormed, or have other more serious issues. Anal glands are small glands on either side of the rectum. They contain a fishy smelling substance and before domestication dogs and cats used them to mark their territory. Pets no longer have active control of these glands and therefore they can become full and need emptying. Cats will generally lick their rectal area excessively if their anal sacs are full.

Please call us the hospital to make an appointment. It would be helpful to bring a fresh fecal sample to your appointment to check for the presence of parasites.

There are certain parasites, such as tapeworms, that are visible to the naked eye; others must be detected under a microscope. With the use of the microscope we are able to determine if parasites are present by the presence of eggs. If you bring in a fresh stool sample, we will be glad to examine it microscopically to see if your pet has worms. It’s also not a bad idea to routinely deworm your pet every 6 months to a year.

A dog that licks his feet, rubs his face, or scratches behind his elbows may be showing signs of an allergy. Dogs can be allergic to all sorts of things such as house dust, foods, grass or weeds. Consult our veterinarian about this, especially if your dog is showing any hair loss.

Kennel cough is a respiratory disease usually contracted in areas where large numbers of dogs are housed. It is highly contagious between dogs. The most common symptom is a dry hacking cough sometimes followed by retching. Many owners describe the cough as having a ‘honking sound.’ A watery nasal discharge may also be present. With mild cases, dogs continue to eat and be alert and active.

If you think your dog has kennel cough, please call us from your car when you arrive for your appointment. Our staff will meet you at the car and escort you to our isolation ward for your appointment.

Getting a urine sample from your pet is not difficult, but it might take more than one try. For male dogs, place a wide-mouthed jar under him as he lifts his leg. For a female, hold a flat pan or ice cream dish between her back legs when she squats. For cats, place wide wax paper strips in the litter box or fill the box with a nonabsorbent litter or uncooked popcorn kernels (which are nonabsorbent). After the cat has urinated, pour out the urine into a jar. 

The first thing you need to do is see if the pet has a rabies tag on its collar. If so, the tag should have the phone number to the pet’s veterinarian or the county animal care. Please first call the number on the tag. The reason for this is that the rabies tag will help identify the pet’s owner. Please note: If calling the veterinarian after hours, in most cases they won’t be able to retrieve the owner’s information until their hospital opens in the morning.

Many pets are now microchipped. You can bring the found pet to our hospital and we can scan for a microchip and help you determine its owner and how to make contact to return the pet to its owner.

Your pets should definitely be microchipped and registered with one of the microchip registries. We have an ongoing microchip clinic at our hospital and can microchip and register your pets at a very affordable cost. If your pet is already microchipped, we recommend registering your pet’s microchip with AKCReUnite, since they are a non-profit organization, have a lifetime enrollment, and a 24 hour lost pet hotline.

Yes! If you know (or are) a young member of our community who aspires to become a veterinarian or work in the animal care field, our job shadowing program may be for you! While visiting our hospital, you’ll have the opportunity to observe everything that goes into making a practice run, from cheerfully greeting clients at the front desk to the state-of-the-art technology that supports diagnoses, treatment, and surgery. Those interested in setting up time to shadow may call us at 954-561-8777.